Wood Identifing - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Wood Identifing

So... I've been making/building things out of wood for a long time BUT I never have developed a good way to Identify the wood I'm using. What are some of the tools/techniques you use to help you identify wood species?
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 04:14 PM
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So... I've been making/building things out of wood for a long time BUT I never have developed a good way to Identify the wood I'm using. What are some of the tools/techniques you use to help you identify wood species?
The only thing any of us use to identify wood is experience with working with different woods. Sometimes it helps if you are unsure to go to google images but you pretty much have to have an idea first. Sometimes it takes the smell of the wood when cut to be sure.

One thing that would help is veneer companies often sell sample kits. You might buy one of those kits to use for comparison.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 06:00 PM
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There are lots of books on the subject.. Your local library might have something too.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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There are lots of books on the subject.. Your local library might have something too.
Funny thing, I purchased a book and it has every known species of wood there is but it really doesn't tell you how to identify the wood.Thanks for the tip though.
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Funny thing, I purchased a book and it has every known species of wood there is but it really doesn't tell you how to identify the wood.Thanks for the tip though.
That happens to be the exact book.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-22-2016, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The only thing any of us use to identify wood is experience with working with different woods. Sometimes it helps if you are unsure to go to google images but you pretty much have to have an idea first. Sometimes it takes the smell of the wood when cut to be sure.

One thing that would help is veneer companies often sell sample kits. You might buy one of those kits to use for comparison.
That would be an awesome idea. I've done the same thing for wood stains
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-23-2016, 01:31 AM
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This is the best single source I've found by far, hundreds of species, thousands of pics with info, better than any book I've seen.
According to most experts, the definitive way to identify a species is comparing end grain.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-23-2016, 05:50 PM
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@bzguy: Wow! That's an great source. I now have it bookmarked. Thanks.

I'm on You Tube: Woodified
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-26-2016, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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This is the best single source I've found by far, hundreds of species, thousands of pics with info, better than any book I've seen.
According to most experts, the definitive way to identify a species is comparing end grain.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
Thank you for the resource.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-26-2016, 07:32 AM
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Yes, but....

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Originally Posted by bzguy View Post
This is the best single source I've found by far, hundreds of species, thousands of pics with info, better than any book I've seen.
According to most experts, the definitive way to identify a species is comparing end grain.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
Some woods like the various species of Oak around 30, have similar end grains. Then the next best indicator is the leaves off the tree if you have them.



http://www.typesof.com/types-of-oak-trees-leaves/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-27-2016, 02:55 PM
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Was just re-reading my post, should have put any "single" book, there are many great ones.
"Understanding Wood" gave me more insight than any other written source.
Leaves when available are definitely even more definitive for sure, sadly in most cases they are long gone.
I've only ever worked with Red and White Oak, easy to tell those two.
Live Oaks make great pictures.
Happy Easter!
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-27-2016, 09:40 PM
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I suggest you look at furniture, both new and old. Find the woods that you like best. Is it Mahogany? Do you like Oak furniture? What about Pine? Each of these woods is very different from the other. They can be finished natural, stained or even painted, but the wood can be identified by someone with knowledge of woods.
New pieces are more complicated to identify than old because much of today's new furniture is imported. We are most familiar with American grown woods and still learning about the hardwoods from the rainforest over seas.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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