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Wood Library - Janka Hardness

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 2284 days ago 9866 reads 11 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A measure of the hardness of wood, which is produced by a variation on the Brinell hardness test. The test measures the force required to push a steel ball with a diameter of 11.28 millimeters (0.444 inches) into the wood to a depth of half the ball’s diameter (the diameter was chosen to produce a circle with an area of 100 square millimeters). It is also a good indicator of how hard a species is to saw or nail.

The results are stated in various ways, which can lead to confusion, especially since the name of the actual unit employed is often not attached. In the United States, the measurement is in pounds-force. In Sweden it is apparently in kilogram-force (kgf), and in Australia, Janka hardness ratings are either in newtons (N) or kilonewtons (kN). Sometimes the results are treated as units, e.g., “660 janka.”

The hardness of wood usually varies with the direction of the grain. If testing is done on the surface of a plank, with the force exerted perpendicular to the grain, the test is said to be of “side hardness.” Side hardnesses of a block of wood measured in the direction of the tree’s center (radially), and on a tangent to the tree’s rings (tangentially), are typically very similar.

The most common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring.

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If anyone has anything to add, please PM me and I will add it. Please include a link to your source.
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afromosia – Pericopsis elata – 1560
albarco – Cariniana spp. – 1020
alder, red – Alnus rubra – 590
alder, white – Alnus rhombifolia –
andiroba – Carapa guianensis – 1130
angelin – Andira inermis – 1750
angelique – Dicorynia guianensis – 1290
apple – Malus sylvestris – 1730
ash, black – Fraxinus nigra – 850
ash, blue – Fraxinus quadrangulata – 2030
ash, green – Fraxinus pennsylvanica – 1200
ash, oregon – Fraxinus latifolia – 1160
ash, pumpkin – Fraxinus profunda – 990
ash, white – Fraxinus americana – 1320
aspen, bigtooth – Populus grandidentata – 420
aspen, quaking – Populus tremuloides – 350
avodire – Turraeanthus africanus – 1080
azobe – Lophira aiata – 3350
baldcypress – Taxcodium distichum – 570
balsa – Ochroma pyramidale – 88
banak – Virola spp. – 510
basswood, American – Tilia americana – 410
basswood, Carolina – Tilia caroliniana –
basswood, white – Tilia heterophylla –
beech, American – Fagus grandifolia – 1300
benge – Guibourtia amoldiana – 1750
birch, gray – Betula populifolia – 760
birch, paper – Betula papyrifera – 910
birch, river – Betula nigra –
birch, sweet – Betula lenta – 1470
birch, yellow – Betula alleghaniensis – 1260
bloodwood – Brosimum rubescens – 2900
boxelder – Acer negundo – 720
brazillian Cherry – Hymenaea courbaril – 3190
bubinga – Guibourtia spp. – 2690
buckeye, Ohio – Aesculus glabra –
buckeye, yellow – Aesculus octandra – 350
buckthorn, cascara – Rhamnus purshiana – 1040
bulletwood – Manilkara bidentata – 3190
butternut – Juglans cinerea – 490
buttonwood – Conocarpus erectus –
catalpa, northern – Catalpa speciosa – 550
catalpa, southern – Catalpa bignonioides – 550
cativo – Prioria copaifera – 630
cedar, Alaska – Chamaecyparis nootkatensis – 580
cedar, atlantic white – Chamaecyparis thyoides – 350
cedar, Port Orford – Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – 720
cedar, yellow – – 580
ceiba – Ceiba pentandra – 240
cherry, black – Prunus serotina – 950
chestnut, American – Castenea dentata – 540
chinkapin, giant – Castanopsis chrysophylla – 730
coffeetree, Kentucky – Gymnocladus dioicus – 1390
cottonwood) balsam poplar – Populus balsamifera – 300
cottonwood, black – Populus trichocarpa – 350
cottonwood, eastern – Populus deltoides – 430
courbaril – Hymenaea courbaril – 2350
cuangare – Dialyanthera spp. – 380
cumaru – Dipteryx odorata – 3540
cypress, Mexican – Cupressus lustianica – 460
degame – Calycophyllum candidissimum – 1940
determa – Ocotea rubra – 660
dogwood, flowering – Cornus florida – 2150
Douglas-fir, coast – Pseudotsuga menziesii – 710
Douglas-fir, interior north – Pseudotsuga menziesii – 600
Douglas-fir, interior south – Pseudotsuga menziesii – 510
Douglas-fir. interior west – Pseudotsuga menziesii – 660
ebony – Diospyros spp. – 3220
ekop – Tetraberlinia tubmaniana –
elder, blue – Sambucus cerulea – 840
elm, american – Ulmus americana – 830
elm, cedar – Ulmus crassifolia – 1320
elm, rock – Ulmus thomasii – 1320
elm, slippery – Ulmus rubra – 860
elm, winged – Ulmus alata – 1540
fir, balsam – Abies balsamea – 400
fir, California red – Abies magnifica – 500
fir, grand – Abies grandis – 490
fir, noble – Abies procera – 410
fir, pacific silver – Abies amabilis – 430
fir, subalpine – Abies lasiocarpa – 350
fir, white – Abies concolor – 480
goncalo alves – Astronium graveolens – 2160
greenheart – Chlorocardium rodiei – 2350
hackberry – Celtis occidentalis – 880
hackberry – sugarberry – Celtis laevigata –
hackberry, netleaf – Celtis reticulata –
hemlock, eastern – Tsuga canadensis – 500
hemlock, mountain – Tsuga mertensiana – 680
hemlock, western – Tsuga heterophylla – 540
hickory, bitternut – Carya cordiformis –
hickory, black – Carya texana –
hickory, nutmeg – Carya myristicaeformis –
hickory, pecan – Carya illinoensis – 1820
hickory, pignut – Carya glabra –
hickory, sand – Carya pallida –
hickory, shagbark – Carya ovata –
hickory, shellbark – Carya lacinosa –
hickory, water – Carya aquatica –
hickory. mockernut – Carya tomentosa –
holly, American – Ilex opaca – 1020
honeylocust – Gleditsia triacanthos – 1580
hophornbeam, eastern – Ostrya virginiana – 1860
hornbeam, American – Carpinus caroliniana – 1780
hura – Hura crepitans – 550
ilomba – Pycnanthus angolensis – 610
incense-cedar – Libocedrus decurrens – 470
ipe – Tabebula spp., lapacho group – 3680
iroko – Chlorophora spp. – 1260
jarrah – Eucalyptus marginata – 1910
jelutong – Dyera costulata –
juniper, alligator – Juniperus deppeana – 1160
juniper, western – Juniperus occidentalis –
kaneelhart – Licaria spp. – 2900
kapur – Dryobalanops spp. – 1230
karri – Eucalyptus diversicolor – 2040
kempas – Koompassia malaccensis – 1710
keruing – Dipterocarpus spp. – 1270
larch, western – Larix occidentalis – 830
laurel, California – Umbellularia californica – 1270
laurel, mountain – Kalmia latifolia – 1790
lignumvitae – Guaiacum spp. – 4500
limba – Terminalia superba – 490
locust, black – Robinia pseudoacacia – 1700
macawood – Platymiscium spp. – 3150
madrone, Pacific – Arbutus menziesii – 1460
magnolia – cucumber tree – Magnolia acuminata – 700
magnolia – sweetbay – Magnolia virginiana –
magnolia, southern – Magnolia grandiflora – 1020
mahogany, African – Khaya spp. – 830
mahogany, true – Swietenia macrophylla – 800
manbarklak – Eschweilera spp. – 3480
manni – Symphonia globulifera – 1120
maple, bigleaf – Acer macrophyllum – 850
maple, black – Acer nigrum – 1180
maple, red – Acer rubrum – 950
maple, silver – Acer saccharimum – 700
maple, sugar – Acer saccharum – 1450
marishballi – Lincania spp. – 3570
merbau – Intsia spp. –
mersawa – Anisoptera spp. – 1290
mesquite – Prosopis. glandulosa – 2345
mesquite – Prosopis spp. –
mora – Mora spp. – 2300
oak, black – Quercus velutina – 1210
oak, bur – Quercus macrocarpa – 1370
oak, cherrybark – Quercus falcata var pagodifolia – 1480
oak, chestnut – Quercus prinus – 1130
oak, laurel – Quercus laurifolia – 1210
oak, live – Quercus virginiana –
oak, northern red – Quercus rubra – 1290
oak, overcup – Quercus lyrata – 1190
oak, pin – Quercus palustris – 1510
oak, post – Quercus stellata – 1360
oak, scarlet – Quercus coccinea – 1400
oak, shumard – Quercus shumardii –
oak, southern red – Quercus falcata – 1060
oak, swamp chestnut – Quercus michauxii – 1240
oak, swamp white – Quercus bicolor – 1620
oak, water – Quercus nigra – 1190
oak, white – Quercus alba – 1360
oak, willow – Quercus phellos – 1460
obeche – Triplochiton scleroxylon – 430
okoume – Aucoumea klaineana – 380
opepe – Nauclea diderrichii – 1630
osage orange – Maclura pomifera – 2040
ovangkoi – Goubertia ehie –
para-angelim – Hymenolobium excelsum – 1720
parana-pine – Araucaria augustifolia – 780
pau marfim – Balfourodendron riedelianum –
peroba de campos – Paratecoma peroba – 1600
peroba rosa – Aspidosperma spp., peroba group – 1730
persimmon, common – Diospyros virginiana – 2300
pilon – Hyeronima spp. – 1700
pine, Caribbean – Pinus caribaea – 1240
pine, eastern white – Pinus strobus – 380
pine, jack – Pinus banksiana – 570
pine, Jeffrey – Pinus jeffreyi – 500
pine, limber – Pinus flexilis – 430
pine, loblolly – Pinus taeda – 690
pine, lodgepole – Pinus contorta – 480
pine, longleaf – Pinus palustris – 870
pine, Monterey – Pinus radiata – 750
pine, ocote – Pinus oocarpa – 910
pine, pinyon – Pinus edulis – 860
pine, pitch – Pinus rigida – 620
pine, pond – Pinus serotina – 740
pine, ponderosa – Pinus ponderosa – 460
pine, sand – Pinus clausa – 730
pine, shortleaf – Pinus echinata – 690
pine, slash – Pinus elliotti –
pine, spruce – Pinus glabra – 660
pine, sugar – Pinus lambertiana – 380
pine, Table Mountain – Pinus pungens – 660
pine, virginia – Pinus virginiana – 740
pine, western white – Pinus monticola – 420
pine. red – Pinus resinosa – 560
piquia – Caryocar spp. – 1720
primavera – Tabebula donnell-smithii – 660
purpleheart – Peltogyne spp. – 1860
ramin – Gonystylus bancanus – 1300
redcedar, eastern  – Juniperus virginiana – 900
redcedar, southern – Juniperus silicicola – 610
redcedar, western  – Thuja plicata  – 350
redwood, old growth – Sequoia sempervirens – 480
redwood, second growth – Sequoia sempervirens – 420
robe – Tabebul spp., roble group – 960
rosewood, Brazilian – Dalbergia nigra – 2720
rosewood, Indian – Dalbergia latifolia – 3170
sande – Brosimum spp., utile group – 900
santa maria – Calophyllum brasiliense – 1150
santos mahagony – Myroxylon balsamum – 2200
sapele – Entandrophragma cylindricum – 1510
sassafras – Sassafras albidum – 630
sepetir – Pseudosindora palustris – 1410
serviceberry – Amelanchier spp. – 1800
shorea – Shorea spp., baulau group – 1780
shorea – dark red meranti – Shorea spp., lauan-meranti group – 780
shorea – light red meranti – Shorea spp., lauan-meranti group – 460
shorea – white meranti – Shorea spp., lauan-meranti group – 1140
shorea – yellow meranti – Shorea spp., lauan-meranti group – 770
silverbell, Carolina – Halesia carolina – 590
snakewood – piratinera guianensis – 3800
sourwood – Oxydendrum arboreum – 940
Spanish-cedar – Cedrela spp. – 600
spotted gum – Corymbia citriodora – 2473
spruce, black – Picea mariana – 520
spruce, Engelmann – Picea engelmanni – 390
spruce, red – Picea rubra – 490
spruce, Sitka – Picea sitchensis – 510
spruce, white – Picea glauca – 480
sucupira – Diplotropis purpurea – 2140
sucupira – Bowdichia spp. –
sumac, staghorn – Rhus typhina – 680
sweetgum – Liquidambar styraciflua – 850
sycamore, american – Platanus occidentalis – 770
tamarack – Larix laricina – 590
tanoak – Lithocarpus densiflorus –
teak – Tectona grandis – 1000
tomillo – Cedrelinga catenformis – 870
tree-of-heaven – Ailanthus altissima – 1731
tupelo, black – Nyssa sylvatica – 810
tupelo. water – Nyssa aquatica – 880
wallaba – Eperua spp. – 2040
walnut, black – Juglans nigra – 1010
white-cedar, northern  – Thuja occidentalis – 320
willow, black – Salix nigra –
witch hazel – Hamamelis virginica – 1530
yellow poplar – Liriodendron tulipifera – 540
yew. Pacific – Taxus brevifolia – 1600

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX



24 comments so far

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2563 days


#1 posted 2284 days ago

Very interesting stuff Gary, and an useful list of different woods. I haven’t heard of the Brinell test since I was selling hardness testing equipment some 20 years ago.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2513 days


#2 posted 2283 days ago

Hi Gary

I don’t have a lot of knowledge about woods, but have noticed that at the lumber store, for instance: Maples are identified as western maple, hard maple, eastern maple. It is all a little confusing. How do these line up with the maples you have on your list?

Dalec

View dlcarver's profile

dlcarver

270 posts in 2354 days


#3 posted 2283 days ago

Good info Gary.
thanks!

Dave

-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,http://dlcarver.etsy.com

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#4 posted 2283 days ago

Dalec – just use the scientific names. There’s a lot of different names for the same kind of wood.

Ask them in the store about that.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2338 days


#5 posted 2283 days ago

That’s pretty cool… pretty good info

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View dalec's profile

dalec

613 posts in 2513 days


#6 posted 2283 days ago

Thanks Gary, You are helpful as always.

Dalec

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2392 days


#7 posted 2283 days ago

thanks for the info Gary. I never really knew where that hardness scale came from but now i do! thanks for the post.

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#8 posted 2283 days ago

Jack – They were compiled from various sources on the internet. Most confirm each other, and the rest are close enough for someone to get a good idea of the relative hardness.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2830 days


#9 posted 2283 days ago

Hello Gary;
—-I guess I’m a little confused here…..

You mention that if anyone has information to PM you and include their link source, and yet you have failed to include ‘your link’ source which comes word for word from Sizes (http://www.sizes.com/indexes.htm), ( and more specfic; Janka Hardness (http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm). Does not taking another’s words and content border upon plagiarism?

My question would be, is not the author of the site worthy to be mentioned, as the writer of the above information….since he does include a reference to ‘sources’ and ‘resources’? I am also inculding a link to Suggestions on Citing Pages in this website (http://www.sizes.com/cite.htm).

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

....in all things give thanks and credit….to whom credit is due….

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#10 posted 2283 days ago

First of all Frank the information is in the public domain. If you want to search it out got to: http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/

As for the text of the website you mention you will find that it itself is almost a direct copy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_Wood_Hardness_Rating

You want a few of the hundreds of the sources displaying this public domain information try these:

http://www.countyfloors.com/about_janka.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_Wood_Hardness_Rating
http://www.woodsthebest.com/wood/jankaWoodHardnessScale.htm
http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/techtalk/hardns.html
http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm
http://homerenovations.about.com/od/floors/a/artwoodflrgloss_3.htm
http://makeover.about.com/od/roomredesigns/ss/wd_flr_intro_4.htm
http://www.naturalwoodfloors.biz/janka-why-hardness-matters/
http://www.majesticmedallions.com/Medallion_and_Inlay_janks_ratingd.html
http://www.cpstairmasters.com/terminology.html
http://antiqueandvintagewoods.com/woods/wood_comparison.htm
http://www.designbiz.com/BizNews/NPViewArticle.asp?cmd=view&articleid=1891
http://www.balboaflooring.com/?pg=tips-janka-hardness
http://www.bwdepot.com/Pages%20Document/janka.htm
http://www.hardwoodmaniac.com/hardwood_floor_research/hardwood_floor_species_janka_hardness.htm
http://flooringhardwood.com/html/flooring_hardness.html

The PM is just to keep this blog from getting cluttered up with endless additions.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Karson's profile (online now)

Karson

34869 posts in 3025 days


#11 posted 2283 days ago

Nice review Gary. thanks for the info.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2830 days


#12 posted 2283 days ago

Hello Gary;
—-what I am questioning is those words you have penned up there before the chart. Actually the 4 paragraphs, ( 3 paragraphs and then the one line….) those words are from the above mentioned authors//editors site, that I have mentioned and linked to. The charts are in the public domain and yet they also should be mentioned as to their sources and resources.

Yes there are public domains for the charts….but those paragraphs and words; are belonging to the above mentioned site….. and one should follow the rules of posting and giving credit as mentioned here; Suggestions on Citing Pages in this website (http://www.sizes.com/cite.htm).

....or are you saying that you and the author//editor of Janka hardness (http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm“) are one and the same?

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

....in all things give thanks and credit….to whom credit is due….

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#13 posted 2283 days ago

Word for word?

http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_Wood_Hardness_Rating

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2830 days


#14 posted 2283 days ago

Hello Gary;
—-you are confusing the issue here with bringing in Janka Wood Hardness Rating....! Nowhere at that site are the words mentioned word for word as at the 2 sites below….

However if one goes to Janka hardness and then to your blog story, Janka Hardness by GaryK.... the fact remains that for those first 3 paragraphs and then line one of the fourth….it is all word for word.

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

....in all things give thanks and credit….to whom credit is due….

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#15 posted 2283 days ago

Get some glasses and read all three of them again Frank. They are not word for word like you keep
insisting. This is my last word on the subject!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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