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How to ID rough lumber

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Forum topic by Willowlane posted 10-18-2015 12:32 AM 528 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Willowlane

14 posts in 702 days


10-18-2015 12:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood rough identify

In the past I just told the lumber mill what I wanted and they sold it to me. Since I mainly make small projects, I found a supply of short boards from a large kiln drying center. I picked up a pallet of the wood this weekend. It is all short (2’ to 6’) 4/4 &6/4 rough boards. The boards are a mixture of all different kinds of wood. Mainly oak. I now have around 800 BF of mixed boards. I know red oak and poplar, but how do I identify the white oak, ash, hard maple, soft maple, and cherry? I don’t want to have to plane them all to see what they are. Are there any websites or books that help identify rough lumber? Thanks for any advice you can provide.


5 replies so far

View Tim's profile

Tim

3110 posts in 1422 days


#1 posted 10-18-2015 12:57 AM

First google results for identifying wood gives 2 resources I’ve heard of and one I hadn’t. The last uses pictures from Hoadley’s book and it’s free to download:
http://www.amazon.com/Identifying-Wood-Accurate-Results-Simple/dp/0942391047
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-identification-guide/
http://www.acf.org/pdfs/summit/fitzsimmons.pdf

View Willowlane's profile

Willowlane

14 posts in 702 days


#2 posted 10-18-2015 01:10 AM

Thank you. I will check those out.

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 691 days


#3 posted 10-18-2015 01:35 AM

A wood sniffing dog.

Honestly, rough cut collects dust so well that it can get hard to id. I would broom it off if it does have dust and skim it. That’s the best you can do in my opinion.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

393 posts in 680 days


#4 posted 10-18-2015 01:20 PM

hand held belt sander makes quick work on one small spot.

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

759 posts in 1860 days


#5 posted 10-18-2015 02:19 PM

For oak, slice a piece off of the end. You can blow through the end grain of red oak but not white oak.

For maple, a thumb nail can make an impression in soft maple but not hard maple.

Do the belt sander as noted above for cherry. Cherry is a closed grain wood with a light reddish hue to it and usually has a distinctive odor to it when sanded.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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