Wood ID Flow Chart.


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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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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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  • 4 months later...
On 1/20/2019 at 9:59 AM, Chestnut said:

You probably identify based on the pores already more than you think you do. Wood that can get difficult to ID this way are Ash and hickory.

Not when you look at them up close. They are VERY easy to distinguish.  Even if you don't clean up the ends well enough to see the banded parenchyma (which CLEARLY distinguishes them),  hickory has  pores that change somewhat gradually from large to small all the way through the growth ring whereas ash makes that change quickly and then has very small pores through the rest of the ring.

hickory and white ash:

hickory.jpg.a9a2347330c443f46861182b3c94ac76.jpgwhiteash.jpg.c4872eeaffdd4506c19a545640ba5d23.jpg

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4 hours ago, phinds said:

Not when you look at them up close. They are VERY easy to distinguish.  Even if you don't clean up the ends well enough to see the banded parenchyma (which CLEARLY distinguishes them),  hickory has  pores that change somewhat gradually from large to small all the way through the growth ring whereas ash makes that change quickly and then has very small pores through the rest of the ring.

hickory and white ash:

hickory.jpg.a9a2347330c443f46861182b3c94ac76.jpgwhiteash.jpg.c4872eeaffdd4506c19a545640ba5d23.jpg

That's pretty cool!

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