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Timber Construction

FIFTY YEARS AGO the structural use of timber was entirely governed by the known properties of the raw material in its natural state. These properties had become known by trial and error and in consequence were defined by limitations rather than potentialities. The natural limitations on available dimensions, weakness in shear, inability to make a good tension joint or to maintain continuity around bends or at the ends of pieces, no effective control over moisture movement, no systematic evaluation of strength, no constructive knowledge of pathology and treatment, no apparent escape from unidirectional stress distribution : all factors which operated in the development of empirical techniques and the establishment of a fairly rigid code of traditional practice. P.O. Reece