Mark J

Wood ID Flow Chart.

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Found this interesting chart in another forum.

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Personally I couldn't get past the first question, and I mean the first question, whether or not it has pores.  Although I can usually recognize if it's wood.  :D

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Yeah I agree, it really needs some accompanying photos or literature. Also pores might not be the best characteristic to use in all cases. If you are just considering domestic hardwoods, surely color and open/closed grain are useful traits when separating hard maple from walnut...

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This is not instructional, but a good reference card. Once you understand pores, you have 50% of common ID features. This will also help you understand why Phinds requests cleaned up end grain shots. 

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You probably identify based on the pores already more than you think you do. If maple is stained or dyed the same color as walnut they still don't look similar. Maple's grain is sily smooth where as walnut is coarse. This is a result of the pore structure of the wood. It's also the same reason that Oak stained a walnut color doesn't fool any one. Wood that can get difficult to ID this way are Ash and hickory. I still think on some wood smell is the best way to ID. While ash and hickory look similar taking a cut on the miter saw with each of them i'll always guess ash from hickory.

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