Wood, together with stone, are the first materials that human beings have ever known and worked with: the first tools and homes were built using it, and with the discovery of fire, man was able to warm himself.
Even today, contemporary civilization uses it for the same purposes.
The main characteristics of wood: knowing it to work it better
Each wood has its own characteristics and, although many have similar colors and shades, each plant is different even if it belongs to the same species; each point of the same plant differs from the others and this is its first important characteristic: heterogeneity and, even more specifically, anisotropy, i.e. its diversity along a direction of the plane (cross, radial, tangential).
Soft and hard woods
Commercially, the timber from coniferous is considered softwood while that from broad-leaved is hardwood.
However, this is an improper and potentially misleading distinction if we consider the hardness of the wood: some conifers, such as the yew, are harder than other broad-leaved species and therefore should not be considered as an exclusive parameter for the choice of wood.
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