by Eric Meier

When attempting to identify a wood sample, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Before starting, please have a look at The Truth Behind Wood Identification to approach the task in a proper mindset; I consider the linked article to be required reading for all those visiting my site with the intent of identifying wood.

1. Confirm it is actually solid wood.

Before proceeding too much farther into the remaining steps, it’s first necessary to confirm that the material in question is actually a solid piece of wood, and not a man-made composite or piece of plastic made to imitate wood.

A solid piece of Cocobolo: note how the grain wraps around the sides/end of the wood. This is something that is very difficult to replicate with man-made boards.

A solid piece of Cocobolo: note how the grain naturally wraps around the sides and endgrain of the wood.

  • Can you see the end-grain? Manufactured wood such as MDF, OSB, and particleboard all have a distinct look that is—in nearly all cases—easily distinguishable from the endgrain of real wood. Look for growth rings—formed by the yearly growth of a tree—which will be a dead-giveaway that the wood sample in question is a solid, genuine chunk of wood taken from a tree.
Viewing the end of this "board" reveals its true identity: particleboard.

Viewing the end of this “board” reveals its true identity: particleboard.

  • Is it veneered? If you see a large panel that has a repeating grain pattern, it may be a veneer. In such cases, a very thin layer of real wood is peeled from a tree and attached to a substrate; sometimes the veneer can be one continuous repeating piece because it is rotary-sliced to shave off the veneer layer as the tree trunk is spun by machines. Assuming it is a real wood veneer with a distinct grain and texture—and not merely a piece of printed plastic—you may still be able to identify the outer veneer wood in question, but you should still realize that is it only a veneer and not a solid piece of wood.
Large repeating patterns suggest a veneer.

Large repeating patterns suggest a veneer.

  • Is it painted or printed to look like wood? Many times, especially on medium to large-sized flat panels for furniture, a piece of particleboard or MDF is either laminated with a piece of wood-colored plastic, or simply painted to look like wood grain. Many of today’s interior hardwood flooring planks are good examples of these pseudo-wood products: they are essentially a man-made material made of sawdust, glues, resins, and durable plastics.

2. Look at the grain color.

Some questions to immediately ask yourself:

  • Is the color of the wood natural, or is it stained? If there is even a chance that the color isn’t natural, the odds are increased that the entire effort of identifying the wood will be in vain.

The reddish brown stain used on this piece of Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) has been planed away on top, exposing the paler color of the raw wood underneath.

  • Is it weathered or have a patina? Many woods, when left outside in the elements, tend to turn a bland gray color. Also, even interior wood also takes on a patina as it ages: some woods get darker, or redder, and some even get lighter or lose their color; but for the most part, wood tends to darken with age.

Fresh sanding near the end of this Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) board has exposed the characteristic yellow coloration of the wood, which has a strong tendency to shift down to a golden brown over time.

  • Is it possible to sand or plane the board to see the natural raw color of the wood? The most predictable baseline to use when identifying wood is in a freshly sanded state. This eliminates the chances of a stain or natural aging skewing the color diagnosis of the wood.

3. Look at the grain pattern.

If the wood is unfinished, then look at the texture of the grain. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the wood have an open, porous texture? Most softwoods will be almost perfectly smooth with no grain indentations, while many common hardwoods have an open pore structure, such as Oak or Mahogany; though there are some hardwoods that are also smooth to the touch, such as Maple.
  • Can you tell if the wood is quartersawn or plainsawn? By observing the grain patterns, many times you can tell how the board was cut from the tree. Some wood species have dramatically different grain patterns from plainsawn to quartersawn surfaces. For instance, on their quartersawn surfaces, Lacewood has large lace patterns, Oak has flecks, and Maple has the characteristic “butcher block” appearance.
  • Is there any figure or unusual characteristics, such as sapwood, curly or wild grain, burl/knots, etc.? Some species of wood have figure that is much more common than in other species: for example, curly figure is fairly common in Soft Maple, and the curls are usually well-pronounced and close together. Yet when Birch or Cherry has a curly grain, it is more often much less pronounced, and the curls are spaced farther apart.
Curly Maple (sealed)

The strong, tight curl seen in this wood sample is very characteristic of Maple (Acer spp.).


4. Consider the weight and hardness of the wood.

If it’s possible, pick the piece of wood up and get a sense of its weight, and compare it to other known wood species. Try gouging the edge with your fingernail to get a sense of its hardness. If you have a scale, you can take measurements of the length, width, and thickness of the wood, and combine them to find the density of the wood. This can be helpful to compare to other density readings found in the database. When examining the wood in question, compare it to other known wood species, and ask yourself these questions:

A piece of Lignum Vitae is weighed on a small digital scale.

A piece of Lignum Vitae is weighed on a small digital scale.

  • Is the wood dry? Wood from freshly felled trees, or wood that has been stored in an extremely humid environment will have very high moisture contents. In some freshly sawn pieces, moisture could account for over half of the wood’s total weight! Likewise, wood that has been stored in extremely dry conditions of less than 25% relative humidity will most likely feel lighter than average.
  • How does the wood’s weight compare to other species? Taking into account the size of the board, how does its weight compare to other benchmark woods? Is it heavier than Oak? Is it lighter than Pine? Look at the weight numbers for a few wood species that are close to yours, and get a ballpark estimate of its weight.
  • How hard is the wood? Obviously softwoods will tend to be softer than hardwoods, but try to get a sense of how it compares to other known woods. Density and hardness are closely related, so if the wood is heavy, it will most likely be hard too. If the wood is a part of a finished item that you can’t adequately weigh, you might be able to test the hardness by gouging it in an inconspicuous area. Also, if it is used in a piece of furniture, such as a tabletop, a general idea of its hardness can be assessed by the number and depth of the gouges/dings in the piece given its age and use. A tabletop made of pine will have much deeper dents than a tabletop made of Oak. Additionally, you can always try the “fingernail test” as a rough hardness indicator:  find a crisp edge of the wood, and with your fingernail try to push in as hard as you can and see if you’re able to make a dent in the wood.

5. Consider the source.

Many times we forget common sense and logic when attempting to identify wood. If you’ve got a piece of Amish furniture from Pennsylvania, chances are more likely that the wood  will be made of something like Black Walnut or Cherry, and not African Wenge or Jatoba. You might call it “wood profiling,” but sometimes it can pay to be a little prejudiced when it comes to wood identification. Some common-sense questions to ask yourself when trying to identify a piece of wood:

  • Where did it come from? Knowing as much as you can about the source of the wood—even the smallest details—can be helpful. If the wood came from a wood pile or a lumber mill where all the pieces were from trees processed locally, then the potential species are immediately limited. If the wood came from a builder of antique furniture, or a boat-builder, or a trim carpenter: each of these occupations will tend to use certain species of woods much more often than others, making a logical guess much simpler.
  • How old is it? As with the wood’s source, its age will also help in identification purposes. Not only will it help to determine if the wood should have developed a natural patina, but it will also suggest certain species which were more prevalent at different times in history. For instance, many acoustic guitars made before the 1990s have featured Brazilian Rosewood backs, yet due to CITES restrictions placed upon that species, East Indian Rosewood has become much more common on newer guitars.
  • How large is the piece of wood? Some species of trees are typically very small—some are even considered shrubs—while others get quite large. For instance, if you see a large panel or section of wood that’s entirely black, chances are it’s either painted, dyed, or stained: Gaboon Ebony and related species are typically very small and very expensive.
  • What is the wood’s intended use? Simply knowing what the wood was intended for—when considered in conjunction with where it came from and how old it is—can give you many clues to help identify it. In some applications, certain wood species are used much more frequently than others, so that you can make an educated guess as to the species of the wood based upon the application where it was used. For instance: many older houses with solid hardwood floors have commonly used either Red Oak or Hard Maple; many antique furniture pieces have featured quartersawn White Oak; many violins have Spruce tops; many closet items used Aromatic Red Cedar, and so forth. While it’s not a 100% guarantee, “profiling” the wood in question will help reduce the number of possible suspects, and aid in deducing the correct species.
Despite its discoloration and wear, its very likely that this rolling pin is made of hard maple.

Despite its discoloration and wear, its very likely that this old rolling pin is made of Hard Maple.


6. Find the x-factor.

Sometimes, after all the normal characteristics of a sample have been considered, the identity of the wood in question is still not apparent. In these instances—particularly in situations where a sample has been narrowed down to only a few possible remaining choices—it’s sometimes helpful to bring in specialized tests and other narrower means of identification.

The following techniques and recommendations don’t necessarily have a wide application in initially sorting out wood species and eliminating large swaths of wood species, but will most likely be of use only as a final step in special identification circumstances.

Odor: Believe it or not, freshly machined wood can have a very identifiable scent. When your eyes and hands can’t quite get a definitive answer, sometimes your nose can. Assuming there is no stain, finish, or preservative on or in the wood, quickly sand, saw, or otherwise machine a section of the wood in question, and take a whiff of the aroma.

Although new scents can be very difficult to express in words, many times the scent of an unknown wood may be similar to other known scents. For instance, Rosewoods (Dalbergia spp.) are so named for their characteristic odor that is reminiscent of roses. Although difficult to directly communicate, with enough firsthand experience scents can become a memorable and powerful means of wood identification.

Fluorescence: While certain woods can appear basically identical to one another under normal lighting conditions, when exposed to certain wavelengths—such as those found in blacklights—the wood will absorb and emit light in a different (visible) wavelength. This phenomenon is known as fluorescence, and certain woods can be distinguished by the presence or absence of their fluorescent qualities. See the article Fluorescence: A Secret Weapon in Wood Identification for more information.

Chemical Testing: There are only a small number of chemical tests regularly used on wood, most of which are very specialized and were developed to help distinguish easily confused species with one another. They work by detecting differences in the composition of heartwood extractives. A chemical substance (called a reagent) is usually dissolved in water and applied to the wood surface: the surface is then observed for any type of chemical reaction (and accompanying color change) that may occur. Two of the most useful are the tests that are meant to separate Red and White Oak, and Red and Hard Maple.

Heartwood Extractives Leachability: Sometimes a wood species will have heartwood extractives that will be readily leachable in water and capable of conspicuously tinting a solution of water a specific color. For instance, the heartwood extractives contained in Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) contain a yellowish-brown dye that is soluble in water. (This can sometimes be observed anecdotally when the wood is glued with a water-based adhesive: the glue’s squeeze-out is an unusually vibrant yellow.)

In a simple water extract color test, wood shavings are mixed with water in a vial, test tube, or other suitably small container, and the color of the water is observed after a few minutes. If the heartwood extractives are leachable by water, then a corresponding color change should quickly occur.

In addition to Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera), Merbau (Intsia spp.), and Rengas (Gluta spp. and Melanorrhoea spp.) are also noted for their readily leachable heartwood extractives. Because this property is quite uncommon, it can serve to quickly differentiate these woods from other lookalikes.

7. Look at the endgrain.

Perhaps no other technique for accurate identification of wood is as helpful and conclusive as the magnified examination of the endgrain. Frequently, it brings the identification process from a mostly intuitive, unscientific process into a predictable, repeatable, and reliable procedure.

Looking at the endgrain with a magnifier shouldn’t be a mystifying or esoteric art. In many cases, it’s nearly as simple as examining small newsprint under a magnifying glass. There are three components necessary to reap the full benefits contained in the endgrain:

1. A prepared surface. When working with wood in most capacities, it becomes quickly apparent that endgrain surfaces are not nearly as cooperative or as easily worked as face grain surfaces. However, in this case, it is absolutely critical that a clear and refined endgrain surface is obtained.

For a quick glance of a softwood sample, a very sharp knife or razor blade can be used to take a fresh slice from the endgrain. However, in many denser species, especially in tropical hardwoods, one of the best ways to obtain a clear endgrain view is through diligent sanding. It’s usually best to begin with a relatively smooth saw cut (as from a fine-toothed miter saw blade) and proceed through the grits, starting at around 100, and working up to at least 220 or 320 grit, preferably higher for the cleanest view.

2. The right magnifier. It need not be expensive, but whatever tool is used to view the endgrain should have adequate magnifying power. In most instances, 10x magnification is ideal, however, anything within the range of 8 to 15x magnification should be suitable for endgrain viewing. (Standard magnifying glasses are typically in the range of 2 to 4x magnification.)

These stronger magnifiers, sometimes called loupes, usually have a smaller viewing area than standard magnifying glasses. Fancier models—with built in lights, or larger viewing surfaces—are available at a premium; but the most basic models are usually only a few dollars.

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3. A trained eye. The third element that constitutes a proper endgrain examination is simply knowing what to look for. In analyzing the patterns, colors, shapes, and spacing of the various anatomical features, there is a veritable storehouse of information within the endgrain—all waiting to be unlocked. Yet, if these elements have not been pointed out and learned, the array of features will simply seem like an unintelligible jumble.

The discipline of recognizing anatomical endgrain features is not easily summed up in a few sentences or even a few paragraphs, but it is nonetheless critical to the identification process. To this end, an in-depth look should be given to the various categories, divisions, and elements that constitute endgrain wood identification on the macroscopic level. (In this regard, macroscopic denotes what can be seen with a low-powered, 10x hand lens—without the aid of a microscope—rather than simply what can be seen with the naked eye.)

Because the anatomy between softwoods and hardwoods is so divergent, each will be considered and examined separately:

Still Stumped?

  • If you have a mysterious piece of wood that you’d like identified, I would recommend contacting the Center for Wood Anatomy Research, (part of the USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory), for a free, reliable, and professional identification. This is a free service available to all US citizens: they will identify up to five wood samples per year.  See their Wood ID Factsheet.
  • Check out the list of the most common hardwoods used in the United States to help eliminate the most obvious choices.
  • For somewhat immediate gratification, you can post ID requests to the Wood Database Facebook page, and be sure to include picture(s), and any pertinent information you may have!

Get the hard copy

wood-book-standupIf you’re interested in getting all that makes The Wood Database unique distilled into a single, real-world resource, there’s the book that’s based on the website—the best-seller, WOOD! Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide. It contains many of the most popular articles found on this website, as well as hundreds of wood profiles—laid out with the same clarity and convenience of the website—packaged in a shop-friendly hardcover book.


  1. Maria March 19, 2018 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I also have chairs that look like the game table. Please email me when you can figure this out. Thank you.

  2. Maria March 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I have a game table that is veneered and a solid wood. Not sure what it is. Could be one kind of wood and stained a different wood color. It’s old not sure help. The photo comes out lighter then the item is in person under house lights.

  3. Michelle March 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I have two wood turned goblets but not sure what they have been made from, can anyone help please? Photo attached. Thank you in advance

  4. Annette March 19, 2018 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Hello I would appreciate any assistance determining what kind of wood this would be. Thank you

  5. Michael March 16, 2018 at 3:16 am - Reply

    Hi: I’d like to know what kind of wood is my table. I have attached photos of the table top and back of the table top. Thanks in advance.

    • Michael March 16, 2018 at 3:18 am - Reply

      forgot attach photo, here it is … can someone tell what kind of wood it might be ?

  6. Andrea March 12, 2018 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Hi, i live in Australia and came across this beauty on curbside pickup. It has an unusual wood pattern, the inside of the drawer is not stained and varnished so thats the first pic, will add more after. I would like to know what wood the dresser is made from please?

    • Andrea March 12, 2018 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      The dresser

    • Andrea March 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      The dresser top

      • Eric March 13, 2018 at 1:51 pm - Reply

        Based on your location I would guess it was a type of silky oak.

  7. kyle March 11, 2018 at 7:41 am - Reply

    Hey I see that this is labeled as “sweet gum” But im hesitant. I have seen it in person, and it more closely resembles an oak with its texture and and grain. But the wood is a very bright reddish orange, with a thick white sapwood. It came from Long Island. But it doesn’t seem to have that tight interlocking grain or as brown of a heartwood as sweet gum. The tree is also very large.

    • Eric March 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Initially I would be more inclined to agree with the label of sweet gum rather than oak. If you can get clear a shot of the endgrain it should be pretty easy and decisive to tell the two apart.

      • kyle March 13, 2018 at 8:39 am - Reply

        will do thanks!

      • Kyle March 16, 2018 at 9:36 am - Reply

        Here is the endgrain

  8. Lizzy Martinez March 11, 2018 at 12:21 am - Reply

    is this walnut? rosewood? what?

    • Eric March 12, 2018 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell 100% from the picture, but it sure looks like walnut to me.

  9. Kyler March 10, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Any idea what this is. Thinking about sanding and remodeling

  10. Micah March 7, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    My scrap-wood guy gave me a piece of mystery wood from a crate. After cutting the routed groove off of it, I was seeing an orange color an some curl. I trimmed and planed it and rubbed a touch of mineral oil on it. My guess was curly mahogany, but it’s more dense than any other type of mahogany I own. Any ideas on what this is?

    • Eric March 8, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Looks really nice, my guess would be Sapele. Did it have a nice odor to it when you were working with it?

  11. Brian March 7, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Can you distinguish what the ceiling boards are here. The building is from 1950. Sorry I don’t have a close up, the ceiling is 30 ft up. They look to have a bit of honey color to them.

  12. Brian March 7, 2018 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Hi, this may be an easy one, it is a piece from a truss. Building constructed on the coast of SC in 1950.

  13. Brian March 7, 2018 at 10:31 am - Reply

    This is the end grain

    • Eric March 8, 2018 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Preliminary, it looks like a dense softwood, possibly a species of yellow pine. You would really need to clean up the endgrain (take a fresh, light pass off the end with a chop saw) and get a much closer picture to get a better idea of wood ID.

      • Mark March 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm - Reply

        I have had very hard undertaking task of removing this lumber from older wooden yachts.
        Alot of time when you have a mohagany yacht and it needs repairs and the repair shop dosen’t have access to exzatic lumber so the next best thing is Georgia Pine. looks soft but i bet you,ll have a very hard time removing this georgian evergreen.

  14. Greg Giles March 7, 2018 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Hello! I’m repairing an old chair that broke a piece off the rail. can you tell me what type wood it appears to be? Thanks!

  15. Heather March 6, 2018 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Maple or pine? Pic 2

    • Eric March 8, 2018 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Can you take a very light fresh pass with a chop saw (or thoroughly sand) the endgrain and take another close up picture? Can’t make out any details to get a positive ID.

  16. Heather March 6, 2018 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Love that you are so helpful. Thank you for your time. Do you think this is pine or maple? Thank you!

    • Eric March 8, 2018 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Almost impossible to tell from the pic, but if I absolutely had to guess, I’d be more inclined to say it was maple — maple that’s been stained with a walnut-like color stain where it wasn’t pre-sanded beforehand to get out the planer marks, hence the horizontal lines across the board that are accentuated by the stain.

  17. Daniel March 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Last one

  18. Daniel March 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    One more

    • Eric March 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm - Reply

      Can you take a very light fresh pass with a chop saw (or thoroughly sand) the endgrain and take another close up picture? Can’t make out any details to get a positive ID.

  19. Daniel March 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Fiji Plantation grown Mahogany.

  20. Daniel March 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Eric,
    Great Site, seems like you actually answer people’s questions on here, so hoping you can help out.

    My boss wanted to do genuine mahogany flooring for his home, and I found a place that said they had Fiji, plantation grown genuine mahogany, which my boss said sounded good. His main goal is to not have African Mahogany, or Santos Mahogany.

    The guys gave us a sample, and I was hoping you could give some indication of what it might be (I know you won’t be able to say exactly, but maybe at least that it is mahogany?)

  21. Greg Giles March 6, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Eric, last one Thanks!

  22. Greg Giles March 6, 2018 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Eric, another pic of the grain of the wood

  23. Greg Giles March 6, 2018 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Hello Eric, Pic of the broken wood It only takes one pic at a time?

  24. Greg Giles March 6, 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Hello Eric!
    I am involved in a restoration project for wood furniture of late 19th century. I’m trying to identify the type wood used and I have a few pics of the grain and one pic of the wood broken. Can you please help me? Thanks!
    Kind Regards

  25. Randy Rasmussen March 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    What kind of wood is this? There are two types. One I was told is red oak (but I can’t smell it like usual). The other doesn’t seem to have pores like the “red oak”.

    • Randy Rasmussen March 4, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      This wood is used as the glides for under a table to extend it.

    • Randy Rasmussen March 4, 2018 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      This is at 30x or 60x.

      • Eric March 5, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

        After looking over all your photos, it looks like you’ve got a whole lot of different types of woods. I would guess that the lighter colored diffuse porous wood is probably maple. While the others appear to be mostly red oak, though I did see one picture with tyloses, which would indicate white oak, as well as other pieces that are probably ash, or even honey locust.

        • Randy Rasmussen March 5, 2018 at 5:58 pm - Reply

          Crazy, this is one table that my wife bought to repurpose. All we were told was that it was old. The “T’ shaped small pieces are all the same. In pic #2 & #3 via the link show them. The lighter color one is just a fresh cut of the more red one. Pic #4 (wood with a gouge) is the long stretchers you see in the first 3 pics. Pic #6-#8 are the same but not pictured anywhere else in the link. It is basically a 1×6 board that a table leg was attached to. Pics #9-#12 are the same board. I have updated the photos with a comment of what they are. Thanks!

          • Eric March 8, 2018 at 11:52 am

            To summarize based on your comments:
            Pics 2-3: ring porous hardwood, not oak. Some suspects could be honey locust (check for fluorescence), ash, chestnut (if it’s very lightweight), or coffeetree (also fluorescent).
            6-8: most likely red oak
            9-12: possibly maple

        • Randy Rasmussen March 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

          Updated with a couple photos using Ferrous sulfate. I assume pics 9-12 are maple based on the color change. I have a black light somewhere. I will test the other pieces. Thanks!

  26. Jamie Thompson February 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I am rehabbing my 1895 home in Cincinnati Ohio. I am stripping down my second floor woodwork. Usually in non public areas of old homes they used softer, cheaper wood such as pine but this seems too heavy and has great grain. What do u think they used

    • Jamie Thompson February 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      Closer shot of window sills

      • Jamie Thompson February 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm - Reply


    • Eric February 27, 2018 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      This looks like a stained softwood. Possibly yellow pine or douglas fir.

  27. Tina February 26, 2018 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Hi Again,
    The wood looks different in this other drawer so I’m not sure if that means anything or if it’s different wood?
    Very much appreciated!

    • Eric February 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      More than likely oak. With these painted pieces, the type of wood used generally is less critical, and it’s not uncommon for drawers to use a different wood type than the rest of the body of the piece.

  28. Tina February 26, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hi Eric, thank you for the informative article!
    Any chance you can help me identify the wood used for this chest of Drawers that was given to me.

  29. john February 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Hi 2nd 1. Oak??

  30. john February 25, 2018 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    Hi got this and out tung oil and polyurethane seaker on it. Any ideas i think its oak. Got other 1 same

  31. Michel-Olivier February 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Hi i need help identifying wich wood this table is made of. As far as i know, it was made in Quebec.

    • Michel-Olivier February 24, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Here’s a picture for closer look.

      • Michel-Olivier February 24, 2018 at 9:41 pm - Reply

        And an other one.

    • Eric February 26, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      More than likely either oak or ash, stained with a walnut-like color. The grain is ring-porous, and usually the most common wood used is oak, but I can’t really make out any ray fleck in any of the photos, which would suggest ash instead (ash has a similar grain to oak but has much less conspicuous rays).

  32. Brie February 20, 2018 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Hi there. Just uncovered my 1920’s era bannister from under about 8 coats of white paint, and found this wood underneath. Not sure what it is. Can you help?

  33. Steve February 20, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Can you tell me what you think this is

  34. Susan Moriarity February 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Last pic of dining set:

  35. Susan Moriarity February 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    More pics of the dining set…

    • Eric February 22, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

      This part looks like sycamore.

  36. Susan Moriarity February 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    More pics of the possibly oak dining set…

    • Eric February 22, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Doesn’t look like oak to me. Not sure what it is, though the drawer front appears to be a veneer of some sort.

  37. Susan Moriarity February 19, 2018 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Hi – I have a dining set that appears to have been made to order in the Midwest in the 1930’s (and shipped to San Francisco). I Always assumed it was red oak, but am really not sure. It may be oak with some other wood veneer. Various pieces of the set have been re-stained and refinished. I would love to know what you think!

    • Dick van den Oever February 22, 2018 at 3:04 am - Reply

      HAve a look at rewarewa a NZ native species with similar spots
      Dick van den Oever

    • Eric February 22, 2018 at 10:56 am - Reply

      There may be more than one species of wood used here. If it is confined to US species, I’d say that Sycamore is by far the most likely species.

  38. Jim Chen February 19, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Good day. Please forgive me if this question is a bit off topic. What are the ideal environmental ranges for storing and displaying wood articles? This would be primarily for smaller items that can be housed in a display case, and transported in sealed cases (Pelican type). I would assume that exposure to direct sunlight should be avoid, if possible. For display and exhibition purposes is there a recommended temperature and humidity range? Do you have any recommendations regarding lighting (LED, CFL, halogen, incandescent, etc). Should desiccants (silica gel) be used? Thank you very much in advance!

    • Eric February 19, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      I’d say definitely don’t use desiccants. If anything, low humidity is much more dangerous than high. For instance, I believe there are some humidity regulators for stringed instruments like violins (forgot the name, sorry!), and they increase humidity to prevent the instrument from drying out. I’d say something like 70 degrees F and 50% relative humidity should be a good target.

  39. Mary February 17, 2018 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Hi, I wanted to send another picture just in case you need it. Thank you!

    – Mary

  40. Aleister February 17, 2018 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hey there! Was hoping to get my wooden bookcase identified. Only background I have (given to me by my mom) is that it came from “that woman”. Other than explaining why said bookcase is now in my possession, I don’t think that’s helpful in the least. But hoping you can help regardless. Thank you!

    • Eric February 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      The knots are suggestive more of a softwood like pine, but I can’t tell for sure from the picture, sorry!

  41. Adam February 13, 2018 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Another pic of the logs might help ID
    Many thanks

  42. Adam February 13, 2018 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Hi There, very informative thank you.
    I was wondering could anyone tell me what wood this is please ?
    It is very dense
    Believe its from Australia
    many thanks

    • Eric February 19, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      If you believe it to be from Australia, I’d guess some sort of Acacia species, possibly a type of Gidgee?

  43. Dave Small February 11, 2018 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Hi Eric,
    I was just given a peace of wood, I think I know what it is based on its weight and hardness, but wood like to be sure before I stick it on the lathe, safer that way.I think its Lignum Vitae, took the edge off the knife I used to scrape the wax away and really heavy, I tried to notch a spot close to the end with a chisel and took all I could muster to barely nick it

    • Eric February 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      I can’t really make out any details (or even any color) under all that wax, sorry!

  44. Leanne February 11, 2018 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me which wood this is? It is varnished or stained with something either clear or very light, to the eye it has more of a light golden colour than appears in the photo. I’m trying to find a matching tv unit but unsure of what type of wood to look for. Thank you.

    • Leanne February 11, 2018 at 11:52 am - Reply

      This is a picture from further away.

    • Eric February 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      I’m going to make an educated guess and say it’s rubberwood.

    • Pierre Beauchamp February 17, 2018 at 11:41 am - Reply

      I think its butternut , the butter color ,used on salad bowls also!

  45. Jim Chen February 11, 2018 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for a most informative article and invaluable website. I would be most grateful if you might be able to identify the wood that this presentation case of made from. The case is 14″ x 5″. The gradation in color appears to be nature. This case has been described as walnut. Is there is any reason to believe otherwise.

    • Eric February 12, 2018 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Walnut seems like a reasonable ID to me.

  46. Leslie Price February 2, 2018 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Any chance of identifying this wood from back of headboard? Stain so dark, not a lot of detail

    • Eric February 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      Not 100% sure on the genuine ID, but I will say that at the very least, it appears to be very similar to Cherry.

  47. Themis February 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm - Reply


    Can anyone please help me identify the type of wood in the small chest box in the links below!AhGgHGz5iaLEpBe64CgbbFYQv8Ib!AhGgHGz5iaLEpBbTKKmPG6LV5ySB

    Thank you in advance

    • Eric February 2, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Looks like a tropical hardwood of some sort. Knowing the origin or place where you got it may help narrow things down.

      • tthemis February 5, 2018 at 2:51 am - Reply

        cheers Eric, much obliged mate!

        My guess was walnut but then I can only identify the very trivial/basic

        I bought it here in Sydney Australia about 12-14 years ago for $10-15 AUD (1AUD = 0.76USD) in a church flea market, I’m trying to have it evaluated but the informal estimates I got so far (4) vary wildly from $60 AUD to $600 AUD so I’m a bit confused :)

        • Eric February 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm - Reply

          Based on your location, my guess would be some type of Acacia species. Most likely candidate would be Acacia melanoxylon, known to us in the United States as “Australian Blackwood.”

          • tthemis February 8, 2018 at 4:54 pm

            thank you so much! I’ll look it up

  48. Austin February 1, 2018 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Anyone know what kind of wood these slabs are by chance?

  49. Daria January 28, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Could you possibly help me to identify if this is the wood or veneer?

  50. JoEllen Elliott January 23, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Can someone help me identify what type of wood this is please – thank you in advance

    • Cassi January 25, 2018 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Your picture is too small. I can’t get a good quality enlargement.

    • Pierre Beauchamp February 17, 2018 at 11:43 am - Reply

      Most likely a venneer due to the curves!

  51. Carl Eidbo January 22, 2018 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    … and one more.

    • Joe January 30, 2018 at 8:45 am - Reply

      I believe what you’ve got is a form of poplar. I don’t know what causes this color but I saw it for the first time a month ago. I still have it.

  52. Carl Eidbo January 22, 2018 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    I’ve found a large amount of veneer from about 1940, originally ordered by my grandfather.
    Many are marked with the type, but several are not.
    I’m trying to catalog everything, but it’s daunting!
    I’ve attached a photo I’d appreciate help with.

  53. justthinkinabout December 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    I have a roll top desk that was purchased in Asia more than 30 years ago that I cannot identify.

    • ejmeier December 14, 2017 at 3:12 pm - Reply

      To me it looks like oak, probably white oak. It’s hard to tell for sure, but my guess is that the cabinet was built from reclaimed wood, hence all the dark streaks where checks in the wood created premature weathering in those areas. There could very well be other species mixed in too.

  54. Robert Pace December 13, 2017 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Hi i was just wondering what types of timber have been used in this cabinet

  55. Angel Italiano October 1, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Can you please tell me what kind of wood you think this might be? I think it was made in Maine. It’s real pretty, two tone. Thank you

    • ejmeier October 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      The two tone appearance that you are noting is more than likely the presence of both heartwood and sapwood in the tree itself. Looking at the upper cabinet, it definitely reminds me of cherry.

  56. almightyjoe September 17, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    Anyone have any idea what wood this might be? I appreciate any help thank you

  57. Ochi September 12, 2017 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I am in awe of you wood afficionados on here! I just moved into a new house and the living room floor is wood (pictured). What kind of wood is this? And how can I maintain it? Thanks!

    • ejmeier September 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      It looks like the wood has been stained and that’s not its natural color. I also guess that it is not solid hardwood, but is “engineered” wood that may not be able to be resanded or heavily refinished multiple times. My guess would be that the top exposed layer could be something like birch.

  58. Nicola September 10, 2017 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Can anyone help to ide ntify what kind of wood my table is? it’s very heavy so I think it’s solid, I’ve sanded it down and the colour changes from dark to light naturally.. would love to know! thanks in advance

    • ejmeier September 12, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

      The heartwood and sapwood combination reminds me of some piece of Sheesham that I have seen in the past, but it’d be near impossible to tell without a close, finely sanded, closeup picture of the endgrain.

    • ejmeier September 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from the photos — can you get a close picture in better lighting? An initial guess might be maple or cherry.

  59. Mark Campion August 20, 2017 at 1:32 am - Reply Anyone know what this wood is? We’ve just moved into a 1930s UK home and this is what is under all the carpets. If we knew what it was then we might be able to get a better idea of what it could look like restored as the main floor.

    • ejmeier August 22, 2017 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Looks very much like an old-growth, quartersawn softwood. I’m not sure what types of softwoods were common to the UK in the past century, but I’m guessing that appearance-wise, it would look pretty close to some old growth, quartersawn douglas fir that we have over here.

      • Mark Campion August 23, 2017 at 1:34 am - Reply

        Thank you, then it’s probably pine which was used a lot in the early 1900s. It was the fact that it was ‘quartersawn’ that threw me making it look different, but now I Google quarter sawn pine it seems to match.

  60. john Clifton August 17, 2017 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    As you guys know the deck of a house is generally a wooden platform built above the ground. it look more gorgeous and ipe wood is best for it. suggest you to visit

  61. No Sun Beach August 14, 2017 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Can somebody comment on this old yellow pine that seems to have a yellow residue? What might this be since it’s only on the wood?

  62. Marie McDonley August 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm - Reply
  63. Jo July 17, 2017 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    I’m looking to buy an old house built in the 1970s and it has these timber floors throughout. Can anyone help identify what type of timber this is?

    • ejmeier July 18, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Hard to tell from that distance. One possibility would be hickory.

    • Jay Moore February 15, 2018 at 2:51 am - Reply

      I’ve seen red cedar that looks very familiar.

    • ejmeier July 18, 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

      Looks like multiple types of wood are in use there, but primarily a burl veneer. The entire top appears to be veneered. Very nice. Just don’t go too crazy with it; I know of people that have tried to refinish veneer top tables only to sand through the veneer, essentially ruining the entire top.

      • Charles LB July 18, 2017 at 4:52 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much! It is very much appreciated

    • ejmeier June 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from the pics. It appears that the wood has been stained and is not the natural color. I would need to see a finely sanded view of the endgrain to get a better idea on ID.

    • ejmeier May 30, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply


  64. Jacob Clark May 22, 2017 at 12:47 am - Reply
    • ejmeier May 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from that distance. The color at least resembles a walnut look.

    • ejmeier May 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      Looks the closest to me like strand-woven bamboo flooring.

  65. Rich May 8, 2017 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I’d love to know what wood this is, can anyone help?

    It is an old table top, made by Reynolds of Ludlow, sometime after the 1950s. The wood is pale brown when sanded as shown in the picture, with much lighter sapwood. The darker wood is relatively hard, although not as hard or heavy as oak. The sapwood is much softer, easily scored with a wire brush.

    When oiled it comes up a much more orange-red colour, although the sapwood stays about the same colour.


  66. Ryan Rodriguez Williams May 5, 2017 at 7:48 am - Reply
  67. Reuben Miller Sr. April 22, 2017 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what this furniture is made of. My uncle sold it to me recently. He bought at an auction. He thought it was mesquite, but I think it may be pecan. I cut a hole in the back to run wires and the wood is probably just as hard as hickory. It also kind of reminds me of a cedar elm that recently died from drought. I took a pic under one of the shelves where it wasn’t stained. .jpg

    • ejmeier April 24, 2017 at 11:12 am - Reply

      I would need to see a finely sanded closeup shot of the endgrain to be able to have a shot getting a tentative ID.

  68. Reuben Miller Sr. April 22, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what this furniture is made of. My uncle sold it to me recently. He bought at an auction. He thought it was mesquite, but I think it may be pecan. I cut a hole in the back to run wires and the wood is probably just as hard as hickory. It also kind of reminds me of a cedar elm that recently died from drought. I took a pic under one of the shelves where it wasn’t stained.

    • ejmeier April 18, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell, though it appears to have very large open pores. If I absolutely had to guess, I would venture to say it may be an Albizia species, or something related (like Monkeypod).

      • Karla Helbert April 19, 2017 at 7:32 am - Reply

        Thank you so much! It is pretty heavy for its size and has those two distinct colors of blonde and deeper reddish–I see that the photo looks a little like the light is causing the coloration but it’s actually that light –it’s all one piece.

  69. Karla Helbert April 17, 2017 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Can anyone anyone tell what kind of wood this is? No stain, I rubbed it with jojoba oil. No idea how old it is or where it was carved. Thank you ?

  70. Carey Wilson March 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Hello – I need to repair some damage to the doors and door frames in my apartment and am trying to identify the type of wood. Any help is much appreciated!

  71. Nicholas Kislak March 17, 2017 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone, I have a guitar without any marks, would you be able to help identify is it a real wood, or even what kind of wood is it?

  72. Jimmy Jingga March 13, 2017 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Can someone help me to identify my wood based on this photograph? I have no clue what kind of wood that I have on hand since the man sold it to me also don’t know about it.

    • ejmeier March 13, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Where are you located, and/or where did the wood come from? I would need a clear, sanded, closeup shot of the endgrain to be able to have a better chance at ID.

  73. Alan Rickman March 8, 2017 at 4:33 am - Reply

    I’m in the process of repairing my 70 year old red oak living room floor and decided to use wood from my upstairs closet floor. i noticed that half the planks look and feel different here’s a picture to help identify
    thank you
    FYI wood has a strong pleasant aroma….

    • ejmeier March 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      It may be the difference between white oak and red oak.

  74. Carolina February 25, 2017 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    We bought a piece of furniture sold as “veneer over solid wood. However there are parts of it that looks like sawdust wood…. do you know if there is an overall % of veneer over solid wood for furtunure stores to advertise it as veneer over solid wood when in reality it’s only part of the whole furniture is?

    Very frustrating to have the furniture at home and a closer inspection shows cheap material…

  75. Gareth Williams February 18, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply
  76. Michele Tesser Shuman February 15, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Hi all,
    I just happened to find this site and I thank you in advance if someone can help us out. In our new home we are using Acacida wood pre stained a very very dark brown, let’s say dark chocolate color.
    Our problem is finding a comparable wood for our steps. We are using 4′ treads and we have 37 steps. The price we were quoted almost knocked us over. Any ideas for a coordinating wood that can be stained to compliment the dark Acacida trough out the house? We know it won’t be exact but something that would blend beautifully.
    Again, any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you. M.Shuman

    • ejmeier February 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      I bet Jatoba would look nice and is pretty hard as well. Otherwise, Ash can be stained to look like pretty much anything.

  77. linkekatze January 28, 2017 at 8:29 am - Reply
    • ejmeier January 31, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

      That last picture strongly suggests a ring-porous hardwood. Typically this pore arrangement is usually seen in trees that grow in temperate climates.

  78. Peter Noel January 24, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply
    • bionara May 5, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

      looks like Ovangkol, but i could be wrong!

  79. SC January 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me if this looks like a laminate or veneer? It’s a dining table top. The rest of the table is solid wood and very heavy. So I’m confused on why the maker would be a laminate top on a wood table.

    Thank you

    • ejmeier January 20, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Yes, it looks veneered. There are many reasons to veneer a table top. Cost, judicious use of resources, and stability (very wide boards that are solid wood tend to be less stable and more prone to warping).

      • SC January 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

        Thank you. It’s definitely not solid wood. What I’m wondering is if it’s actually a plastic (or other material) laminate instead of a wood veneer. I cannot figure out what type of wood this is, if it is a veneer. It doesn’t look like any kind of wood on the wood identification pages I’ve looked at. So I wonder if it’s actually a laminate product that is printed to look like wood grain.

        • ejmeier January 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm - Reply

          That’s a very real possibility. Are there any chips, gouges, or areas where the top surface has worn through at all? That will usually be the area to inspect to see if it is in fact real wood or not. (At this moment I am writing this in an office on a desk where the top is supposed to look like Black Walnut, but it is 100% fake and just printed plastic.)

  80. JAGAMATRIX January 14, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is based on its pattern ?

    • ejmeier January 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      It looks awfully red, so I’m not sure if the color is correct, or if that’s a natural color. If it’s really that orangish red, it may be a Pterocarpus species like Padauk. But with those yellowish deposits I am seeing, that suggests something like Merbau (Intsia spp.).

    • ejmeier January 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Looks like it’s possible that a number of different woods have been used. Can’t tell for certain from the pictures, but some of the first pictures remind me of Pterocarpus species, such as Narra, or Muninga. This is just a guess though.

      • Sharon Principe January 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the reply. Of the two you have suggested the Narra is the closest in stained depth of colour. Are they heavy woods?

        • ejmeier January 13, 2017 at 10:03 pm - Reply

          They are relatively heavy, yes. Also of note, many Pterocapus species are under pressure from Chinese rosewood industry, so perhaps if it is a Pterocarpus species of some type, the value of the raw wood will be going up!

          • Toto Wao July 9, 2017 at 11:40 pm

            Hi Sir,

            Could pls tell me how to determine the Narra wood in Furniture finish product pls.

  81. Sharon Principe January 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Hi. I recently purchased this unusual object that I am calling a Hall Table, as that is where I am going to eventually put it. It is made from a very heavy wood, has no discernible smell, and appears to be at least 75% hand-made. The wood on the base juts out at the back by 1.5″, which makes me think it was intended to be attached to a wall or another piece of furniture, though I can’t see any nail marks on them. The lathed front corner details are grooved by hand, as is the front cupboard door detailing. The back top panel is rough, though safe to rub your hand along, and seems to be made from a darker wood. I don’t know what type of joint is used to make the drawers. Hope someone can help me identify it!

  82. Dave Lloyd December 21, 2016 at 11:57 am - Reply

    I’m not sure how often this page is viewed – trying to identify the attached piece of wood. One image is of the face grain, the other end grain. Any help is appreciated.

  83. Michael Hinchey December 14, 2016 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I’m looking to identify this wood. Below is a few samples after removing stain and paint. The paint was over the stain. I removed first by a heat gun and then by a chemical remover. It def wasn’t an easy task. I’m hoping the end result is worth it. Thx in advance. https ://

    • ejmeier December 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      My initial guess would be Cherry, or possibly Alder.

  84. Jennifer Lightman December 2, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

    I would really appreciate if someone could help me identify the type of wood this cane bench was made with. It is a solid wood piece and heavy. Thanks!

    • ejmeier December 2, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      I can’t really tell because it appears that that may not be the natural color of the wood. At the very least, it appears to be stained to look like walnut.

  85. Hank D'Alelio Etcs November 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone. I have a desk that I bought seven years ago that I am trying to sell. Not sure what kind of wood it is made of. Any insight you could provide would be appreciated.

    • ejmeier November 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      Well, I’m stumped. You should keep in mind that foreign pallet wood is about the hardest of all types of wood to ID. Not only because it is foreign (which in most cases would be enough of a challenge, especially coming from Taiwan), but because it is a pallet wood, where more obscure or lesser known species are known to pop up.

      • Bluey Smith November 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

        Thanks for trying Ejmeier!

  86. Sean Tostanoski October 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    I was working on a handle and I got this piece of wood from a friend and he did not know what kind of wood it was. It is a hardwood and relativity heavy/dense for its size. I was wondering if anyone hand any ideas what it might be.
    Any help would be great. Thanks!

    • noypi October 29, 2016 at 2:49 am - Reply

      is it a monocot? looks similar to a monocot (e.g. coconut) or any forest palms we called bahi or pugahan (Caryota cumingii syn. mitis)

    • sangeetha balaji October 15, 2016 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Is the above cedar or pine. The seller says it’s all cedar and my friend is doubting whether pine might be mixed

  87. Liz September 30, 2016 at 9:04 pm - Reply

    I am trying o figure out if the trim installed with my new windows is the same quality as the siding on my home. It looks rougher and not as nice. Admittedly, it is just primed light gray, not yet painted, but as you can see the boards are much grainier and appear to be a rougher cut then the taupe painted siding of my home. Can you tell if 1) it is cedar and 2) if the quality is the same as what is on my home (the taupe horizontal boards.) Thank you for the help

  88. Too Good To Toss September 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply
    • ejmeier September 27, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Can you get a closer shot of the grain? A sanded closeup endgrain shot would also help.

  89. Palmer James September 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Can anyone please help identify this timber frame material? It was made in 1988/1978, thanks

  90. Truth seeker September 7, 2016 at 5:54 am - Reply

    Hi, can anyone please tell me what kind of wood this wardrobe I found is?

  91. Jarvis Tech August 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Any help with this. Its from Texas. The bark came off real easy and made good tender. I’m hoping it would be okay to cook with as i have a truck load of it. It’s hard wood. We spent hours chopping bits of it with an axe. Please and thank you.

    • Reuben Miller Sr. April 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Looks like American Cedar elm to me.

  92. ejmeier August 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Possibly Douglas Fir? Hard to say for sure without getting an anlysis of the endgrain and check for resin canals.

  93. Jason Montell July 25, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply


  94. Jimmy Finley July 22, 2016 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Anybody have an idea of what kind of wood this is? I got it with a batch of rosewood and it kinda has that smell when worked but it is certainly more brittle…great figure and sounds good too. Indian rosewood binding(trim).

    • bionara May 5, 2017 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Quilted maple?

  95. td Smp July 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m looking to figure out what these large, lightweight planks I have are made of. I have a few 15″ wide pieces that seem very soft, no knots or burts and a very straight grain. I have made a few picture frames out of them and want to be able to correctly identify them to potential buyers. Here is a pic with the rough sawn plank, some freshly sanded pieces, and the top one with some water on it to show the general finish color. And one picture frame with a single coat of shellac. Thanks so much for your help!

  96. Joanne Malone June 25, 2016 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me a). if this is even wood. And b). What type

  97. jane June 15, 2016 at 3:05 am - Reply

    Hi, just wondering if you can help me identify what kind of wood is this board made off as well as the chess pieces. I was told it is an Antique Chess Set. When you open the draws where you store the pieces, it has a very strong wood smell.

  98. Rich Stevens June 10, 2016 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    I have a wood desk and it’s extremely heavy. I am trying to confirm the type of wood the top is. Does anybody have an idea by this photo? The dark side is stained and the other side is where I removed the stain. Thank you.

    • ejmeier June 11, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      If I had to guess, I’d say it was some kiln dried walnut. Kiln drying tends to take some of the richness of color out of the walnut, and that explains the dark reddish brown stain that was used. BTW, those tiny black spots in the stained portion are from a technique known as “flyspecking” which was big in the 70s and 80s. Today most people think it’s pretty ugly — best to sand it down to raw wood if possible!

      • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:47 am - Reply

        purple angel

  99. David hsi June 6, 2016 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell what kind of wood this might be based on the pattern shown (I already send off stain for restain)? It’s a couple pics. I think it is Kentucky Coffeetree after a week doing serch on Internet, but still not very sure.

    • ejmeier June 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      David, that very much looks like a softwood. Coffeetree is a ring-porous hardwood, which means that you should be able to see pores arranged to make the growth rings, and I don’t see any pores in your samples. It’s much more important to focus on the anatomy rather than the overall color of the wood for ID. I would start on the page on softwood identification and look for resin canals.

  100. Maarten May 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Here is another hopeful with a picture of antique furniture! I am very curious what type of wood this wardrobe was made of (might be different types). Origin of the furniture is north of France, 1920’ies (or so I was told by the vendor, at least). I’d be very grateful to anyone knowledgeable enough to determine the wood.

  101. Andrea Stockert May 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Hi all! Can anyone help me identify the type of wood this old dresser is made of? Beautiful – just can’t identify.

    • ejmeier May 19, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Looks like some sort of fancy veneer, probably mahogany.

  102. Rizyx May 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Any ideas what this wood is?

    I want to say mahogany but not entirely sure.

  103. Stacey D April 11, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Ihave a dresser that has laminate on one drawer that has broken off. I would like to replace the laminate on the one drawer. Would you help with what type of laminate this is?

    • ejmeier April 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Possibly mahogany. If you’re just going for an approximate match, mahogany will get you very close, provided you match the grain.

  104. Harold Miller 4 S. F. MAYOR March 23, 2016 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    how can you tell if wood is Ash?

  105. Amber Carroll March 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Any idea what this wood is? It’s a 25 yr old mountain dulcimer. The wood is not fragrant.

    • ejmeier March 24, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

      The bottom looks a whole lot like Goncalo Alves. The sides could be the same wood too, though it reminds me more of something like Koa or Australian Blackwood.

  106. Kenny Pohlman March 14, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I am having an ongoing dispute with Kraftmaid Cabinet Co, I somewhat know my wood species but they are trying to pass red oakoff as hickory…….the stain color is dark but the grain and how the finish absorbed into the wood leaving pin holes tells me it is red oak. Can anyone help with identifying facts. Thank you

    • ejmeier March 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Do you have any pictures? Oak will have visible rays if you know how to spot them — not sure what you mean by pinholes though.

      • Kenny Pohlman March 16, 2016 at 2:02 pm - Reply

        Pinholes are from the finish settling into the grains

        • ejmeier March 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

          Yes, the finish has settled into the larger earlywood pores. This is common to a number of ring porous hardwoods (including hickory). I don’t see any rays in these pictures, so I’m not sure if it’s oak. If it were oak, you should be ale to make out at least some ray fleck on rift to quartersawn areas of the wood. Maybe more pictures would help.

  107. ejmeier March 3, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    Possibly Sumac?

  108. Connie March 2, 2016 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Could you please help me identify type of wood or maybe hard bamboo very heavy

    • ejmeier March 3, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from the pics, but it appears to be stained to imitate walnut. Almost certainly not bamboo.

  109. Tonydavid February 29, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Can anyone identify this type(s) of wood in this table and stools? I brought this set 25 years ago and don’t know its history. Now I am trying to describe it in order to try and sell it. Thanks in advance for your expertise!

  110. ejmeier February 25, 2016 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Sure looks like Beech to me.

  111. darkktur o February 21, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what this wood is ? It’s a very thick veneer, front and back.

  112. Dominic Strezynski February 21, 2016 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Hi, I just purchased this table on eBay and the lady selling it could not remember what type of wood it was. I took pictures of stained and polished side and the underside that was left raw.

    I would appreciate any help.

    Kind Regards

  113. Clive A. February 9, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

    Ok. as I’ve failed to submit photos last time I’ll try again. Its collor is a pinkish red and a tint lighter than padouk. I’ve included a piece of walnut for comparison. Thank you in advance.

    • ejmeier February 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      Looks like a Pterocarpus spp. to me (i.e., some type of Padauk). There can be a lot of color variation with Padauk. I remember one vender even sold what was called “bacon” padauk, which looked, quite honestly, like strips of bacon.

      • Clive A. February 14, 2016 at 4:38 am - Reply

        Thank you ejmeier. It should be mouth watering.
        It’s a pity though, my sample is too soft for micro work. I was planning to carve a cufflink with it.

  114. Clive A. February 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Hi. Can you identify this wood. Its collor is a pinkish red and a tint lighter than padouk. I’ve included a piece of walnut for comparison. Thank you in advance

  115. Andrew Mansour February 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    A customer wanted wood and stain to match this photo. Any thoughts?

    • ejmeier February 8, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Looks like birch plywood stained with a dark red mahogany stain.

  116. Katie Glittera February 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    My aunt bought a curio cabinet about 20 years ago and lost her paperwork. She asked me to help her id the wood. It sounds like a solid like wood when I tap and knock on the panels, but not a heavy “thunk” like when you knock on particleboard. Any ideas?

    • ejmeier February 5, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

      The wood has been stained, and appears to be either a softwood like pine, or possibly birch.

      • Katie Glittera February 6, 2016 at 10:03 am - Reply

        Thank you

  117. Andi January 27, 2016 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Hello was wondering if anybody could please identify these wood pieces. They are very hard and heavy. No smell and are completely dry.

    • ejmeier January 28, 2016 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      I would not really classify true mahogany as being VERY hard or heavy: it’s moderate weight and ease of sanding/working is actually appreciated. I can’t tell from the rough surfaces of those pics. If possible, plane/sand the surfaces, and ideally, get a finely sanded shot of the endgrain.

      • Andi January 29, 2016 at 4:40 pm - Reply

        Thanks for responding, here are some sanded pics of the end grain (wet and dry) and top of piece. This particular piece has a two tone color to it. Thinking about the weight, I compared it to a piece of maple of similar dimension and the maple was a lot heavier. Upon sanding, it was easier than I thought it would be. Thanks again for any more insight.

  118. JAIMEY January 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply


    • ejmeier January 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      More than likely a rotary cut softwood veneer, possibly Douglas Fir or Larch.

  119. Carly-Jay Metcalfe January 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    This is an old wooden box, but I just can’t pick the wood. It’s been grossly over glossed and I’d love tho sand it back to it’s original colour. Any ideas on what it could be? I’d be very appreciative if anyone could help! My Dad seems to think it’s pine, but I’m not sure.

    • ejmeier January 20, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Are you referring to the wood in the upper left of the picture? It looks like quartersawn White Oak. That stain and appearance is characteristic of many antiques, and while I am generally opposed to staining wood in most instances, if you stripped it down to bare wood and refinished it a natural color, you may regret it. If the finish itself isn’t in the best shape, there’s other things you can do to refinish that doesn’t involve sanding down to bare wood and removing the stain.

      • Carly-Jay Metcalfe January 21, 2016 at 1:18 am - Reply

        Yes, I am :) It was made in Australia, but I’m not sure if get white oak out here? I can’t stand the hi-gloss finish and the lighter wood you can see on the inside is in it’s natural state. What would you recommend to refinish it? Cheers!

  120. Melissa Mader January 18, 2016 at 4:12 am - Reply

    Having trouble identifying these 2 pieces- Any ideas?
    The First Pic is a headboard built in the 70s and the second is a table built in the 60’s

    • ejmeier January 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      First one looks like a type of mahogany. Second one is very nondescript, so I can’t really tell from that picture.

  121. TRim Tab Girl boat January 14, 2016 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    HiI have this large deer carved . The wood is suppose to be fro Africa Can anyone id it .

    • ejmeier January 15, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Looks like a species of Red Palm to me.

  122. Betty January 13, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Can someone identify what type of wood this is?

    • ejmeier January 15, 2016 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      Very hard to tell from those pictures. Overall it almost looks like a softwood, but the rippled grain surrounding the knot reminds me of a fine-grained hardwood. Possibly birch?

  123. Ty January 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Identify this wood

    • ejmeier January 12, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from that pic, sorry.

    • Mr_Jinx January 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

      looks like pine

  124. Andrea January 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell what kind of wood might this be? I cut out this little piece from a painted board (the piece you see in the pics isn’t painted nor anything else). I had the original board from a friend of mine who told me that was IROKO. However he wasn’t sure about it.
    It seems hard and solid, but it gets scratches quite easily (and that’s why I’m still not sure it is iroko). It’s light as well.
    If it’s iroko (or some other very hard wood) I’m gonna use it to make the fretboard of a ukulele, as I’m planning.

    • ejmeier January 12, 2016 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      I agree it could be Iroko. Unfortunately, we’d need to see a clear, sanded, closeup shot of the endgrain to have a better chance at an ID.

  125. Mr_Jinx January 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    would love some help identifying this wood. Its the top of a Jackson Desks desk from somewhere around the 50’s or 60’s. It is solid wood, sanded to bare wood and is solid. It has only mineral spirits on the bare wood to see the grain.

    • ejmeier January 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

      Where are you located? Where do you believe this table originated from, geographically? Any noticeable scent when sanding it?

      • Mr_Jinx January 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm - Reply

        I’m in NH and the desk was built in Jasper, IN. I can’t say for sure about a smell. Its a fair hard wood. A hard birch maybe but it has a nice natural reddish color. The top wasn’t in bad condition when I got it.

        • ejmeier January 13, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

          If I had to limit my guesses to hardwoods that would be common to furniture makers in that area and time. I would say Black Cherry.

  126. NylaAlisia January 4, 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    It’s oak, quarter sawn

  127. NylaAlisia January 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Pine? =)

    • ejmeier January 5, 2016 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Definitely a softwood. Based on your location, my first guess would be Douglas Fir.

  128. send Applications January 3, 2016 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    What type of wood is this slab. I was told this is Maple is it true? i am getting second thoughts as i see wide heart wood in middle. These slabs are 22″ wide to get guess.

    • ejmeier January 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      From a casual glance at a distance, I agree that it looks like maple. Only a very clear and in focus closeup of the endgrain would help to confirm this.

      • send Applications January 4, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

        Thanks ejmeir. I was getting second thoughts as the darker heartwood.

  129. Christopher Cornelius December 12, 2015 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    This is 4 pieces glued together then turned but im still not sure what it is…? It is a Bitc* to work with and this is unfinished. Please help!

    • ejmeier December 16, 2015 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      Looks like Red Palm, and the low quality stuff found closer to the center of the “trunk.”

  130. Aaron Krystna Vogt November 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is? It is the flooring in a home I just purchased. Thanks

    • ejmeier November 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      Looks like a softwood to me. Douglas fir or larch are the first species to come to mind.

  131. Colin Wolf November 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    anyone know what type of wood this is? its made in italy and at least 30 years old

    • ejmeier November 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Well, the overall color appears walnut-like. But it’s impossible to tell for sure from that distance.

  132. Bradley Mccollum November 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Hi, I just stripped and sanded down this trim. There’s much more of it, but I thought this was a good close-up. Does this look like Oak to you? That was my guess, but I am certainly not a professional.

  133. Deanna Lane November 9, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is from this picture. I was told this is an antique set and solid wood but doesn’t know the kind of wood. Thank you.

  134. jj November 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    hello i have a piece of wood id like someone to indentify…thanks in advance

  135. Eric L November 3, 2015 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    We just stripped the paint off this old table – I don’t really have access to the end grain since it’s all one piece… I’m just looking for best bet, but am I looking at maple perhaps? The table appears to have had some wear and tear, so we’re trying to decide what type of stain we can go with to hide some of it.

    I am almost positive the main top and bottom of the table is solid and real wood, it’s thick, heavy, and the grain seems to go all the way through. What I can’t figure out is what would cause the wood to get this grey type of texture on the edge… We tried sanding the edge a bit more but it seems to make it worse, we figured that it was regular wear and tear but the fact we are unable to sand it makes me consider the side pieces could be engineered wood?

    Very confused on this one, but we don’t want to go with too light of a stain since a few of the edges look beat up… otherwise any suggestions to make the edges look better would be a big help too.


    • ejmeier November 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      Not Maple. Looks like a ring porous hardwood like ash, or possibly oak. That edge deterioration looks very fishy. Sanding should definitely IMPROVE the look, not damage it further. If that’s the case, then I would be inclined to think that the entire tabletop pattern is fake. Stuff that’s fake is also very heavy and thick, as the MDF/particleboard substrate is naturally heavy (and cheap).

      You might as well go to town with the sander in hopes of getting a clean wood surface. If it turns out to be real wood, you’ll have a clean surface to work with. If it turns out to be plastic, you wouldn’t be able to use a wood stain anyway.

  136. Denis Ganin October 23, 2015 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    This is pallet wood. Anyone what kind it is? Thanks

    • ejmeier October 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Looks like a softwood of some sort. Maybe Douglas fir? Practically impossible to say with any degree of certainty without seeing the endgrain up close (and sanded).

      • Denis Ganin October 25, 2015 at 8:24 am - Reply

        Thanks ejmeeir :)

  137. Sunshyne Cline October 12, 2015 at 3:09 am - Reply

    I bought this in South Africa over 20 years ago. I do not know what kind of wood it is. I an not sure if it is to scoop water, or if it is used to hold bananas.

    • ejmeier October 12, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Definitely looks like a softwood. Not sure what types of softwoods are commonly used in South Africa; maybe someone more familiar with the area can chime in?

  138. Amber Spillers-Anderson October 2, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Does anyone have a clue what this diamond shaped piece is? I’ve searched all over the internet, contacted about 6 different veneer suppliers, and can’t seem to figure it out!! Please help!

    • ejmeier October 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Looks tough to ID. It’s sort of a nondescript light colored wood. It looks close to maple, but I suspect it isn’t: it looks like the pores are larger than maple in the left corner of the diamond.

      It’s also tough since it doesn’t look like a strong burl, but it’s also not typical clear wood either; it’s sort of in a no-man’s land where it’s knotty, figured, but not a tightly figured burl. The color and grain look vaguely reminiscent of myrtle to me, not myrtle burl, just figured myrtle, but that’s a very wild guess.

      The reddish brown border looks to be Sapele.

      • Amber Spillers-Anderson October 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm - Reply

        Oh well, thanks for trying! I may have just replace the whole table since I can’t find a match anywhere.

  139. James Lavin September 7, 2015 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Just wondering if anyone can identify the timber used in this bench? Probably a simple answer! thanks

  140. William Bohuslaw September 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    I was able to resize 2 other pics regarding my last post in hopes of identifying the species of wood these timbers are.

    • ejmeier September 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Need to see an clear, sanded, closeup view of the endgrain. (Or at the very least, a planed or surfaced side of one of the beams.

      • William Bohuslaw September 12, 2015 at 10:29 pm - Reply

        I don’t have means of doing so however I can crosscut one of the ends if you think that will help? I’m not a wood worker so I don’t have the tools most people would have i.e. surface planer, etc…

  141. William Bohuslaw September 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    I have these beams that are extremely dense and weigh a ton! Can anyone take a guess to help me identify what species of wood they are? They are rough sawn timbers sealed in a wax color and the wood is black in color. My neighbor’s deceased husband was a woodworker and he worked with various types of species. She had about a dozen of these 4′ high timbers she was going to get rid of and I decided to take them. Each one weighs approximately 50 lbs or better. I have more pics but google is being difficult and not letting me upload more than the 3 posted!

  142. _GA3FAR_ August 29, 2015 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Hello, I found this nice piece of wood lying on my roof and was wondering if anyone could help me identify it? I figure it might be ash or oak. (Sorry but couldn’t resist playing around and finishing it. Although I trust the grain is fairly clear.)

    • ejmeier August 31, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      More than likely not a hardwood, but a softwood like southern yellow pine or douglas fir. You can tell because softwoods always absorb dyes differently than hardwoods — basically, the latewood zone that creates the annual growth rings in softwoods doesn’t absorb much dye, so it appears lighter after dyeing. The softer and more open earlywood absorbs a lot more dye and looks darker, so basically the light-dark growth ring patterns of softwoods get inverted when dyed. In ring-porous hardwoods like oak or ash, the opposite is true.

  143. Jeremi August 25, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Hello there. Here’s an old mirror that used to be part of a dressing table. I’m trying to identify the wood, and would be grateful for any information.

    • ejmeier August 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      Hard to tell from those pictures. Also hard to tell if that’s the natural wood color, or if it has been stained that color. Where are you located? It appears to be a hardwood with very large pores. If you were located in the United States, I would guess ash or oak, but it could be any number of species, perhaps even teak. Without access to the endgrain, it’d be very hard for me to say for sure.

  144. ejmeier August 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Thanks, yes. It is a diffuse poroous hardwood. Looks like maple to me.

  145. Shawn Dennis August 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Been reading some of the comments so was hoping someone may be able to help me identify this wood. The 2 poctures here are the wood unsanded.

    • ejmeier August 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      Not sure why it appears the colors are so different between pictures, but the second one looks similar to walnut. A clear, sanded, closeup shot of the endgrain would help a lot.

  146. Art August 18, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is? I believe it’s a type of mahogany. It’s from an old Chippendale table.

  147. Fleur August 12, 2015 at 12:47 am - Reply

    wanting to stain an old chair, but i’m not sure what kind of wood it is…any ideas? sanded a bit of the old surface off to show the grain

    • ejmeier August 17, 2015 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Where are you located? My initial guess would be birch, though it may be any number of diffuse porous hardwoods, such as maple. The endgrain picture is so grainy, it’s hard to tell if its even a softwood or a hardwood.

  148. Thor August 10, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

    We’re trying to sell off some inherited furniture of unknown provenance and would greatly appreciate help identifying the type of wood used to build this table. Cheers!

    • ejmeier August 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      It’d be very hard to get a positive ID from just those pictures, but my best guess, from a North American perspective, would be White Oak. That’s based on color, porosity, and the ray size.

  149. Jai Hammond August 7, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Hi, I was hoping you may be able to tell me what kind of pine this is..?? It was from pallets to hold large spools of shipped wire coils….??

    Nice tight grain like a cedar, but varied colouring… Quite fluffy, also… and very light weight…

    Is it a spruce pine..?? Thank you in advance… :)

    • ejmeier August 10, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      The only way to really get a good ID for softwoods is to get a clear, finely-sanded, closeup shot of the endgrain, and look for resin canals.

    • Jai Hammond August 10, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Does this help any..??

      • ejmeier August 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm - Reply

        No, sorry. Those are very rough cuts, so I can’t make out much detail. That middle one has knots and abnormal grain too, so it might not be the best section to look at.

  150. Bryan August 5, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Hello All,

    We recently purchased a acreage. In the barn I found roughly twelve board cut by I’m guessing to be a turn of the century saw mill(really rough circular cuts). I know its a hard wood, good weight to it. If i had to guess, I would say its red oak. Can anyone confirm?

    • ejmeier August 5, 2015 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Although I always hesitate to attempt an ID from a single face grain shot, that sure does look like Black Walnut to me. That’s my best guess given the limited information.

  151. Sanding London July 29, 2015 at 3:57 am - Reply

    Can you help me identify this wood?

    • ejmeier July 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell from that distance. Assuming that all the pieces are the same species, getting a finely sanded, in-focus endgrain closeup might help with ID.

  152. linda July 19, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

    i see no one know what kind of wood this might be ,, so i assume its pine

  153. JKS 121 July 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Good Day, Can anyone kindly identify what kind of wood (American Chestnut?) these old beams might be based on the pictures below. Thank you for your assistance in solving this mystery for me!

    • ejmeier July 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Very hard to tell from those pictures. If I had to guess based on that one tiny exposed section, I’d say it probably wasn’t chestnut. If you can get a clear, sanded closeup shot of the endgrain, that would help a lot.

      • JKS 121 July 21, 2015 at 10:02 am - Reply

        So I took your suggestion and sanded the endgrain in hopes that you would be able to help identify what specific kind of wood I have here! Thanks for your assistance!!

        • ejmeier July 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

          Definitely a softwood, and not chestnut. What location are you from, and where are these beams from? Any noticeable scent when sanding them?

          It’s still hard to tell since those pictures are thumbnails, and not the full-sized originals. Basically, the most important feature in softwood ID is to see if there are resin canals:

  154. Andrew Francis July 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Great blog/database! Thanks. I wonder if you can help identify a guitar wood. The guitar is in pieces, but I have broken bits that I’d like to replace. Inside I am not so concerned, but I’d like to replace both sides with as similar a wood as possible. My guess is mahogany, but I’d like to be sure before searching out the replacement wood. The guitar is from the 1920’s and was made in California which might help limit the possibilities. I’ve attached pictures of a broken edge, rough quarter-sawn interior side, smooth, unfinished exterior, and a broken end. Discoloration is from sitting around with no finish for decades, and unfortunately I don’t want to end saw a piece because I hope to put the whole thing together as is, and besides it’s only 1/8″ thickness. The color in the pictures is slightly warmer than the actual wood.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    • ejmeier July 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      I agree it looks like mahogany. Can’t be sure without a clearer endgrain view, but it seems like a good educated guess. Probably Swietenia spp like Hondruan or Cuban, and not Khaya spp. i.e., African.

      • Holi December 16, 2015 at 5:57 am - Reply

        Hi can anyone tell me what type of wood this is? also markings if anyone has seen it.


  155. Tony June 26, 2015 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Sorry just wondering if anyone knows what type of wood this table might be? Looks pretty and might want to buy it, is it worth it to buy?

  156. Roberto Napolitano June 22, 2015 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what wood this is?

    • ejmeier June 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      Can’t tell, sorry. Where are you located, and do you have any shots closer up?

  157. Aleksandra June 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hello folks, any idea what kind of wood can be that?

    • ejmeier June 19, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

      Do you have any more pics? Hard to tell from that one image.

  158. Aleksandra June 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hello folks, any idea what kind of wood can be that?

  159. Aleksandra June 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Hello folks, any idea what kind of wood can be that?

  160. Kalypso Kampani June 7, 2015 at 5:08 am - Reply

    Hello, could anyone identify the type of this wood please? :)

    • ejmeier June 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

      Looks like a softwood. More than likely something like Pine, Fir, etc. Pretty tough to ascertain the particular type of softwood without cutting into a piece and examining the endgrain for presence/absence of resin canals.

  161. ejmeier June 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Looks like a ring-porous hardwood that’s been stained a darker color. My first thought was oak, but I don’t seen any ray fleck anywhere on the piece, so I’d suspect that it is ash.

  162. Ashley Nunn May 25, 2015 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is?

  163. Nick Hirzel May 23, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is its off a 1953 cabinet door

  164. Nick Hirzel May 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    What kind of wood is this

  165. DesireC HTC May 3, 2015 at 4:57 am - Reply

    I would like to identify the wood of the two garden furniture ( one table and one chair) and looking for which kind of lacquer or oil to protect them from the weather. Thanks!

  166. Helen Bresser April 27, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    how about this one?

    [url=][img][/img][/url][url=]20150411_122920[/url] by [url=]laurencerexedwards[/url], on Flickr

  167. Rajat April 9, 2015 at 4:50 am - Reply

    This is set 2 – all are images of the same product from different distances to help make identification easier. Need your help in identifying the wood. Do let me know in case images are unclear or better images are required.

    • ejmeier April 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      If I had to guess, based on those rays, I’d say Red Oak. But that’s just a guess. Do you have a clear, sanded, closeup shot of the endgrain?

  168. Rajat April 9, 2015 at 4:48 am - Reply

    There are two sets of wood pictures I’m posting. This is set 1 – all
    are images of the same one from different distances to help make
    identification easier. Need help to identify the wood.
    Do let me know in case images are unclear or better images are required.

  169. Shannon March 28, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me how much I could sell this desk for? It is 46″ X 74″ Claw Foot Lawyer desk, Needs refinished.

  170. Surapon Roothanavuth March 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    Can anyone id this pair? They are natural with the carving patterns as seen.

    • ejmeier September 8, 2016 at 8:45 pm - Reply

      Well, it took me a while, but I think I figured out what in the world this is. I believe it is a tree fern, so technically not a “hardwood” or “softwood” or even a monocot, but something else entirely.

  171. Richard March 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I have no idea what kind of wood this is! Help! Just split it today.

    • Nick Hirzel May 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Looks to me like locust

  172. Nathan March 14, 2015 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Hi there, recently bought these pen blanks off a private seller, wondering if you could help ID these pieces for me? Thanks in advance!

  173. Christian Ewert February 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Anyone know what kind of wood this is ? It is flooring that i have sanded down

    • ejmeier February 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      Looks very much like Hard Maple. (I should know, as that’s exactly what the floors in my apartment are made of!)

      • Christian Ewert February 21, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

        Ok thanks ! Thats what i was told as well so thanks for the reassurance

  174. arkinaku February 20, 2015 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Hi guys, Can somebody help me identify this wood?. I was told this is a malaysian hardwood but i want to know what kind. A client of mine is selling around 200pcs of this (8″x8″x8ft).this came from an old mine here in the philippines. I also want to know the value of this. :D thank you.

    • ejmeier February 21, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      Too weathered and distant to make out any anatomical details on the endgrain.

  175. Satchy81 February 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Could anyone advise what wood you believe our Grandfather clock is made from please? Its allegedly quite an old boy! Ive tried to catch it in the best light I can

    • ejmeier February 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      That front panel appears to be a crotch veneer. The two most common species for these sorts of veneers are walnut or mahogany. Judging by the border around it, it appears to be mahogany. Not sure of the rest of the clock though, but the front looks to be veneered.

      • Satchy81 February 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

        Thank you very much

  176. tracy February 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    can any one give me any info on this what is it and what wood is it thanks

    • ejmeier February 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      Looks fairly nondescript. Maybe maple or birch?

  177. markintosh February 2, 2015 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I received a proposal, from Africa, for woods called: “LIFAKI, BOSASA, BOLENGU, KAYA, LONGO, NGOLA, TOLA and SINGA-SINGA” do you have an idea of what is it?

  178. Carlos February 2, 2015 at 2:30 am - Reply

    Any guesses here? This is about 5 to 6 inches across, photoed from about 20 inches away. This is from a burl, so I’m not sure the pattern will tell a lot. The flat circular face was facing inward toward the heartwood. the side resting on the paper towel is a live edge.

    • ejmeier February 2, 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      That’s a real stumper. Where are you located? Did you find/cut this wood locally, or how did you come across it?

      • Carlos February 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply

        I’m in middle Tennessee, but this was purchased unlabeled in a St. Louis, MO hard woods store.

        • ejmeier February 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply

          I’d consider the common native burl woods first: maple, elm, or oak. Scent might be an indicator too.

          • Carlos February 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

            Thanks for the suggestions. I believe it to be a spalted maple after having Googled around a bit to find examples of the woods you mentioned. The smell while turning reminded me of walnuts, but the various walnut examples I found don’t match as closely as maple. I’m not sure what walnut wood smells like compared to it’s nuts, and I’m not even 100% sure it was walnut I was smelling. I could have been easily smelling maple and not known the difference.

          • ejmeier February 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

            The bark might help too, if it’s still on there.

            I wouldn’t be so quick to say Maple just because it’s spalted. Maple is by far the most commonly sold wood that’s spalted, but just about any wood will exhibit spalting — especially the sapwood. Spalting is especially common on “found” woods that may not have been harvested/dried right away after the tree came down.

    • Atwood February 14, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

      I think it is black walnut burl.

  179. Tân C? ?i?n January 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    I try to find and buy this wood but don’t know the name and where to buy. Pls help

  180. Stephanie January 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Can anyone help me figure out the type of wood this is, its my coffee table an i was sanding it an found it very light underneath all the stain and poly but dont know the kind of wood it is. Please help if u can.

    • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:42 am - Reply

      A really good start is to know when it was made…

  181. Stephanie January 8, 2015 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Can anyone help me figure out the type of wood this is, its my coffee table an i was sanding it an found it very light underneath all the stain and poly but dont know the kind of wood it is. Please help if u can.

  182. Eric9193 January 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Could anyone assist in identifying this wood? Thanks!

  183. Jim December 31, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Anyone have an idea about this one? From a roughly 100 year old dresser

    • ejmeier January 1, 2015 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      Whatever it is, it looks NICE.

      It looks like walnut to me: plain lumber for the structural parts, and burl veneer for the drawer fronts.

  184. Will December 22, 2014 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Can anyone id the wood of my didge? Not bunk bed lol

  185. Kevin December 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Help, looking to duplicate this gate. Any ideas on the type of wood in this project?

    • ejmeier December 16, 2014 at 11:29 am - Reply

      Regardless of the exact species of the wood used in the gate in the picture, I’d use cedar (types and colors will vary depending on your location).

      For exterior projects, you’re much more limited to the woods you can use; plus, that thing would be very heavy if you used a denser wood.

  186. Kelsey December 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Okay, I’m trying to find out what the wood paneling in our house is. I’m thinking maybe cherry. Any ideas?

    • ejmeier December 16, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Cherry is definitely what it looks like. Though it could be another wood (like Birch or Poplar) that was stained to look like Cherry.

  187. Darren Fryer December 9, 2014 at 3:11 am - Reply

    Can anyone identify this wood? It has a different colour core to its outer skin, it is not polished and has not been died. Thanks

    • ejmeier December 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Are you sure that’s the natural wood color and that it hasn’t been charred or burned to alter the color? The sapwood looks very dark for sapwood, and of course the heartwood is nearly black. Most black woods like ebony will have an almost yellowish white sapwood.

      • Darren Fryer December 10, 2014 at 2:10 am - Reply

        Another gentleman suggested it was bangari, a type of Zimbabwean wood? There is no residue or polish that is visible on the carving. I will take a picture of the underneath of the carving tonight and post it as it may hold the key to its identity. I will make sure to bump up the quality on that pic. Thanks.

        • ejmeier December 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

          Thanks Darren, a pic of the bottom would be helpful. If you can, I’d try to thoroughly sand it to a very fine grit to get the clearest view possible. Also, a scientific name for “bangari” would be helpful — I don’t know which wood you are referring to.

  188. Mike Pisano November 30, 2014 at 3:46 am - Reply

    Can anyone please tell me or give me a 2nd opinion on the kind of wood species this may be….

  189. Mike Pisano November 30, 2014 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Can anyone please tell me or give me a 2nd opinion on the kind of wood species this may be…. I’m thinking it could be knotty pine wood.??

  190. Bart November 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Eric, any chance you could help identifying the wood used for this wall paneling? It was removed during house remodel and we would like to recreate the look. My research indicates that it may be curly maple. Thanks a lot! Bart.

    • ejmeier November 25, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Yeah, the grain pattern definitely looks like curly maple. It looks to be expertly stained a nice reddish brown.

      • Bart November 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm - Reply

        Thanks Eric. We will look for someone in Chicago area to replicate this. Great job on your website, really nice resource.


  191. Kim November 20, 2014 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Anyone have any clue as to what type of wood this wonderful old rocker is? Or who may have made it?
    Thanks in advance!

  192. ejmeier November 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Looks like quilted maple to me, probably dyed/tinted a bit darker than its natural color.

    The grain figure is called quilted, though on some woods like Sapele, it’s also called “pommele” or blistered. At first glance it looks more like Sapele, but when I look closer at the grain, it looks more like quilted maple that’s been colored to look reddish brown.

    • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:39 am - Reply

      Birdseye Maple

  193. JC November 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for your reply! I was able to get underneath the side of
    one of the end tables and get a shot of some bare wood – one with a flash, one without. I also included a
    shot of the top of the headboard which has some interesting grains that
    might help?Thanks again!! We’re eager to solve the mystery!

  194. ejmeier November 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Well, whatever it is, I’m guessing you’ll have a hard time matching something like that! Truly gorgeous.

    It could very well be a rosewood, though it may also be Pau Ferro, which is sometimes called Bolivian Rosewood, though technically not a true rosewood.

    • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:45 am - Reply


  195. JC November 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    We inherited a beautiful solid wood bedroom set, but I’m not sure what type of wood it is. It does have some natural little pits in the wood. Can you help us identify it? We’d be SO appreciative :-) Thanks for your time!

    • ejmeier November 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Pretty hard to tell. Overall, I think the look they were trying to replicate with a nice aged Cherry. I’m inclined to think it’s not actually Cherry. At first I was thinking possibly maple or birch, but the knots on the draw fronts suggest a softwood.

      I know it may not be possible, but a clear, sanded, closeup view of an endgrain surface would go a long way in IDing this wood.

      • JC November 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much! I took some pictures of the sanded, unstained wood underneath one of the end tables, as well as a good pick of the grain of the wood on the top of the headboard(still stained). I don’t think I can post them in the comment reply section, but I”ll post them in another discussion comment, if that’s alright. Thanks again for helping us solve the mystery!

  196. woodgrain November 9, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Same here!(except for the camp part) :) I make manzantia vases, and bottles.

  197. Sally November 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know what wood this is!?

  198. Sally November 1, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know what this wood is?!

  199. Sally November 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know what this wood is?

    • ejmeier November 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      That looks weird to me. Are you sure that isn’t plywood that you’ve partially sanded through the top layer? My guess is birch.

    • Fred November 7, 2014 at 11:13 am - Reply

      Sally, that is Ambrosia Maple. The holes and discoloration is from the Ambrosia Beatle.

      • ejmeier November 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm - Reply

        Good eye; I hadn’t noticed those bug-holes on first glance.

      • Nick Hirzel May 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm - Reply

        Can you tell me what this cabinet door is made of

  200. Guest October 30, 2014 at 11:25 am - Reply

    This is a door and frame,any ideas as to what it is?

    • ejmeier October 31, 2014 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      Probably stained oak, though I can’t quite make out any rays, so it may very well be ash.

    • Tân C? ?i?n January 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      I look same to mine but I don’t know the name

  201. ejmeier October 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Possibly maple? Too hard to tell from picture. Need a clear, sanded, zoomed-in shot of the endgrain.

    • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:34 am - Reply


  202. Clay Allen October 26, 2014 at 1:21 am - Reply

    I tried to post this a few days ago, but my phone went all

    cattywampus on me and I didnt get the right pics loaded…so one more time.

    I took apart a beat up piano that was built in 1909-12 and got about 18ish bf of usable lumber that Im not sure about. face, quarter and end grain pics and some sawdust.

    Thanks ejmeier for input on elm. Ill try to get closer pics when I get back home (found this out of town).

    • Clay Allen October 26, 2014 at 1:25 am - Reply

      I might need to lower the res or something. None of the pics are loading for me, hopefully someone can see them..

    • Clay Allen October 26, 2014 at 1:49 am - Reply

      On a side note, it took a few passes to clean these up. I have a new 60t blade on and tried to hog right through it and it was rough going. The cuts in the pics took about 5 passes raising the blade about ~1/2″ each pass.

    • Clay Allen October 26, 2014 at 2:44 am - Reply

      after scrolling down it looks like my OP has all the pics now. So if a mod can either delete this thread or merge it with the last, however you want to do it. I hate to dirty up forums with re-posts. Sorry about that.

  203. Gio October 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me the kind of wood thst the table is made out of? Its a french table from the 1920s or so. Dark red brownish wood. Im thinking oak. Can anyone give an opinion?

    • ejmeier October 27, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Almost impossible to tell from picture. Oak is not known for being carved as it is quite ring-porous and not well suited to holding fine details.

      • woodgrain November 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm - Reply


  204. Clay Allen October 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    I found a an old 1912 Hobart Cable upright piano that was pretty well thrashed. I took it apart and saved some timbers and smaller blocks. The small pieces are a bright green poplar that will be neat for some turning. I’m having trouble identifying the timbers. I cleaned up a piece and hope someone can help identify this. I’ll post up face, quarter and end grains. Thanks in advance!

    • Guest October 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      face and quarter grain

    • Guest October 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      Photos wont upload, 2nd try

    • ejmeier October 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      looks like elm to me.

      • Jason Montell July 25, 2016 at 8:01 am - Reply

        I concur

  205. ba October 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this is please?

  206. mershin October 13, 2014 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what wood this is plz.

    • ejmeier October 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Too hard to tell from the picture. Need some closeups of the grain…

  207. Jamesaa October 6, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Can someone please assist in identifying the below wood, it looks really nice when cleaned up and treated however it’s not protruding enough to leave exposed once i re-plaster the wall so i’d like to get something very similar and bolt it to the front

    They are from a 1920s house in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire it’s quite hard stuff but unfortunately as it’s holding my roof up i can’t exactly see the end of the plank as advised in the guides on this site

  208. Lewis September 21, 2014 at 10:32 am - Reply

    in the process of restoring this table. ive sanded of all the damage its had from over the years. not sure what kind of wood it is though

    • ejmeier September 23, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Looks like a softwood. Possibly pine?

      • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:35 am - Reply

        very generic grain = pine

  209. Laura Reid August 26, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Can you tell me about this table? Im thinking its teak but im not sure.

    • ejmeier August 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Teak is definitely a possibility. But it’s tough to tell from the pictures.

      Teak is one of those woods that can be difficult to positively ID in a finished project without seeing a clear, sanded view of the endgrain.

      • Laura Reid August 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm - Reply

        Alright. When I sand it down I’ll take a picture.

      • HectorVon Spector September 2, 2016 at 1:40 am - Reply


  210. January L. Hokit Wiley August 6, 2014 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I have 2 end tables and a coffee table that I was told came from Japan in 1939, I am curious as to what kind of wood they are made of. They are very heavy. First picture is the top of end table 1, second picture is the front of end table 1, 3rd picture is of the coffee table, 4th picture is of detail on top of coffee table. The last picture is of the inside if one of the doors on one of the end tables. Can anyone tell me what kind of wood these are made of?

    • Roger November 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      That furniture is typical of Philippine hand-carved wood furniture. It is usually made of Philippine Mahogany or Nara wood.

    • noypi October 29, 2016 at 2:38 am - Reply

      Its a narra (Pterocarpus indicus). The carving is typical rural farming Philippine landscape [farmer on carabao with a kariton, a ricefield panorama w/ a mountain view; & a banana] of years ago. Narra, though marketted in the U.S. in the 20s-70s as Philippine Mahogany (general term for all woods coming from Philippines), it is not a true mahogany.

  211. Stephen Blyskal July 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    I recently purchased an old piece of furniture at an Estate Sale. It is an unusual piece in its design and is made of all solid hardwoods, including the drawer bottoms, sides and back. I was able to find out that the former owner was from Argentina, and I suspect this piece was built there and moved to the USA. The outside surface has a thin, peeling coat of flat black paint which I am removing with a scraper. Is there a database of South American tropical hardwood out there someplace? I am very familiar with American woods, and those tropical woods used in guitars, and this looks like nothing I have ever seen before. The closest thing I can think of is tropical mahogany based on ray structure and hardness.

    • ejmeier July 30, 2014 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Don’t know of any database specifically for South American timbers. If it’s solid wood, your best bet is to examine the endgrain.

  212. Dion April 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Can anyone tell what kind of wood this might be based on the pattern shown. It’s a couple pics of an antique hutch I believe to have been made in the early 1990s

    • ejmeier April 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm - Reply

      First pic looks a bit like quartersawn white oak, stained dark brown. No clue on the second picture.

    • LynJa J Malon'e June 8, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

      They very top piece I believe to be Plywood stained,#2, piece I believe it to be to be Oak, The decorative piece is pine, the unfinished front piece, also pine, side ufinshed piece birch, and the piece is Maple.

    • Jason Montell July 25, 2016 at 7:56 am - Reply

      Chestnut or butternut

  213. KIERAN London October 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply
  214. Kurt August 24, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m not sure how old this desk is, I bought it from an estate sale. Any ideas on what kind of wood?

    Thanks in advance,


  215. jane August 24, 2013 at 4:44 am - Reply

    This is a closer photo of the wood.

  216. jane August 24, 2013 at 4:42 am - Reply

    Hii am thinking of sanding and painting my fire suround. I would like to know the correct wayto do this and I would also like to know what type of wood it is.

  217. Ted August 21, 2013 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Rose, 99.9% sure that it is Oak. There is a .01% chance it’s Ash with a golden oak stain on it, but highly unlikely. This isn’t one of those mystery wood situations, pretty straightforward diagnosis. (also called a no-brainer) there are, however 147 or so different varieties of oak, “white, red, blackjack, live, laurel, silk, etc, etc” and no one can really tell you which one it is. Default with White Oak, or Red Oak. Since your table & chairs are yellow, and not red, you’re pretty safe with white oak, and a “golden oak” stain. Look under the table or chairs for any unstained wood, it should be very light beige.

  218. Rose August 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks Ted are you sure?

  219. Ted August 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Blam – where did you come from? Nobody’s making any trash cabinets here, we’re trying to identify wood species for novices. Crawl back inside your formica and particle board bomb-shelter and take a couple more hits off your bong, dude. Chill out.

  220. Ted August 19, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Rose – Oak

  221. Donna August 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Found this coffee table and stripped it- it has wavy wood on the outside of it-can you tell me what it is?

  222. Blamminski August 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    You so called furniture makers and cabinet builders should be ashamed of the garbage materials you use.

  223. Cassi August 14, 2013 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Oh sorry about the neck will get some close ups in morning thankyou very much

  224. Rose August 14, 2013 at 3:09 am - Reply

    Can anyone tell me what type of wood this is?

  225. Ted August 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Cassi – One guest to another, quite often one will find older chairs made with several different kinds of wood, particularly when containing carved or turned wood, including birch, maple, oak, walnut, and cherry. Yours could be any or several of these.
    Nice scroll on the arm.
    Photo too vague to make a determination. Resubmit your request with closeups made with a real camera.
    My neck is hurting from looking at this sideways photo, try a different angle.

  226. Cassi August 12, 2013 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Hi there wondering if you could please tell me what tis wood may be sooo heavy and old so I’m told thanks

  227. Katherine August 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    And another:

  228. Katherine August 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Hi, I picked up this giant piece of raw wood in Upstate New York which I intend to use to make shelves. The guy who sold it to me said someone told him it’s ‘butternut’ wood but he seemed pretty unsure (I didn’t know what this was). Can someone help me identify it?


  229. Marie August 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Oops meant hello Ted, lol

  230. Marie August 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Hello Bob, thank you for responding. Here is another photo close up. I did press a nail into the wood and it left a mark a small one but its ere…this frame is not heavy either if that helps.

  231. damian August 8, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply


    Any idea what this wood might be I know its a long shot!

    thanks in advance


  232. Ted August 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Bob – looks like Fir to me, Hemlock looks very similar, too

    Marie – it might have held two equally sized mirrors that pivoted in the center for a makeup mirror – with some kind of pin locks on the long sides?
    The last photo is the only one I’d make a guess from, and I’d say mahogany. If you were to take a super closup of the chip in the top left corner of your first “collage”, that might give a better hint. No hovering, all 4 shots expand into one larger replica of the collage. Might have been better to upload separately like the last shot.
    Redwood is very soft, you should be able to leave a dent in it with a fingernail. Mahogany is much harder, and a fingernail wouldn’t leave a mark.
    Look at Brad S’s photo above from Feb 6th, the crazy graining his boards exhibit are what I’m seeing in your last photo.
    Look up redwood on this site at
    Your wood doesn’t look like the photo of redwood.

  233. Marie August 7, 2013 at 6:16 am - Reply


  234. Marie August 7, 2013 at 6:15 am - Reply

    Another close up…it has four holes along one side if the four foot length, and two holes adjacent to each other in the middle along the two foot it may have been something that rotated?

  235. Marie August 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    Hello, I was told that this is a vintage redwood frame. It appears to have maybe fit over a dresser, but no place to insert a mirror. the craftsmanship is ornate and it is about 4 feet tall by 2.5 feet . I have created a collage and you should be able to hover over the photos.if not I will godly snap more. I took thee in regular daylight. Please let me know if anyone can identify this. Thank you.

  236. Bob August 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I’m trying to identify what type of wood this is. Any help would be be appreciated. Thanks!

  237. Ted July 10, 2013 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Katherine: Pine
    I hope all persons planning on posting a photo see the difference between the colors depending on what the light source is. Amazing…

  238. katherine July 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me figure out what type of wood this is, the first is with flash the second has the flash off. Thank you

  239. Simon July 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks, guys, for your expertise and thoughts.

  240. Deb July 7, 2013 at 7:14 am - Reply


    trying to id the wood used to frame windows and doors in my home. seller wasn’t sure. thought it was oak but have never seen this color exactly.

  241. Eric July 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Simon, its hard to tell from just the pictures. I think in nearly all cases of softwood ID, it’s important to to be able to confirm/deny the presence of resin canals. I can’t really say definitively from your pictures, but you having a firsthand look, should be able to tell. Check out this article:

  242. Ted July 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    HA. Cedar doesn’t smell like urine – that’s from the hamsters….

  243. Simon July 5, 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Sniffing around the internet, the grey coloration makes me think hemlock, but the high contrast and style of grain makes me think douglas fir. I think, Ted, you might’ve got it. And you might be right about the burn damage. (The knot popped out while I was planing and disappeared off my apartment balcony!)

    As for weathering, I would assume that it would be weathered only on the first few mm of surface, but this was grey throughout.

    And I can’t say I’ve ever smelled a hope chest. I incline away from the cedar idea. I’ve smelled a lot of cedar before and it’s not as urine-like as that.

  244. Ted July 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Simon- Does the wood smell like hamster litter or a Hope Chest? Western Red Cedar or maybe White Cedar – I haven’t been around that as much as red cedar.
    Does it smell like Pine-Sol or a Xmas tree? Southern Yellow Pine.

    It looks like old-growth (you said it was reclaimed wood, so it could be really old) – cut from a virgin stand of timber, thus the close-set rings. The 1st photo makes me think cedar, because of the way the knots look, and the graining in that & photo #3. But if it’s gray color is from weathering, it could be pine, cypress, or Fir. The smell will tell.

    Cypress or Fir have a nice clean aromas when cut, but I don’t know what to compare them to.

    Pine would be much heavier – maybe 3 times as heavy as cypress 2.5 times heavier than cedar, and about twice as much as Fir/Hemlock.

    After much cogitation, I’m going with Fir. If so, the knots are unusual. Fir is sold now as “clear fir” with no knots at all, whereas your “old” board is gnarly with knots. Photo 1 even looks like some burn damage in the lower left corner? The end grain photos and Photo 3 have leaned me in that direction.

    You may have to wait for Eric the Expert to chime in for a definitive opinion.

  245. Eric July 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    @El It’s very hard to tell, but the exterior wood appears to be a medium to coarse grained wood. Definitely not cherry, but it could be Jatoba (aka Brazilian Cherry) — or a zillion other hardwoods that are reddish brown and have medium to large open pores. I doubt it’s rosewood, color and grain looks wrong. Knowing the source of where the chest was made might help.

  246. Eric July 4, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    To all who are getting continuing notifications of updated comments and would like to delete them: please follow the link in the email for “manage my subscriptions” and then do three things:
    -check the box on the left that lists the date and page you subscribed to (important!)
    -check the circular button that says “delete”
    -click on “update subscriptions,” and you should be removed!

  247. Simon July 4, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    and endgrain:

  248. Simon July 4, 2013 at 11:02 am - Reply

    the other piece…

  249. Simon July 4, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    I’ll post a few more pics:

  250. Simon July 4, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

    Hi Eric,
    I just made a little shelf in my kitchen using some reclaimed cut off from a place I volunteered at. Not sure what type of wood I used. :) Maybe you can help. Smelled lovely to work with. I’ve assumed from the colour that both pieces are from the same species. Not sure how old. I finished it with Clapham’s furniture polish (beeswax/carnauba)which upped the contrast in the grain, but didn’t change much the colour.

  251. John July 3, 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Please Eric, could you delete my subscription!!! I’m inundated with all these unrelated follow-up emails!! I’ve tried to delete it a couple of times, but without success. Thanks, John.

  252. El July 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Eric, yes I believe that is the smell. And I believe the chest is for storing clothing.

    What about the exterior? Do you think it is a cherry or rosewood?

  253. Eric July 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    @El Does it smell somewhat like Vick’s VapoRub? At first glance it looked like a type of cedar or juniper, but looking closer the wood is clearly grainy with open pores, meaning a hardwood.
    My first guess would be Camphor for the interior lining, or maybe Spanish Cedar (not a true softwood/cedar), though the color and streaks don’t seem to match Spanish Cedar’s generally bland appearance.

  254. El July 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Here is a close-up of an unfinished piece of the outside of the trunk. The color has a bit more red than the picture shows.

  255. El July 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Here is a close-up of the inside.

  256. El July 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am attempting to ID the wood in my chest/ trunk. It appears that the wood on the outside is different from the inside. Inside has a very sweet, distinctive smell.

    Here is a picture of the inside.

  257. Ted June 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Ben, super job matching veneers! Glad I could help. Definitely post finished product.

    Keith, can’t tell, not enough detail. Well, really NO detail at all. The enlargement feature on the web page gives the same size photo as what’s on the page. It’s just a blur of brownish yaya. Maple is an educated guess for the purpose you’ve stated, strong, heavy, dense wood. Light colored. Need to get that Macro fixed, or borrow a camera from a bud.

  258. keith June 29, 2013 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I would like to identify some lumber salvaged from crates transporting heavy chains. The shipment came from Maine, USA. The lumber has some weight to it, so I’m assuming it’s semi-hard or hard wood. My best guess is maple. My camera macro feature isn’t working well, so I apologize for the picture closeness. Any opinions are welcome and I thank you in advance.

  259. ben June 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    It is 1920’s to 1940’s… (it took along time for surfboards to evolve from this).

    Tom Blake was on Duke Kahanamoku’s Olympic Gold Medal Swim Team (Duke, a Hawaiian, is considered the father of the sport of surfing)

    Blake revolutionized the sport with his hollow board designs cutting the weight of the boards from maybe 120lbs to 40lbs, and later again as he is credited for the application of fins to surfboards.

  260. ben June 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    It was an $80 barn find. I could probably get $1000+ for it when it is all done, but will hold on to it for my future grand children.

    Original, unrestored & in fair to good condition these go for an easy $2000 to $20,000 depending on model & maker.

    (Tom Blake is the quintessential designer of these days & though this is missing the plug (or emblem), it is likely either made by one of 3 companies he licensed to reproduce his designs, or a good copy of one of his patents)

    P.S. Thanks for the expert advice. Look how great we matched the veneer… (will post finished photos soon)

  261. Ted June 28, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    So this is a 1920’s surf board? Sweeeeet.
    That’s way before the Hawaiian influence on WWII vets and the California wave craze.
    I’m thinking Antiques Roadshow, that baby’s GOT to be worth some cashola.

  262. ben June 27, 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I think I may have possibly located the actual model (so possibly actually from the 40’s) see attached (though this one was made of redwood there were a few different companies manufacturing Tom Blake’s designs in those days)

  263. ben June 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much. Here is the before photo, & I will be posting the after later. (p.s. looks like it was later turned to a lifeguard board with a faint “lifeguard blue” paint still visible. I am restoring it to what I think was it’s previous condition (hopefully). This would probably be a “Bordeaux” dark reddish brown as which was traditional in that day….

  264. Ted June 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Ben – 1st photo looks like yellow pine rotary cut plywood veneer, or possibly fir, 2nd photo looks like a regular fir or hemlock board, but could be pine also. It’s got a lot of age going for it. Good closeup, though. Now I want to see what the whole thing looks like, even if that sounds kooky.

  265. ben June 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    ….also here is the tail block which would be neat to identify as well. Thanks.

  266. ben June 26, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    I am restoring a 1920’s hollow surf/paddle board (called a kook box). Am attaching a picture of the veneer (or early plywood) which I am trying to identify & fix a missing section of the board. Thanks. (GREAT SITE)

  267. Lara June 17, 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply


    I believe the mirror used to sit on top of a sideboard/buffet, and it would have been mounted with the shelf on the top and mirror underneath. I’ve done some research, and the piece dates back to around the 1890’s and early 1900’s. I wish I could have seen the sideboard it was originally made to go with. Thanks so much for your input!

  268. Ted June 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    John, I’m going to guess at Pecan.

    Lara, Hard to see, but I’m going to guess quarter sawn oak with a dark walnut stain. The 3rd photo, the 1×3 at the bottom(?) looks like QSO & so does the veneer on the left of the same photo. 1st photo, top left, looks like oak there, too. This piece has seen some hard use. Is this a shelf with a mirror under it? Hard to determine it’s purpose. 2nd photo, the veneer on the scrollwork looks like QSO, that the craftsman put there (where it was highly visible) to accentuate the scrollwork, probably because the end or edgegrain of the underlying wood wasn’t as pretty as the veneer.

  269. Lara June 17, 2013 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    And here is a third showing more grain patterns….

  270. Lara June 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Here is another angle of the first photo….

  271. Lara June 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I’m trying to identify what kind of wood my antique mirror may be. It’s a very heavy piece, and the veneer is starting to peel. I can see wood grain underneath where it has peeled already. I have more photos I can post as well. Thank you!

  272. El June 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks Eric. Here is a pic of the unfinished, underside of the table. It looks a lot like the Black or Tropical walnut.

  273. Eric June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Okay, I change my guess to walnut. Looking closer at the face grain of the main panels, it appears to have a subtle gradation of pore size which would indicate a semi-ring-porous wood like walnut. (Plus the color matches better.) The outside border still looks like olive ash burl, but could possibly be a light-colored walnut burl.

  274. Ted June 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Lisa, Fungus (or …Fungi, if you want to be technical)

  275. Eric June 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    @El That looks like ash to me. I’d say the border is olive ash burl, and the rest could possibly be ash veneer.