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It looks more like maple to me than birch. As for "heaviness," that is subjective, but hard maple is one of the heavier of the common domestic lumber varieties. According to some weight density comparisons I have read, its avg. weight/ cubic ft. at 12% moisture is around 44# , compared with red oak at ~ 45#. But if you compare it with the really heavy woods such as ironwood or lignum vitae, which is listed as an avg. weight of around 80#/cubic ft., then I guess you could understand George C's comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It looks more like maple to me than birch. As for "heaviness," that is subjective, but hard maple is one of the heavier of the common domestic lumber varieties. According to some weight density comparisons I have read, its avg. weight/ cubic ft. at 12% moisture is around 44# , compared with red oak at ~ 45#. But if you compare it with the really heavy woods such as ironwood or lignum vitae, which is listed as an avg. weight of around 80#/cubic ft., then I guess you could understand George C's comment.
Thank you. I guess my "heavy" comment is not as helpful as I thought it would be.

Your work in amazing.

Gary
 

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Both birch and maple are diffuse porous.
Vessel element diameters are similar as well.
Neither has particularly visible "pores."
I've had my face in birch for wood carving for more than a year now.
Fairly intimate look at the gross anatomy and that is NOT enough for good ID.
Big wood is heavy.

The shapes of the late wood in the nearly tangentially cut areas (big, wavy parts)
suggest a maple of some sort. 5 minutes with a couple of stained shavings and a microscope and I'll tell you for certain what it is (and what it isn't).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How about some better pics so we can make a more informed guess.
Paul I have now stained this piece and have included a couple of pictures. I am not sure if this helps or hinders determining what wood this is.

Your web site is shock and awe to me every time I visit it.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Both birch and maple are diffuse porous.
Vessel element diameters are similar as well.
Neither has particularly visible "pores."
I've had my face in birch for wood carving for more than a year now.
Fairly intimate look at the gross anatomy and that is NOT enough for good ID.
Big wood is heavy.

The shapes of the late wood in the nearly tangentially cut areas (big, wavy parts)
suggest a maple of some sort. 5 minutes with a couple of stained shavings and a microscope and I'll tell you for certain what it is (and what it isn't).
Your level of detail always amazes me. I would never have thought that wood identification could be this complicated.

Thank you for your comments.

Gary
 

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Still can't really tell but going back to Cman's post #3, the edge plank looks a lot like maple. In particular in the new pic, the corner closest to the camera.

Still, that's just a guess. Can you get a closer-up shot that shows the grain more clearly?
 

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Under a microscope, wood species identification is a whole lot easier than fingerprints. Can you comprehend the difference between an apple and a banana? Wood anatomy is not much more complex that that. There are not more than approx 150 species of commercial value (I said: "commercial") in all of North America. Maybe most things are 40 of those.

The Australians and Africans and Asians have 600 - 1,000 species to mess with. That is tedious. Some are quite close, like Shorea and Swietenia ( the "mahoganies") but for one consistent detail difference that's as plain as day when you know what to look for.

This gross anatomy is a mug's game. Could be Eucalyptus for all I really know (400-600 of those). True, some N.A. woods are easy to recognize.

If the wood is really heavy, is it possibly U-235?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Still can't really tell but going back to Cman's post #3, the edge plank looks a lot like maple. In particular in the new pic, the corner closest to the camera.

Still, that's just a guess. Can you get a closer-up shot that shows the grain more clearly?
Paul I have tried cropping the pictures to preserve the detail and stay within size limitations of the web site. Hopefully this will help.

Thank you.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Under a microscope, wood species identification is a whole lot easier than fingerprints. Can you comprehend the difference between an apple and a banana? Wood anatomy is not much more complex that that. There are not more than approx 150 species of commercial value (I said: "commercial") in all of North America. Maybe most things are 40 of those.

The Australians and Africans and Asians have 600 - 1,000 species to mess with. That is tedious. Some are quite close, like Shorea and Swietenia ( the "mahoganies") but for one consistent detail difference that's as plain as day when you know what to look for.

This gross anatomy is a mug's game. Could be Eucalyptus for all I really know (400-600 of those). True, some N.A. woods are easy to recognize.

If the wood is really heavy, is it possibly U-235?
I cannot imagine hundreds and hundreds of species of woods. What a sheltered life I lead.

Thanks for the elaboration and the punchline humor.

Gary
 

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... I have now stained this piece and have included a couple of pictures. I am not sure if this helps or hinders determining what wood this is.
It would have been better if you had photographed the wood before you stained it.

Is it possible to sand a section of the underneath , and photograph that dry , and after it has been wetted ?
 

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Paul I have tried cropping the pictures to preserve the detail and stay within size limitations of the web site. Hopefully this will help.

Thank you.

Gary
Cropping doesn't change what the pic is, so you have added nothing. I'm looking for a new pic that is face-on to the grain and well focused, and fairly close.
 
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