Hard and Soft Woods
There is a strong relationship between the properties of wood and the properties of the particular tree that yielded it. The density of wood varies with species. The density of a wood correlates with its strength (mechanical properties). For example, mahogany is a medium-dense hardwood that is excellent for fine furniture crafting, whereas balsa is light, making it useful for model building. One of the densest woods is black ironwood.
It is common to classify wood as either softwood or hardwood. The wood from conifers (e.g. pine) is called softwood, and the wood from dicotyledons (usually broad-leaved trees, e.g. oak) is called hardwood. These names are a bit misleading, as hardwoods are not necessarily hard, and softwoods are not necessarily soft. The well-known balsa (a hardwood) is actually softer than any commercial softwood. Conversely, some softwoods (e.g. yew) are harder than many hardwoods.
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Famous quotes containing the words hard and, hard, soft and/or woods:
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—Carson McCullers (19171967)
“Truly man is a marvelously vain, diverse, and undulating object. It is hard to found any constant and uniform judgment on him.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)
“This, mayhap, was not logic, but it was something more potent, more real than logicthe soft insinuating voice of Sentiment.”
—Emmuska, Baroness Orczy (18651947)
“Usually the scenery about them is drear and savage enough; and the loggers camp is as completely in the woods as a fungus at the foot of a pine in a swamp; no outlook but to the sky overhead; no more clearing than is made by cutting down the trees of which it is built, and those which are necessary for fuel.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)