Raw lumber identification help

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Forum topic by Slyy posted 01-02-2014 03:00 PM 1043 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2400 posts in 1076 days

01-02-2014 03:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: raw lumber identify wood

Well, it’s winter time and I’m new to woodworking or even paying attention to trees in general. Some trees are easy to identify here in Oklahoma by eye (even a month or two into winter). We recently had a pretty severe ice storm and I figured I’d drive around and start picking up decent sized cuts and scraps to save for future projects. The problem is most of this is already cut so I couldn’t tell you what tree it can from, so branching, leaf and bud identification aids are non existent.
I plan on heading out and picking up more but here are a few eXamples I have and would appreciate any input as to their identity.

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

6 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2096 days

#1 posted 01-02-2014 04:58 PM

Chinese elm. The leather glove is a Plainsman bought from Sam’s Wholesale Club – 3 pair in a package….LOL It does look like Chinese elm. You could tell more if you split a piece with an ax. Elm is terribly hard to split and the interior is left really stringy. I have some pin oak that looks a lot like this. Oak splits and is fairly clean when it does. I live in SW Oklahoma and the elm is pretty common to our area. I first though mimosa but it is darker and more brown I believe. The elm has the reddish tint.

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2400 posts in 1076 days

#2 posted 01-02-2014 11:40 PM

Haha, thx Grandpa! Not sure what I would use these for yet, but it seemed to good an opportunity to pass up some free hardwood, if anything they’ll make good practice for something!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2110 days

#3 posted 01-03-2014 03:11 AM

Not sure where you are but that second pic sure looks like mimosa to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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2400 posts in 1076 days

#4 posted 01-03-2014 05:02 AM

Gfadvm – it certainly could be, to my eye, each of those picture seemed to be from a different species of tree, certainly the middle one is. The hard part for identification for me was the fact that these were all already cut, I was just picking up large pieces of waste on the curbs after the ice storm.
And certainly their identity is not something I “need”, it’s just mostly out of curiously and just to help educate myself on attempting to identify the raw lumber so perhaps in the future I know when to pass up what looks like a good hardwood, but maybe really isn’t.

I wish I currently had a bandsaw to attempt re sawing with these (even though theongest is only about 3’) it wouldn’t certainly help me dry them, but it’s an interesting experiment/Experience either to figure what I might be able to use these for.

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View willie's profile


533 posts in 1875 days

#5 posted 01-03-2014 05:04 AM

The middle picture looks like beech, the bottom possibly cherry. Not sure about the top one,

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View chainslinger's profile


1 post in 1024 days

#6 posted 01-04-2014 01:11 AM

Looks a lot like wild black cherry, _prunus serotina.
The bark will vary from smoother on smaller stems to that seen on your larger pieces.. The checking is pretty much characterisic,as well as the staining, of fruitwoods like cherry, apple.

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