You don’t need a PhD to get started as a “woodologist.” Whether you’re just wondering what a certain type of wood will look like with a finish on it, or how strong it is, or how soft it is, or how to accurately identify it, or whether it will rot in the ground after five years, or if will be a nightmare to plane, or if it’s easy to turn on the lathe, or if it’s exorbitantly expensive, or if it has a high silica content that will dull your blades, or if it will warp with changes in the weather, or…
You get the point. Consider this your one-stop shop to research all things wood! Use the links to the right to get started.
Have some sage wisdom or a helpful tip to share about a particular wood? Share it! Have a cool photo of one of your projects you’d like to show off? Share it!
Since the website is in blog format, each wood profile page has space for comments where you can share your experiences, with the option to upload a photo of a project you’ve worked on so everyone can see. Just look for the comment area at the bottom of each wood page.
In addition to digital sharing, if you’ve got a wood sample that you think is rare or hard to find, and you’d be willing to mail-in a small sample for the database (postage paid), see details on the contact page.
Throughout the site, you’ll see high-quality scans of wood—some of which (if you are a wood nut like myself) may be drool-inducing! Yet notice I didn’t say pictures, but scans. That’s because, whenever possible, I’ve avoided the use of camera photography due to its (relatively) inaccurate rendition of color and detail. Instead, I’ve digitally scanned each wood sample in clear resolution: no blurry pictures or inaccurate colors. (However, I will occasionally include some photos of three dimensional objects or larger items that can’t be scanned easily.)
Additionally, there is a growing collection of endgrain zoom (10x) scans. It’s been said that the endgrain is like the fingerprint of wood: it gives a unique picture of the wood species, and is very helpful in identifying it from other lookalikes. While not all woods are completely identifiable from a 10x magnification of the endgrain alone, a large portion can be identified and categorized, and an educated guess can be made. All of the wood profile scans that you see have been done manually: they have not been “borrowed” or yanked from anyone else’s website.