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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 04-04-2010 05:20 PM 1005 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


04-04-2010 05:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

You’d think, in this day and age, that there would be a miracle product or device that would instantly, positively identify lumber by species! And yet it continues to be one of the most perplexing questions. Whenever anyone discovers a cache of boards hidden away, or has come into possession of an old piece of furniture, the species is often conjectural at best. Heck, metalworking hobbyists and jewelers can go straight to their testing kits and accurately identify the metal they’re looking at… why can’t we? I’ve bought rough red oak lumber from woodsmen that I know, and buried in the pile is invariably a few boards that, well, MIGHT be red oak, but are not really true to the species in grain or color. Yeah, I know of those services available from University extension services, the cellular research thing, but I don’t want to go through all that when I’m standing in front of a bundle offered for sale. Oddly enough, this question popped into my head again, though I’ve pondered it many times, when a local TV expose was aired about fish markets, grocery stores, and restaurants intentionally mislabeling fish, to a higher-priced species.
In this day and age, especially with lumber salvage and recycling, does anyone have any thoughts about verification of the species of a given piece of lumber?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


12 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112335 posts in 2268 days


#1 posted 04-04-2010 05:25 PM

Here are a couple of great resources

http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/

and the book “Identifying wood by Bruce Hoadley.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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BarbS

2434 posts in 2776 days


#2 posted 04-04-2010 06:41 PM

What a great resource! Thank you Jim. That will help with identifying some of the samples I get to puzzling over.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


#3 posted 04-04-2010 07:27 PM

True, it’s a great resource, but mostly useful when used at your liesure in your workshop.
Imagine this scenario: You answer an ad for hardwood lumber, and when you meet the seller, you’re not sure of his knowledge… or honesty. I would like to have with me, the definitive tool in my briefcase, whether it be a meter, test kit, or some other analytical device capable of on-the-spot identification. Okay… maybe I watch too many ‘CSI’ shows,...but I believe such a tool is conceivable, if not already available somewhere. I can recall many projects I’ve completed where ONE stile, drawer front, or whatever did not take stain like the rest …though the grain and color looked just like the others in the pre-finishing state. Where I live, there are no local sawmills/slash/retailers who know their stuff, to speak of, just big box places. A few of them DO have a smattering of tropicals and exotics, which, again may be subject to mis-sorting and/or ‘identity upgrade syndrome’...knowwhatImean?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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a1Jim

112335 posts in 2268 days


#4 posted 04-04-2010 07:40 PM

Your welcome Barb

Poopiekat
That’s were the Identifying wood book comes in. Bruce Hoadley tells you how to Identify wood with his book and a thin slice of wood and a jewelers loop.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


#5 posted 04-04-2010 07:45 PM

Thanks, Jim!! I stand corrected!
That is really the issue I’m trying to tackle, the ability to verify wood species on-the-spot, and make good decisions founded scientifically. I ‘ve got plenty of wood squirreled away that was bought without regard to exact species, mostly just because it was there. I guessed I’d find a way to figger out what it is, eventually.
Again, Jim, thanks for your help! Going to Amazon right now!!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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UnionLabel

660 posts in 1891 days


#6 posted 04-04-2010 08:32 PM

Here’s another book that I’ll good marks to.

http://www.amazon.com/Woodworkers-Guide-Wood-Softwoods-Composites/dp/0806936878

Has great pictures in color.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


#7 posted 04-04-2010 08:41 PM

Thanks, everyone!
I just nabbed a good used copy on eBay for $19.00 + shipping. Union: I’ll take a look at your suggestion as well, there’s always room for more books!

Funny how the most probable answer is more ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and less ‘CSI’ !!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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JAGWAH

929 posts in 1774 days


#8 posted 04-04-2010 08:44 PM

http://www.interiordesign.net/article/CA6687024.html

I-Phone app

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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Howdy

5 posts in 1665 days


#9 posted 04-04-2010 08:48 PM

Being an ex cabinet shop owner, I found long ago that not all wood of the same specie will stain the same unless it is off the same tree, some will and some won’t. All you can do is try to match the grain of the wood when you are picking your wood out.. I had a hardwood store that allowed me to pick through until I had what I wanted AND I always restacked the lumber back very tightly to keep it from warping or bowing. I understand not all stores that sells hardwood will allow you to do that due to people not restacking and cleaning up their mess.

I have been working in wood since 1949 and can just about tell you what kind of wood I am looking at when it is planed, but in the rough especially when it is discolored it is tough to tell ..

-- Joe in Missouri

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a1Jim

112335 posts in 2268 days


#10 posted 04-04-2010 08:53 PM

I find some books on Half .com have great prices. If any one else wants a copy of Bruce Hoadleys book here’s one there.

http://product.half.ebay.com/Identifying-Wood_W0QQtgZinfoQQprZ956985

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


#11 posted 04-04-2010 09:13 PM

Thanks again, Jim! I made lots of sales when I was a half.com member, before they were affiliated with eBay, and that happened about the year 2000. The problem was, I had a few nutcases rate me as a seller by how they felt about the CONTENT of the book I sold them. Like, as if my performance as a seller had anything to do with their critique of the author???? Needless to say, those who felt that it was necessary to penalize me as a seller simply because the book they bought wasn’t to their liking, welll…I regularly got hammered by them, and my seller rating suffered for it. My performance as a seller was perfect, but the people, omg they were wacko! So… eBay merged my IDs together once they found out who sold in both venues, and my carefully guarded 100% rating as an eBay seller took a hit that I could not recover from. I gave my entire half.com inventory, about 2000 non-fiction hardcovers, to my mother so she could sell them at her senior center. She handed them off to some charity, (rolls my eyes). but, I digress. It’s a slow news day.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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poopiekat

3677 posts in 2425 days


#12 posted 04-04-2010 09:19 PM

Thanks, Jag!!
Man, I gotta get me one of those!!! Or, better yet, an iPad! And we have to drive across the border if we want one, they’re really not available here yet.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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