Analyzing Wood Species, Grain, and Sawing Methods
Here's a long and complex (but very informative) thread that starts off with a wood identification problem, moves into a discussion of wood pore structure, and then takes off on an interesting tangent about quartersawing, flatsawing, and other methods for piecing out a log. March 22, 2013

Processing trees to lumber -- for the hobbyist
A primer on sawing and drying lumber for projects at home. March 13, 2001

Mahogany Versus Sapele for an Outdoor Structure
A long discussion about different flavors of Mahogany, their sources and qualities, and how they compare with Sapele for durability and quality. March 26, 2010

Mixing African and Honduras Mahogany
A long discussion of the woodworking characteristics of various Mahogany types and substitutes, and the practicality of combining different woods in a single door. June 29, 2008

Distinguishing Honey Locust and Black Locust
They're both beautiful and valuable woods here's an extended discussion on how to tell them apart. May 11, 2005

"Water Oak" Versus "Pin Oak"
Locally common names for Oak varieties can cause confusion. Here's a discussion of some Oak tree varieties and some information on their characteristics. February 9, 2008

Distinguishing White Oak from Red
Methods for discerning different oak types. May 19, 2004

Rotted siding
Gene Wengert helps a homeowner with a question about decaying siding. 1998.

Value of Antique Douglas Fir Beams
Taking a look at some reclaimed timbers, and trying to estimate their worth. March 28, 2010

Parenchyma Cell Rings and Wood Grain
Info about parynchyma cell rings, a structure similar to growth rings that can affect the appearance of sawn lumber. October 1, 2009

Red Oak, White Oak, Black Oak, and More
but there's more to the story than that. This thread offers a few little-known facts about oak varieties. June 20, 2005

Wood Identification Tips
Chemical tests don't work for most species, and identifying by eye takes practice. October 8, 2005

Is Eastern red cedar toxic?
Eastern red cedar does not share some of the reaction-generating characteristics of its Western namesake. 1998.

: Redheart, described and defined
"Redheart" is just another name for... 1998.

Jarah
and we do mean HARD. 1998.

Treated pine vs. cedar
The Wood Doctor offers his prognosis for outdoor projects using cedar and treated pine. 1998.

Do I Have White or Red Oak?
Woodweb wood detectives take on another case. April 30, 2009

Characteristics of padauk
Basic characteristics of this beautiful, brilliant-red wood. October 10, 2000

Red Oak or White Oak?
More info on a question that comes up often. October 12, 2007

Telling Red Pine from White Pine Logs
Branch whorls aren't much help, but compare early and late wood growth. February 26, 2005

It's Not Cherry What Is It?
Experts try to identify a log that was purchased as Cherry, but is really something else. October 29, 2008

Distinguishing Western Hemlock from Amabilis Fir
Tips on how to tell apart two very similar trees. April 20, 2006

"False Acacia" (a.k.a. Black Locust)
Black Locust is known in Europe as "False Acacia." Here's some info about the species and the lumber. October 15, 2010

Comparing Western and Eastern cedars
Both Eastern white and Western red cedars have their virtues; the Wood Doctor provides details. 1998.

Woods for outdoor furniture
A manufacturer of outdoor furniture consults the Wood Doctor for help with choosing a species to replace beech. 1998.

Laminating different species
In a triple lamination, it's OK to use two species of lumber, given a few conditions. 1998.

Relative densities of various birches
The Wood Doctor offers resources for information on the relative densities of birch lumbers, and offers an opinion on plastic laminate. 1998.

Characteristics of butt log lumber
Denser, darker wood than the rest of that from the same laod may be from butt logs. 1998.

Identifying bird's eye maple
What causes the unique patterns in bird's eye maple lumber? 1998.

Australian lace wood
Characteristics of this unusual wood. 1998.

What Does "Old Growth" Mean
The sawing and drying forum discusses what "old growth" means when used to describe lumber, and what qualities "old growth" wood may or may not have. May 14, 2006

Another Wood Identification Mystery
The Woodweb detective team works on another wood identification case (probably Maple, this time). March 28, 2010

A Wood Identification Puzzle
No solid answers for this mixed selection of antique boards, but an interesting lesson from the Wood Doctor on the step-by-step method of identifying wood based on end grain. January 12, 2015

Another Wood Identification Puzzle
Sycamore? Beech? Mulberry? The forum takes a look at some old wood found in a barn and destined to be made into guitar bodies. January 28, 2013

Identifying an Oak Log
but what does it smell like? February 14, 2006

Wood I.D. Puzzle
Another guessing game about wood species this time, a hurricane-downed log from south Texas. April 18, 2009

How to Tell Maple Plywood from Birch
Made into plywood, the two species look similar. Here are tips on telling them apart. January 11, 2007

Characteristics of Utile Wood
Expert info on that exotic African wood known as Utile. October 23, 2007

Common Names for Tropical Woods
Woodworkers help compile an extensive list of common names for Central American wood species. February 15, 2009

Telling Hard and Soft Maple Apart
The two types of maple have different densities and different end grain appearance. There's also a chemical test. December 6, 2006

Cottonwood Facts
An assortment of trivia about an under-appreciated wood species. October 2, 2005

"Mahogany" One Name, Many Species
Here's a rundown on the official species names of the many different trees whose wood is sold as "mahogany".March 29, 2006

A Butt Log Identification Puzzle
Are these logs American Beechnut, Red Elm, Butternut, or what? In this long and detailed thread, sawmillers discuss the characteristics that could be clues. November 16, 2011

Another Wood Identification Conundrum
Another unknown wood gets a close look from the Woodweb detective crew. Could it be Paulownia? January 18, 2012

Aging yellow cedar
Attaining the look of naturally aged yellow cedar. September 2, 2002

Types of Mahogany
Here's a little in-depth info about the various wood species that are labeled "Mahogany." March 13, 2014

Pecan vs. Hickory
A wealth of information on these two very closely related wood species. July 5, 2006

Wood Identification Puzzle
Once again, the wood detectives try to identify some boards from pictures. Elm, Hickory, and Ash are the likely suspects. February 15, 2009

Alternatives to Honduran Mahogany
A discussion of the qualities of some of the woods used as substitutes for Mahogany, plus an attempt to clear up some of the confusion around the much-misused "Mahogany" label. February 5, 2007

Hard vs. soft maple
Can these maples be mixed, and what are the differences? January 21, 2002

"China Cedar" -- What Is It?
"China Cedar" is a separate species grown in the Far East. However, Cedar logs from America do get sent to China and come back to North America as lumber, complicating the picture. December 30, 2007

Claro Walnut Characteristics
Details on the origin and behavior of Claro Walnut wood. October 23, 2007

Oak, Gum or Tupelo?
Another wood identification problem. January 29, 2009

Sawing Dawn Redwood
A discussion of the characteristics of lumber sawn from Dawn Redwood. March 28, 2010

Yellow Cedar Characteristics
Not a true Cedar, Yellow Cedar grows mainly on the northern Pacific coast of North America. Here is some info about its useful properties. April 2, 2013

Mahogany Supply and Varieties
More info on what "Mahogany" really means, and information on the availability of various types. April 6, 2007

Pecan Versus Hickory Wood
What's the difference? The tree species are from related groups, and the wood is often considered interchangeable. April 24, 2006

Identifying Black Locust
A woodturner tries to figure out if the wood he's using is Black Locust. February 15, 2009

Uses for Yellow Poplar
Yellow Poplar makes excellent paint-grade cabinetry and trim, and can even be stained to resemble Cherry. April 27, 2007

Deodar Cedar -- What's It Good For?
A little information but few answers about an ornamental Cedar variety that sometimes finds its way to a sawmill. December 30, 2007

Burmese Versus Plantation Teak
A quick discussion of Asian and South American varieties of wood marketed as "Teak" July 13, 2010

Chestnut
Horse chestnut, and why it's the only live type of this wood available. September 6, 2000

Birch Varieties Explained
The Wood Doctor lists the various species of Birch tree in North America and relates them to lumber for sale on the market. July 12, 2013

Distinguishing Hard and Soft Maple Under a Hand Lens
Distinctive ray patterns set hard and soft maple apart. October 4, 2007

Resources for Southern Tree Identification
How to find information on identifying trees in Louisiana and vicinity. March 3, 2006

You say pecan, I say hickory
Pecan lumber is usually sold as hickory. June 20, 2000

Heart pine, defined
Forum contributors define heart pine discuss differences between heartwood, sapwood and pith. August 12, 2001

Identifying Birch in Lumber Form
How to see through the various brand names applied to birch lumber. January 20, 2010

Harmful saw dust
Steering clear of cedar dust, and what could happen if you don't. January 16, 2001

Red cedar vs. white cedar siding
The differences between the two woods, specifically, their suitability for use as siding. October 17, 2000

Distinguishing Red Oak from White Oak Using Chemistry
Sodium nitrite discolors white oak, but not red oak. Check out the picture. January 14, 2009

Qualities and Uses for Sweet Gum
A small sawmiller sees his first load of Gum wood, and gets advice about its value and how to handle it. June 22, 2005

Black ash uses
White ash, black ash, and their various uses. July 26, 2000

Iroko Wood Tearout
This tropical hardwood (a good substitute for teak) can be tough on saw blades and moulder knives. December 1, 2005

Thoughts on sweetgum
A quick primer on sweetgum. July 4, 2000

Know your maples
A primer on different types of maple lumber. August 23, 2000

Durability of Locust Varieties
Black locust is the same as yellow locust, and it's more durable than honey locust. December 1, 2005

Defining "Cedro Arana" Wood
More information about an unfamiliar tropical wood species, Cedro Arana. September 19, 2009

Exterior Performance of Balau Wood
Here's a little information on Balau, a durable Southeast Asian tropical hardwood. October 19, 2013

Bur oak, a.k.a. white oak
Information about various types of white oak, of which 'bur oak' is one. August 23, 2000

Tiger stripe effect -- what causes it?
What causes tiger stripe in wood? July 3, 2001

American Chestnut Log Identification
The Woodweb detective team tries to determine if one of the group has found a large American Chestnut log in a firewood pile. March 9, 2010

Budget Alternatives to Teak
A search for "poor man's Teak" evolves into a discussion of customers, their tastes and motivations. December 30, 2005

Guess the Wood
Another wood identification mystery leaves the Woodweb forum guessing. What species is this highly figured, iridescent, almost glowing orange/yellow burl in a unique table. April 20, 2011

Mahogany Color Match Conundrum
Cut one stick in two pieces, and the pieces won't match. Whattayagonna do? April 16, 2009

Is Western Hemlock Suitable for Doors and Window Sash?
A discussion of the properties and best use of Hemlock. September 7, 2013

American Chestnut Versus Chinese Chestnut
A discussion of the American Chestnut and the Chinese Chestnut, with regard to wood appearance and blight resistance. May 16, 2008

Hard Versus Soft Maple
Quick basic info on hard and soft Maple. September 27, 2009

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