Identifying Wood Species?

Added on April 13, 2009

This question comes from Andrew who asks:

“Love your videos, they have given me some great ideas. My question is, what resource is available to learn about different wood species? I see on various shows someone will look at a piece of wood, and instantly identify the species. I would like to learn how do that.”

And this was my response:

woodidHey Andrew, there are a number of books out that that will help you. Wood Identification and Use by Terry Porter is a great place to start. Also, check out this amazing exotic wood directory.

Now seeing wood in books and on a website is helpful, but its not as good as seeing the wood in person. So trips to your local hardwood dealer or you local Rockler or Woodcraft are great for that kind of thing. You can just walk the aisles and match all the different woods with their name tags. Of course, one step better than seeing a wood species in person is actually building something with it. So over time, your wood identification skills will develop naturally as you go from project to project. And once you’ve worked with a particular wood, frankly, its hard to get its characteristics out of your head. Wenge anyone? :)


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