Introduction to Wood Species... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Default Introduction to Wood Species...

Welcome to the Wood Species Forum:

I would like to be the first to add to this new forum on wood species, I think that this has great potential because like tools wood is a major contributor to our hobby.

Many of us don't stray beyond just a few wood species when constructing our projects not because we don't want to try something new but maybe because we don't have enough information about a new wood. I know like myself you might have many questions about different species of woods but really there was no one to rely on to deliver quality information.

I have been thinking about the need to have a resource that would help me understand the different wood species. Keith and I started talking about this forum about three months ago and Keith has some great ideas on what information is needed when talking about wood species. He has been a contributor to many different forums over the years and I asked Keith to be our guiding force on the topic of wood, he thought it would be a great idea.

So without further conversation I would like to introduce our wood specialist, Keith Stephens, President of Woodworker's Source in Phoenix AZ. Keith is an avid woodworker that was having trouble sourcing the woods he needed to do his hobby. To fill his need to have access to the wide variety of wood species the world has to offer he began buying and selling wood. That was when the Woodworker's Source started in the late 70's. To date he has 3 retail locations in the Phoenix area plus a great mail order business for the US.

So again welcome Keith...look forward to working with you on this project.

Rick and Bob
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 12:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum Keith and we look forward to benefiting from your knowledge of wood. Thanks for taking the time to share what you know with us.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 01:19 PM
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Yes, welcome, Keith. I, too, look forward to your participation here.

As an aside, I've ordered material from your company, and was pleased with both the service and the materials. Two atta-persons to each of your staff.

- Ralph
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 02:03 PM
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welcome Keith, I'm sure you will get many question ...

He's some more info about him ..

Woodworkers Source Company History
Woodworkers Source in Phoenix, AZ - YellowBot

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 02:38 PM
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I love collecting wood and I love using any new species I can get my hands on for any new project.

My collection only has about a 1000 species right now, but as I get older and could focus more on collecting then working I will start increasing my collections size.

I have used the Woodworkers Source many times.

Here is a post I made a while back:

The original post with live links is here, it's response #4:

http://www.routerforums.com/tools-wo...html#post88600

I have no idea why I can not edit that original post so I could cut and past the links, oh well. Here is a copy of the post without the links I think the post or even that thread belongs in this section now.

I collect wood and use the standard sample collection size of 3" x 6" x 1/2" and have over 1000 different in my collection. It's a neat hobby because you can do it your entire life and never come close to getting all the species. You can use scrap from your projects and it is a great excuse to go to different places on vacation.

I have studied woods for 4 years and use a loop and microscope to identify the exact Genus, etc. You would be surprised to look through a loop at a freshly cut end grain. It is like a fingerprint and you just match it to existing pictures of the end grain. I have about 20 books with more than 26,000 pictures of the close up end grains.

Comparing the end grain is to an established and accepted picture of a certain species is the only true way to make sure you are correct about wood identification.

Anyone interested in a club for collecting, sharing and trading woods let me know. I am in a couple clubs, but do not participate much anymore. I would like to get back into it.

Website with almost any wood you can think and is the best site I know of:

Wood species with pictures about 26,000 pictures - Scroll down and click on the wood you want to know about.

I beleive the best books are below and are considered the bible of wood books, Hoadley is widely regarded as the leading authority and his books are by far the simplest to understand:

Identifying Wood by R Bruce Hoadley

get here:http://www.amazon.com/Identifying-Wo...8089719&sr=1-2

Understanding wood by R Bruce Hoadley

get here: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...8089719&sr=1-1

A guide to useful wood of the worlds by the international Wood Collectors Society, edited by James H Flynn and DR Charles D Holder

More useful wood of the worlds by the international Wood Collectors Society, edited by James H Flynn

And to start a collection and understand how to identify:

The wood Collection Volume 1 by James and John Lorette - Start Collecting Wood then click on wood book on the top.

For actually identifying woods:

For a sample identification kit that contains little pieces of wood and everything you need to identify woods, razor blades, wood, loop, etc, plus a secret list so you can test yourself, can be found here:

Actual kits to identify and test yourself

The simplest way to to start is by purchasing a bunch of pre cut to collection size pieces, go here if you are interested:

Wood Collection Starter kits

I have a better starter source too, I will post the link soon:

The Club I am in: IWCS

The pictures are of the end grain of Red and White Oak. Cut some end grain of some Red or White Oak you have and look under a 10x loupe it will look like the pictures below.

The picture with the larger holes(left) is Red oak a dead give a way. These lager pores mean Red Oak is not great where moisture is, it will suck the water up like a straw. The white oak(right) has much smaller holes which is why it is better against water penetration.

Every wood has an end grain fingerprint like this on file. At least any wood we can think of.

Hardness is usually determined by a janka test:

The relative hardness of a wood type is measured using a test called the Janka Hardness Rating. This test measures the force needed to embed a steel ball (.444 inch in diameter) to half its diameter in the piece of wood being tested, with the rating measured in pounds of force per square inch. In this rating system, the higher the number the harder the wood. A rating of 100 points more is a noticeable difference in hardness, less than 25 from each other can be considered equal.

Janka Hardness for some woods

1925 Merbau
1910 Jarrah
1820 Hickory
1860 Purpleheart
1820 Pecan
1725 Padauk
1620 Wenge
1450 Hard Maple
1375 Australian Cypress
1360 White Oak
1320 Ash
1300 American Beech
1290 Red Oak(Northern)
1260 Yellow Birch
1225 Heart Pine
1010 Black Walnut
1000 Teak
0950 Black Cherry
0870 Southern Yellow Pine (long leaf)
0690 Southern Yellow Pine(short leaf)
0660 Douglas Fir
0380 White Pine

Notice how some soft woods are harder than so called hard woods. Remember hard or soft wood really refers to needles on the tree or leaves and not the woods true hardness. Walnut is not hard although many who do not work with it may think it is because it is a hardwood. Many pines are harder than Walnut and American Cherry is really soft for a hard wood.

Ipe is from 2880 to 3000 janka that is HARD Wood!

Nick
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 05:18 PM
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Welcome Keith. Identifying wood species and which to use for various projects to get the best results, has long been a mystery to me. In the past I have used the suck it and see method. I look forward to learning from this new addition to the forum.

Pete
I've cut it twice and it's still too short! But only at one end.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the welcome post. Tomorrrow I will put up some information about me and this forum. In the meantime it is good to be here. I look forward to speaking with you.

Keith Stephens
Woodworkers Source
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 09:24 AM
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I liked the interview Keith, and I am glad you joined us. This will make it very easy for my mom to choose my Christmas present this year. (She is on the Sun City Posse) I can tell her to just stop in and get me a gift certificate.

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickao65 View Post
I love collecting wood and I love using any new species I can get my hands on.

My collection only has about a 1000 species right now, but as I get older and could focus more on collecting then working I will start increasing my collections size.

Nick
Good to meet you, Nick. Thanks for posting such complete information. My collection is just over 1000 species. It certainly gets harder to obtain properly identified sample as your collection grows.

Keith Stephens
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for giving Keith such a great and warm welcome...We all look forward to talking about and experiencing new woods.

Rick and Bob
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Click here to join the Router Workshop!!
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