Uses of Wood

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Last Updated on September 12, 2018 by Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

USES OF WOOD

INTRODUCTION:

  • Wood is being used from the immemorial for a variety of purposes
  • In the past, it was the only material used in tools
  • Today there are a number of substitutes of wood like steel has replaced timber for the structural purposes.
  • Concrete sleepers have replaced wooden ones
  • Fiberglass is now widely used for making boats.
  • For timber to maintain its present used in competition it should be properly selected for the right job; properly seasoned; properly preserved and prevented from others harmful agents the deteriorate its quality
  • Following are important qualities of a wood:
    • Strength
    • Stability
    • Availability in the required sizes
    • Ease with which the material can be worked
    • Durability
    • Thermal insulation
    • Fire resistance
    • Appearance



  1. Building Construction:

  • The wood required for structural parts like joints, beams, rafters, etc should be strong and stiff
  • For doors and window frames, floorings, staircases, and ceilings different characteristics vary with the type of work
  • The properties of the timber in use:
    1. Durability
    2. Strength
    3. Steadiness
    4. Hardness
  • The timbers recommended:
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
    • White siris (Albizia procera)
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
  1. Packing cases and crates:

  • Wood pickings are preferably used for fresh fruits, machinery aircraft parts, plate glasses, precision instruments, and the like
  • Moreover used for ammunition boxes, boxes for air droppings, boxes and crates for heavy machinery
  • Timbers with density 350-420 kg/m are suitable for packing crates
  • Properties of timber:
    1. Light
    2. Easily workable
    3. Cheap
  • Spp in use and recommended:
    • Simal (Bombax ceiba)
    • Mango (Mangifera inidca)
    • Tono (Cedrella toona)
    • Bakain (Melia azedarach)
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
    • Poplar spp
  1. Agricultural Implements:

  • It refers to appliances such as plows, barrows, rollers, and clod-crushers
  • Properties to consider
    1. Durability
    2. Strength
    3. Toughness
    4. Impact bending
    5. Hardness
  • Spp in use:
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
    • Amaltas (Cassia fistula)
    • Oak (Quercus spp)
    • Ber (Zizyphus jujuba)
  1. Axe halves and Tool handles:

  • The main thing that is important is the length of the handle
  • Properties of wood:
    1. Fine texture
    2. Straight grain
    3. Strength
    4. Elasticity
    5. Toughness
    6. Cleavage
    7. Hardness
  • Wood spp in use:
    • Kao (Olea ferrugenea)
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
    • Black siris (Albizia lebbek)
    • Oak (Quercus spp)
  1. Furniture, cabinet work, and paneling:

  • For this, a better quality wood is required
  • These include writing desks, bookcases, dining tables, sideboards and screens
  • Properties required in the wood:
    1. Good color
    2. Handsome grain or figure
    3. Non-liability to crack, split or wrap
    4. Ease of working and finishing
    5. Well seasoned
  • Spp in use
    • Siris (Abies pindrow)
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Toon (Cedrela toona)
  • For the cheaper type of furniture:
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Maple (Acer spp)
    • Horse chestnut (Aesculus indica)
    • Kail (Pinus wallichiana)
    • Mango (Mangifera indica)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
  1. Turnery Articles:

  • This term includes bobbins toys, household wooden utensils, and rifle parts
  • Properties of timber required:
    1. Close and even texture
    2. High-class turnery and carving
    3. Well seasoned
  • Spp in use:
    • Walnut (Juglans regia)
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Paser (Parrotia jacquemontiona)
  1. Toys and Models:

  • The wood selected will depend upon the finished product
  • For the use properties of timber:
    1. Light
    2. Easily workable
  • For unpainted toys, properties are:
    1. Plain
    2. Light colored wood
  • For making models of ships, buildings, etc.
    1. Light
    2. Very steady
    3. Cut easily and cleanly
    4. Easy in finishing (less labor involved)
  • Wood spp in use:
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
    • Simal (Bombax ceiba)
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
    • Bakain (Melia azedarach)



  1. Railway Carriage building:

  • It is one of the timbers utilizing industry
  • The carriage building work falls into the following four distinct classes:
    1. Main members of passenger coaches, such as bottom sides, pillars
    2. Interior fittings, such as boarding, panelling, partitions, seats, etc
    3. Footboards
    4. Floorboards
  • Properties of timbers in use:
    1. Strength
    2. Steadiness
    3. Good figure or grain
    4. Retention of shape
    5. Color
    6. Light wood
    7. Dimension stability
  • The principal spp in use:
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
  1. Railway Sleepers:

  • These are used support rails, distribute the load from rails to the ballast, and maintain gauges
  • Timbers should be treated with preservatives
  • Properties of timbers used for sleepers include:
    1. Durability
    2. Well-seasoned
    3. Static bending
    4. Compressive strength
    5. Hardness
  • Spp used:
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodar)
    • Babul (Acaci nilotica)
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
  1. Electric transmission poles:

  • Qualities of transmission poles
    1. Good straight lengths
    2. No split and cracks
    3. Free from sap rot, hollows, cross-breaks, and large holes
    4. Strength (MOR)
    5. Durability
  • Spp in use are recommended:
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodar)
    • Chir (Pinus roxburghii)
    • Kail (P. wallichiana)
    • Illachi (Eucalyptus spp)
  1. Mine work and pit props:

  • In mines, the posts usu relatively short and made of timber, used as a strut are known as pit-props
  • Pit props are generally used in the round in lengths or 1.8 – 3.6 m.
  • Preservative treatments are recommended for second timbers that are strong but are not durable
  • Essential properties of timber
    1. Durability
    2. Strength
    3. Compression parallel to grain
    4. Stiffness
    5. MOE
    6. MOR
  • Woods in use
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
  1. Ship and boat building:

  • The demand of wood has increased for deck planking, cabin fitmens and interior decoration for ship and boat building
  • Qualities required in wood
    1. Durability
    2. Elasticity
    3. Strength
    4. Easily available in clear long lengths
    5. Defects free
  • Wood spp in use:
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Mango (Mangifera indica)
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
    • Khair (Acacia catechu)
  1. Textile mill accessories:

  • These include bobbins, picker arms and loom components such as box backs, lay races, swells, lay blocks, card leggings, etc.
  • Properties essential in wood:
    1. Straight grained
    2. Free from knots and other defects
    3. Well seasoned
    4. Good turnery
    5. Fine and compact textured
    6. Medium in weight
  • Wood recommended
    • Maple (Acer caesium)
    • Toon (Cedrela spp)
    • Mango (Mangifera indica)
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
    • Kail (Pinus wallichiana)
    • Fir (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
  1. Pencils and pen holders:

  • Properties of timber:
    1. Fine texture
    2. Straight grain
    3. Free from knots
    4. Lightweight
    5. Reasonably strong
  • Suitable spp:
    • Juniper (Juniperus macropoda)
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
  1. Sports goods:

  • These include hockey sticks, cricket bats, tennis and badminton rackets, golf clubs, billiard cues, skis, cricket stumps and bails, fishing rods, etc.
  • Properties of wood:
    1. Static bending
    2. Compressive strength
    3. Hardness
    4. Impact bending
  • Spp in use:
    • Ash (Fraxinus spp)
    • Maple (Aces caesium)
    • Khair (Acacia catechu)
    • Shisham ( sissoo)
    • Willow (Salix spp)
    • Bakain (Melia azedarach)
    • Mulberry (Morus alba)
    • Poplar (Poplus spp)



  1. Cooperage:

  • It comprises the manufacture of all kinds of barrels, casks, tubes, vats, drums, and similar vessels for holding liquids of dry goods.
  • Properties of timber in use:
    1. Dimensional stability
    2. Good woodworking
    3. Not too heavy
  • Spp preferred:
    • Mulberry (Morus alba)
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
    • Ash (Fraxinus spp)
    • Willow (Salix spp)
  1. Flooring:

  • Wooden floors are classified into strip-flooring and block-flooring
  • Properties of timber include:
    1. Abrasive resistance (wear and tear)
    2. Durability
    3. Non-liability to excessive shrinkage and smelling
    4. No wrapping
    5. Hardness
    6. Toughness
  • Spp in use:
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)
    • Black siris (Albezzia lebbek)
    • Toon (Cedrela spp)
    • Kail (Pinus wallichiana)
    • Chir ( roxburghii)
    • Babul (Acacia nilotica)
  1. Rifle parts and gun stocks:

  • Characteristics required in wood:
    1. Fine texture perfectly sound
    2. Density about 560 kg/m3
    3. Moderately hard
  • Spp suitable:
    • Walnut (Juglans regia)
    • Maple (Acer caesium)
    • Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
    • Black siris (Albizia lebbak)
  1. Battery separators:

  • Commonly made from conifers
  • Qualities of the wood:
    1. Porosity
    2. Permeability
    3. Straight grained
    4. Sufficiently strong
    5. Defect-free
    6. Good machining properties
    7. Free from volatile acids
    8. Free from tannins
    9. Free from hydrolyzable resinous matter and minerals
  • Woods used and recommended:
    • Fire (Abies pindrow)
    • Spruce (Picea smithiana)
    • Cupress (Cupressus spp)
    • Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
    • Kail ( wallichiana)
  1. Match manufacture:

  • In Pakistan, only wood is used in making match splints and boxes
  • Qualities of a match wood:
    1. Straight grained
    2. Strength
    3. Toughness
    4. Lightness
    5. Good white color
    6. Freedom from defects
    7. Capacity to absorb paraffin readily
    8. Easily peelable
    9. Easily available
    10. Cheap
  • Suitable wood spp:
    • Simal (Bombax ceiba)
    • Poplar (Poplus spp)
    • White Bakain (Alianthus spp)
    • Mango (Mangifera indica)
  1. Mathematical instruments:

  • These include drawing boards, set squares, t-squares, rulers, etc
  • Qualities required in the wood:
    1. Fine and even textured
    2. Smooth surface on machinery
    3. Not chip off
    4. Steadiness
    5. Not liable to wrap
    6. Easy to print upon
    7. Straight grained
    8. Free from defects.
  • Timbers recommended and in use:
    • Horse chestnut (Aesculus spp)
    • Walnut (Juglans regia)
    • White bakain (Ailanthus spp)
    • Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)

 

Use Use for Qualities required Species in use
Building Construction:

 

The wood required for structural parts like joints, beams, rafters, etc and for doors and window frames, floorings, staircases, and ceilings Durability; Strength; Steadiness; Hardness

 

Fir (Abies pindrow); Spruce (Picea smithiana); White siris (Albizia procera); Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo); Babul (Acacia nilotica)
Packing cases and crates:

 

Used for fresh fruits, machinery aircraft parts, plate glasses, precision instruments, and the like. Also for ammunition boxes, boxes for air droppings, boxes and crates for heavy machinery Light; Easily workable; Cheap

 

Simal (Bombax ceiba); Mango (Mangifera inidca); Tono (Cedrella toona); Bakain (Meila azedarach)’ Fir (Abies pindrow); Spruce (Picea smithiana); Poplar spp
Agricultural Implements:

 

It refers to appliances such as ploughs, barrows, rollers, and clod-crushers

 

Durability; Strength; Toughness; Impact bending; Hardness Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo); Babul (Acacia nilotica); Amaltas (Cassia fistula); Oak (Quercus spp); Ber (Zizyphus jujuba)
Axe halves and Tool handles: Fine texture; Straight grain; Strength; Elasticity; Toughness; Cleavage; Hardness Kao (Olea ferrugenea); Babul (Acacia nilotica); Black siris (Albizia lebbek); Oak (Quercus spp)
Furniture, cabinet work and paneling:

 

These include writing desks, book cases, dining tables, side boards and screens

 

Good color; Handsome grain or figure; Non-liability to crack, split or wrap; Ease of working and finishing; Well seasoned Fir (Abies pindrow); Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo); Toon (Cedrela toona); Maple (Acer spp); Horse chestnut (Aesculus indica); Kail (Pinus wallichiana); Mango (Mangifera indica); Spruce (Picea smithiana); Deodar (Cedrus deodara)
Turnery Articles:

 

This term includes bobbins toys, house-hold wooden utensils and rifle parts Close and even texture; High class turnery and carving; Well seasoned Walnut (Julgans regia); Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo); Paser (Parrotia jacquemontiona)
Toys and Models:

 

Light; Easily workable; For unpainted toys, properties are: Plain, Light colored wood

For making models of ships, buildings, etc.; Light; Very steady; Cut easily and cleanly; Easy in finishing

Deodar (Cedrus deodara)

Simal (Bombax ceiba)

Fir (Abies pindrow)

Spruce (Picea smithiana)

Bakain (Melia azedarach)

Railway Carriage building:

 

Main members of passenger coaches, such as bottom sides, pillars. Interior fittings, such as boarding, paneling, partitions, seats, etc. Foot boards. Floor boards Strength; Steadiness; Good figure or grain; Retention of shape; Color

Light wood; Dimension stability

Deodar (Cedrus deodara)

Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)

 

Railway Sleepers:

 

Durability; Well-seasoned; Static bending; Compressive strength; Hardness Deodar (Cedrus deodar); Babul (Acaci nilotica); Fir (Abies pindrow)

Spruce (Picea smithiana)

Mine work and pit props:

 

Durability; Strength; Compression parallel to grain; Stiffness; MOE; MOR Babul (Acacia nilotica)

Fir (Abies pindrow)

 

Electric transmission poles:

 

Good straight lengths; No split and cracks; Free from sap rot, hollows, cross-breaks, and large holes; Strength (MOR); Durability Deodar (Cedrus deodar)

Chir (Pinus roxburghii)

Kail (P. wallichiana)

Illachi (Eucalyptus spp)

Ship and boat building: For deck planking, cabin fitmens and interior decoration for ship and boat building

 

Durability; Elasticity; Strength; Easily available in clear long lengths; Defects free Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)

Mango (Mangifera indica)

Babul (Acacia nilotica)

Khair (Acacia catechu)

Textile mill accessories:

 

These include bobbins, picker arms and loom components such as box backs, lay races, swells, lay blocks, card laggings, etc.

 

Straight grained; Free from knots and other defects; Well seasoned; Good turnery; Fine and compact textured; Medium in weight Maple (Acer caesium); Toon (Cedrela spp); Mango (Mangifera indica)

Deodar (Cedrus deodara); Kail (Pinus wallichiana); Fir (Abies pindrow); Spruce (Picea smithiana)

Pencils and pen holders:

 

Fine texture; Straight grain; Free from knots; Light weight; Reasonably strong; Juniper (Juniperus macropoda)

Deodar (Cedrus deodara)

Sports goods:

 

These include hockey sticks, cricket bats, tennis and badminton rackets, golf clubs, billiard cures, skis, cricket stumps and bails, fishing rods, etc.

 

Static bending; Compressive strength; Hardness; Impact bending Ash (Fraxinus spp); Maple (Aces caesium); Khair (Acacia catechu); Shisham (D. sissoo); Willow (Salix spp); Bakain (Melia azedarach); Mulberry (Morus alba); Poplar (Poplus spp)
Cooperage:

 

It comprises the manufacture of all kinds of barrels, casks, tubes, vats, drums, and similar vessels for holding liquids of dry goods. Dimensional stability; Good wood working; Not too heavy; Mulberry (Morus alba); Deodar (Cedrus deodara); Ash (Fraxinus spp); Willow (Salix spp)
Flooring:

 

Abrasive resistance (wear and tear); Durability; Non-liability to excessive shrinkage and smelling; No wrapping; Hardness; Toughness; Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)

Black siris (Albezzia lebbek)

Kail (Pinus wallichiana)

Chir (P. roxburghii)

Babul (Acacia nilotica)

Rifle parts and gun stocks:

 

Fine texture perfectly sound; Density about 560 kg/m3; Moderately hard; Walnut (Juglans regia); Maple (Acer caesium)

Bird cherry (Prunus padus)

Black siris (Albizia lebbak)

Battery separators:

 

Porosity; Permeability; Straight grained; Sufficiently strong; Defect free; Good machining properties; Free from volatile acids; Free from tannins; Free from hydrolysable resinous matter and minerals Fire (Abies pindrow)

Spruce (Picea smithiana)

Cupress (Cupressus spp)

Deodar (Cedrus deodara)

Kail (P. wallichiana)

Match manufacture:

 

Used in making match splints and boxes

 

Straight grained; Strength; Toughness

Lightness; Good white color; Freedom from defects; Capacity to absorb paraffin readily; Easily peel able; Easily available; Cheap

Simal (Bombax ceiba)

Poplar (Poplus spp)

White Bakain (Alianthus spp)

Mango (Mangifera indica)

 

Mathematical instruments:

 

These include drawing boards, set squares, t-squares, rulers, etc

 

Fine and even textured; Smooth surface on machinery; Not chip off; Steadiness; Not liable to wrap; Easy to print upon; Straight grained; Free from defects Horse chestnut (Aesculus spp)

Walnut (Juglans regia)

White bakain (Ailanthus spp)

Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo)


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Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani

NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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