WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Real Wood Bible

The Real Wood Bible
by Nick Gibbs

Firefly Books: 2005
hardback, 256 pp., $29.95
ISBN 1-55407-033-3

     This is a small wood ID book, 6-1/2"x8", but most of the one hundred wood species represented has its own double page spread, with a full sized wood sample shown planed bare and with an oil finish to reveal the figure. The author gives heavy emphasis to the availability and sustainability of each wood, ecouragaing woodworkers to investigate their sources before buying.
     Under Chechen from Central America, Gibbs says, "Certified supplies are now available. This is the sort of lesser-known species woodworkers should be encouraged to use, from certified sources, to stimulate demand for abundant tropical species." He lists the wood's strengths and weaknesses, its color, texture, grain and durabliity, its seasoning stability, range of available board widths, and its milling and shaping properties. Also included are a wood's weight, strength, and mutliple names. Small color thumbnails shown early in the book, make it easy to locate wood species, which are listed alphabetically by botanical names.
     An introduction offers advice on buying and milling wood, lumber industry abbreviations, wood shrinkage rates and common defects. There is also a chapter on secondary woods, less used or less available, and examples of specially figured woods and burls. Any identification book can show photos of wood species, but this one is especially useful for relaying timely information on world wide imports, and how woodworkers can use them responsibly.

. . . Barb Siddiqui