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  • History of wood carving

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    Chinese wooden Bodhisattva, Jin dynasty (1115–1234), Shanghai Museum. Wood carving is one of the oldest arts of humankind. Wooden spears from the Middle Paleolithic, such as the Clacton Spear, show that people have engaged in utilitarian woodwork for millennia. Indeed the beginnings of the craft go so far back that, at least where timber is present, the use of wood exists as a universal in human culture as both a means to create or enhance technology and as a medium for artistry. The North American Indian carves his wooden fish-hook or his pipe stem just as the Polynesian works patterns on his paddle. The native of Guyana decorates his cavassa grater with a well-conceived scheme of incised scrolls, while the native of Loango Bay distorts his spoon with a design of figures standing up in full relief carrying a hammock. Wood carving is also present in architecture. Figure-work seems to have been universal. To carve a figure/design in wood may be not only more difficult but also less satisfactory than sculpting with marble, owing to the tendency of wood to crack, to be damaged by insects, or to suffer from changes in the atmosphere.

  • Creosote

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    Railcar-loads of wood railroad ties before (right) and after impregnation with creosote, at a facility of the Santa Fe Railroad, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March 1943. This U.S. wartime governmental photo reports that "The steaming black ties in the left of photo… have just come from the retort where they have been impregnated with creosote for eight hours." Ties are "made of pine and fir... seasoned for eight months" as seen in the untreated railcar load at right.Creosote is a category of carbonaceous chemicals formed by the distillation of various tars and pyrolysis of plant-derived material, such as wood or fossil fuel. They are typically used as preservatives or antiseptics. Some creosote types were used historically as a treatment for components of seagoing and outdoor wood structures to prevent rot (e.g., bridgework and railroad ties, see image). Samples may be commonly found inside chimney flues, where the coal or wood burns under variable conditions, producing soot and tarry smoke. Creosotes are the principal chemicals responsible for the stability, scent, and flavor characteristic of smoked meat; the name is derived . The two main kinds recognized in industry are coal-tar creosote and wood-tar creosote. The coal-tar variety, having stronger and more toxic properties, has chiefly been used as a preservative for wood; coal-tar creosote was also formerly used as an escharotic, to burn malignant skin tissue, and in dentistry, to prevent necrosis, before its carcinogenic properties became known. The wood-tar variety has been used for meat preservation, ship treatment, and such medical purposes as an anaesthetic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, and laxative, though these have mostly been replaced by modern formulations. Varieties of creosote have also been made from both oil shale and petroleum, and are known as oil-tar creosote when derived from oil tar, and as water-gas-tar creosote when derived from the tar of water gas. Creosote also has been made from pre-coal formations such as lignite, yielding lignite-tar creosote, and peat, yielding peat-tar creosote.

  • Clapboard (architecture)

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    stained dark brown Captain William Smith House at Minute Man National Historical Park, a restored saltbox style house with unpainted clapboard siding Dutch Colonial Revival house built in weatherboard in New London, Connecticut Period weatherboard house in Dunedin, New Zealand Weatherboarded Cottage, Petteridge. This style of building is very common in rural west Kent, England Very old, beaded oak clapboards on the right, modern clapboard siding on the left. log house constructionClapboard or clabbard, also called bevel siding, lap siding, and weatherboard, with regional variation in the definition of these terms, is wooden siding of a building in the form of horizontal boards, often overlapping.

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