Wood Identification Methods

When you start to identify a wood sample, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Sometimes it is not easy to identify, but you can make it easier by doing again and again. There are many varieties of wood species available, positive identification of wood by grain pattern alone can be difficult. To the untrained eye, grain patterns aren’t typically consistent enough to distinguish similar species from one another. Commonly used in the building and woodworking industry have familiar grain patterns that can be recognized on sight.

Solid Wood - Wood Identification Methods

Make sure that it is Solid Wood
There are many products are manufacturing daily that are not the solid wood, but it looks like a solid wood. So, it is not easy to understand which one is original or not. To understand follow the steps given below.

1.    Find end-grains

It is easily distinguishable from the end-grain of real wood. So, find the work piece have end-grains

2.    Check veneer

If you see large panel that has a repeating grain pattern, it may be a veneer.

3.    Check it is painted or printed to look like wood

There are many laminated with a piece of wood-colored plastic, or simply painted to look like wood grain. So, you can check it by scratching with knife on the wood.

Different types of Grains

•    Hard maple end grain
Growth rings are distinct. Pores are indistinct without a hand lens, uniform in size and evenly distributed throughout the growth ring. Broader rays visible to naked eye, as wide as the largest pores, separated by several narrow (intermediary) rays, narrower rays are barely visible with hand lens.
•    Yellow birch end grain
Growth rings won’t be seen without hand lens. Pores appear as white dots to naked eye, largest pore wider than large ray, uniform in size. Rays are not distinct with naked eye.
•    Black cherry
Rays distinct with naked eye and pores not visible without magnification
•    White Ash
Pores are large, distinct to naked eye, forming band of 2-4 pores. Latewood pores small with parenchyma forming narrow sheath around the pores. Rays are barely visible to naked eye.
•    Butternut
Pores visible to naked eye fairly uniform but decreasing in size on the outer margin of the ring, diffuse to semi-diffuse porous.

You can identify the wood by looking at the end-grain. So these are the mostly seeable end-grains.

Check Grain Color
Most wood is amber or off-white in color. Ash, oak, maple and hickory are some of the most common hardwood examples that are lighter in color. Pine, spruce, fir and poplar are a few of the most common softwood examples that are light in color. If the color is consistently brownish, chocolate or a combination of brown and red, it’s likely to be a hardwood species such as alder, mahogany, cherry or walnut. Softwoods typically do not have dark representatives.

Other deciding differences reside in grain lines themselves. Hardwood grain lines appear dark brown to black. Softwood grain lines typically appear tan, amber or yellow.

Check the Weight and Hardness of the Wood
It is possible to pick the piece of wood up and get a sense of its weight and compare it to other known wood species. If you have a scale, you can take measurements of the length, width, and thickness of the wood. And combine them to find the density of the wood. It will be helpful to compare to other density readings found in the database. If you check the weight of the wood with the thickness of it, you will get the proper result. And finally you can identify the wood type by doing the following information.

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