For more than 50 years, and in several organizational forms, APA­ The Engineered Wood Association has provided technical leadership in the manufacture and use of structural wood composites. During this period, APA has published countless technical directives for a host of wood composites, including plywood, OSB, glue-laminated beams, laminated veneer lumber, and, most recently, wood I-joists. APA has now synthesized this wealth of information into a handy compendium. The APA Engineered Wood Handbook edited by Thomas G. Williamson, P.E. (McGraw-Hill, 2002; 800/722-4726, http://www.construction.com; $115) is a solid reference tool prepared by the Technical Services staff of APA.

I have to warn you, though: This chunk of a book is dry. How dry is it? Let's just say that within ten minutes of opening it, I thought the relative humidity in my office had dropped 60%! But in all fairness, no one purchasing this book is looking for an ocean of fun. The style will be familiar to anyone who has used APA product guides and...

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