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The United States Forestry Service has put together a very useful book on the properties of wood, with sections on timber resources, the structure of wood, physical properties and moisture content of wood, the mechanical properties of wood and much more. Best of all, it is available free for download from the Forestry Service's home page (along with a wealth of other available information).

The Wood Handbook is available as a single download, which is a very large 14.3 MB PDF file, or it can be downloaded in much smaller, chapter-by-chapter sections. You can download the "Wood Handbook" here, in either the full-length form, or by chapter. This page also includes a summary of each chapter. You will need a an application that will read PDF files, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded free from Adobe's Acrobat Reader page.


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