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The Basics Of Material Science

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Different materials, such as wood, metal and plastic, have different properties. We will explain these and tell you what you should know when working on them.


Wood is by far the most commonly used material by DIY enthusiasts. Its properties are dependent on how it has been processed into, for example, boards and planks.

Wood is usually divided into soft and hard woods. Native softwoods are poplar, willow, lime, birch, alder, spruce and fir. Hardwoods from native forests, on the other hand, include beech, pine, chestnut, ash, walnut and hornbeam.

The strength of wood refers to its resistance to external forces that can act on it, i.e. tensile, compressive or buckling strength. The term "plasticity" is used to refer to wood that can be bent without springing back into its previous shape. The term "elastic" refers to wood that resumes its original shape after bending.

A small number of tools are sufficient for working by hand: In addition to a cross-peen hammer and a wood or soft face hammer, a mallet (for striking against tools with a wood handle) is required. There are several types of drill bits and chisels specially for wood, which are some of the classical joiner's tools. A set of screwdrivers is also required.


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