Woods featured on the poster:

[expand title=”AUSTRALIA (6 species)”]

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Purchase Your Copy of The Periodic Table of Wood


Another special thanks is in order to those that have contributed wood samples to this website. The following people have donated samples, (with the samples that were used in this poster listed after their name).

Steve Earis: African Blackwood, African Walnut, Australian Blackwood, Balsa, Boxwood, Cedar of Lebanon, English Oak, European Ash, European Beech, European Yew, Jarrah, Kingwood, London Plane, Masur Birch, Olive, Primavera, Silky Oak, Sycamore Maple, Wych Elm. (Check out his own website for his turned projects too!)

Justin Holden: Afzelia, Canarywood, Iroko, Makore, Mansonia. (Check out his eBay store for some great deals on exotic species!)

Mike Leigher: Sassafras. (Check out his website to get some great turning blanks!)


  • Steve Kaplan

    Excellent web site. Very informative and wil be an important of my tool box. I’m a wood finisher and can’t tell you how helpful this site will be for me. After 38 years of experience, I may be a master finisher, but not a master of wood species. I’m glad I found this site. Thanks for all your hard work putting this site together. Thank you, Steve Kaplan

  • Bill

    I am starting to work with wood and not alot of money. so I am using scrap wood from pallets and shipping crates. one peice of wood I have come across I do not know what it is. it has a redish tint to it and the color is more of a brown redish when sealed. I think it is from asia area fromt eh marking on the crate wood I have. make great orinaments and clear coats beautifully. any idea what this is would sure help me to brush up on my wood knowledge. Thanks for your time.

  • Rocky

    Bill, obviously fast growing at 1/4″+ radius per year. Looks alot like Douglas Fir to me (by the end grain and by your color description), but could be something else.

  • Connor Sousa

    Hey guys I am new to woodworking (specifically bow making) and I have some mystery wood here. I cut it down in Windsor Ontario, Canada in a very wet, mostly poplar and maple forest. I have also found some Shagbark Hickory as well. This mystery wood has very dense, straight-but-wavy grains and it fairly knotty. It has dark brown/green bark like you will see in the picture below. As soon as you cut into the bark the underlayer is a very vibrant orange. The sapwood is fairly light coloured and the heartwood is a pinkish red when freshly cut. When seasoned it has very orange-red heartwood. When it gets hot it smells like urine, no lie.
    I have made one 60″ 40# bow out of this wood and it shoots very fast and accurate. Just cut down another 56″ stave for a sinew backed recurve. The wood takes heated bending very well so it should be easy.
    If you have any idea what kind of tree this is please tell me! I’ve been trying to figure it out for so long but i just cant! It’s winter at the moment so I can’t show you any leaves but come spring time i will definitely post one.

  • Connor Sousa

    A picture of the bark now…

  • Rocky

    Connor, that may be a species of alder. I live in western Canada, and the alders out here (Green Alder)rarely get the diameter of the one in your photo, but they have similar bark, the inner bark is bright orange as you’ve described, and they tend to grow in cool damp sites. Some people here use it in their smokers for fish and sausage. I personally haven’t used alder for anything, but locals claim it is quite hard when well seasoned. Similar to birch, the local alders turn punky and deteriorate very quickly when they die or are cut and left out in the weather.

  • Connor Sousa

    Thanks for the info Rocky but I have found out that the tree is buckthorn. It’s an invasive species from Europe that is considered a pest in North America. Too bad the log that i have cut in the picture had so much twist in the grain that one end was over 90 degrees to the other :(

  • lanier

    I’d been told that the logs in our c. 1800 log cabin were hewn from chestnut. I can’t make out the grain (whitewashed and painted many times) and the ends have long been cladded over by brick, stucco and, lastly, vinyly siding (lovely stamped in grain in that, hoever!). Any other ways to tell what the species might be without gouging out a sample or two?

    • Matt Brown

      Take a thin slice off the end of one of your wall logs. Then reseal the end with a good oil based sealant.

      I am currently in an 80+ year old hand hewn log cabin with the bark still on, larch wood pine. This is the stuff they used to make corduroy roads out of that never rot.

  • Jack Weber

    as a number of other people here have admitted too, I am very new to hardwoods and trying to indentify them is quite an undertaking to be sure. Here is a picture aof a cutting board that I have made and have been trying to identify the wood I have used. Any assistance to baccurately indentify them would be greatly appreciated. I am really trying to be not only making a accurate product, I want to be knowledgeable on the types of wood I am using. thank you for your help.

  • Michael

    Any chance of making a Periodic Table of Wood with pictures of the ENDGRAIN at 10x? That would be just as helpful, if not more so!

  • wayne

    on your periodic table i see you have purple heart as north american but its really from the south mostly in the amazon basin, its an tropical timber specie guys.

  • Wayne, Purpleheart is listed in the bottom row of the Central American section of the poster.
    It was a bit tricky, and obviously some compromises had to be made, but overall each wood is roughly placed on the poster where it would occur on a world map.

  • jay bunn

    Jack Weber, nice cutting board that you have made. My best assumptions given your picture of the cutting board is as follows, from left to right. Canarywood, Yellow Heart, Tigerwood, Maple, Tigerwood, Maple & Canarywood

  • Lance

    More a curiosity but, what would this poster cost if made out of veneers of the actual wood? Assuming that is even possible/responsible.

  • Lance,

    Using real wood samples has been done before. A man named Romeyn Beck Hough initially used real wood samples for his book “The American Woods”

    You can pick up a copy for about twelve grand:
    http://www.abaa.org/books/92605134.html
    http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1731353

  • Ryan

    ya only 12,500 but it would sertinly , help alot of us think its at the library for check out lol

  • John

    I analyze wood types by microscopy at EMSL, a laboratory in NJ. A good reference for starters is “Identifying Wood. Accurate results with simple tools.” by R.Bruce Hoadly. ISBN No. 780942 391046. It runs $40 new but you can probably get a cheaper issue on Amazon. It is a fairly complete book that also shows you the techniques for IDing using basic tools you have around the house. Good luck.

  • Giulio

    I love your web site,really useful!
    Im a guitar maker and love everything wood related
    Thanks!

  • Bob

    Will there be a Periodic Table of Wood App?
    Bob

    • ejmeier

      I don’t have any plans for one, though I do plan to hopefully have a wood database app for iOS and android. This would be after I get the paper version published.

  • yuri

    With the periodic table of the elements, the columns and rows indicate very distinct properties. It seems like it would be quite a fluke if wood could be organized in the same exact layout and still have predictable properties based on a species’ position on the table.

  • Jennifer

    Do you have small size like pocket fold size?

    • ejmeier

      No, sorry.