Title: Guide to the properties and uses of Southern African wood
Authors: Stephanie Dyer, Barry James, Danielle James
Publisher: Briza Publications
Pretoria, South Africa 2016
ISBN 9781920217587 / ISBN 978-1-920217-58-7
Hardcover, 28 x 21 cm, 336 pages, over 700 full-colour photographs and distribution maps
There are very few books which focus on the properties of the wood of Southern African tree sand those that do either cover a limited number of species, are academic journals, or have been self-published in limited numbers. As a result, the need for a guide covering the wood properties of a wider range of Southern African tree species has often been expressed. The Guide to the properties and uses of Southern African Wood focusses on South African species, but a number of wood species from neighbouring Southern African countries have become very popular in South Africa, for applications like quality furniture and flooring, and we felt that the book would not be complete without including the most popular of these species.
There are also many introduced species, some of which are commonly used by woodworkers, and we decided to include a selection of these species in the book. The wood guide covers 140 species, of which 134 are indigenous Southern African species and six are introduced species. It is merely a beginning, in terms of describing the amazing variety of wood that we have. Our criteria in deciding on the species to include was practical - did we have the technical data, a sample of the wood (from which we could obtain the end grain macrograph and side grain photographs), an example of a worked item, or a piece of wood big enough to get an item made, and could we find woodworkers, who had worked with the wood, to get their comments.
Using this information, we were able to complete 120 species (114 indigenous and six introduced), as double-page spreads. A further 20 indigenous species were covered, as single-page spreads, and include only the technical data, end grain macrographs and side grain photographs. Distribution maps are included for all 140 species. Most aspects pertaining to indigenous wood are covered in the eight introductory chapters. They describe where trees grow, give some history of indigenous wood utilisation, discuss availability and sustainability, give practical tips on working with indigenous woods, including harvesting, processing and health issues, and give detailed accounts of wood identification and wood properties.
Subscribers and Sponsors
Distribution of Forests and Woodlands in South Africa
Historical Uses of Southern African Wood
Sustainability and Availability of Indigenous Wood
Harvesting and Processing Indigenous Wood
Woodworking and Health
Commercial Growing of Indigenous Trees