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Secrets to Log Identification

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Forum topic by DavidsWoodShed posted 04-11-2012 10:18 PM 2651 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DavidsWoodShed

7 posts in 896 days


04-11-2012 10:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I hope the title isn’t deceptive because I don’t know how to ID logs.

My friend goes around So Cal collecting logs from people’s yards and then he cuts them up for firewood. Whenever he gets interesting looking logs he offers me pieces to turn on my lathe. I usually say yes. The problem is that neither one of us has any idea what type of wood we are looking at. The only thing we know for sure is it is a tree that grows in So Cal.

I’m wondering if anyone has any secrets to identifying the type of wood from a piece of a log? Ring patterns? Specific bark characteristics? Taste? Smell? Feel?

Thanks for any help. I’ll post some photos soon of a couple that I have right now.


4 replies so far

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WDHLT15

1129 posts in 1129 days


#1 posted 04-13-2012 02:21 AM

There is a whole science to wood ID. You might start by reading the wood ID section of Bruce Hoadley’s book, Understanding Wood. I have spent a lifetime studying trees and logs, but I do not have any experience with wood from California. It is a skill you can acquire, but you have to be dedicated. There is no instant pudding.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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DavidsWoodShed

7 posts in 896 days


#2 posted 04-13-2012 06:17 PM

Thanks for the answer. I was hoping for instant pudding because I don’t have time in my life to add another activity – studying trees and logs. That said, I understand what you wrote. Thanks again.

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WDHLT15

1129 posts in 1129 days


#3 posted 04-13-2012 11:59 PM

I got really good at identifying trees by their bark. That is the key to identifying most cut logs. As a Forester, it was my job to know trees, but I took it to another level because of a deep seated interest in all things wood. I would be glad to help you anyway that I can learn some of the basics.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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MoshupTrail

292 posts in 1134 days


#4 posted 04-14-2012 12:04 AM

Here’s a link to the “wood database”. It might help.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

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