Need a new search?

If you didn't find what you were looking for, try a new search!

Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce (Picea abies) Common Name(s): Norway Spruce, European Spruce, German Spruce Scientific Name: Picea abies Distribution: Northern and central Europe Tree Size: 115-180 ft (35-55 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 25 lbs/ft3 (405 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .32, .41 Janka Hardness: 380 lbf (1,680 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,130 lbf/in2 (63.0 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,406,000 lbf/in2 (9.70 GPa)...

Black Spruce

Black Spruce (Picea mariana) Common Name(s): Black Spruce Scientific Name: Picea mariana Distribution: Northern North America Tree Size: 30-50 ft (10-15 m) tall, 1-1.5 ft (.3-.5 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3 (450 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .38, .45 Janka Hardness: 520 lbf (2,320 N) Modulus of Rupture: 10,100 lbf/in2 (69.7 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,523,000 lbf/in2 (10.50 GPa) Crushing Strength: 5,410 lbf/in2...

Separating Spruce and Other Lookalikes

by Eric Meier Spruce is a softwood with a good strength-to-weight ratio, as is favored in aircraft construction; it's excellent acoustic properties make it a popular choice for many acoustic musical instrument tops, such as violins or guitars. When dealing with Spruce (Picea genus), there are a few main species and groupings that help to sort things out. Eastern Spruce Sitka Spruce Species: Black Spruce (Picea mariana) Red Spruce (Picea rubens) White Spruce (Picea glauca) Additionally, the following species of Spruce are technically not "Eastern" in their provenance, but still share all or most of the same characteristics: Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) (Engelmann Spruce can sometimes be distinguished on the basis of its lighter weight and more abrupt earlywood to latewood transition.) Norway Spruce (Picea abies) Species: Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) (Of all the species of spruce, the only one that can be reliably separated from other species on the basis of macroscopic features is Sitka Spruce.) Characteristics: Sapwood and heartwood are usually indistinguishable, and tend to be a uniform cream color or yellowish color. Resin canals are small and infrequent, sometimes in tangential groups. Tracheid diameter small, with a fine texture. Characteristics: Sapwood is a cream or yellow color, but heartwood can sometimes have [...]

Red Spruce

Red Spruce (Picea rubens) Common Name(s): Red Spruce, Adirondack Spruce Scientific Name: Picea rubens Distribution: Eastern North America Tree Size: 80-110 ft (24-34 m) tall, 2-4.5 ft (.6-1.4 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 27 lbs/ft3 (435 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .37, .43 Janka Hardness: 490 lbf (2,180 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,580 lbf/in2 (66.0 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,560,000 lbf/in2 (10.76 GPa) Crushing Strength:...

Sitka Spruce

...Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) Common Name(s): Sitka Spruce...

Engelmann Spruce

Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) Common Name(s): Engelmann Spruce Scientific Name: Picea engelmannii Distribution: Western North America Tree Size: 130 ft (40 m) tall, 3 ft (1 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 24 lbs/ft3 (385 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .33, .39 Janka Hardness: 390 lbf (1,740 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,010 lbf/in2 (62.2 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,369,000 lbf/in2 (9.44 GPa) Crushing Strength: 4,560 lbf/in2...

White Spruce

...White Spruce (Picea glauca) Common Name(s): White Spruce...

Spruce Pine

Spruce Pine (P. clausa pictured) Common Name(s): Spruce Pine Scientific Name: Pinus glabra Distribution: Southeastern United States (coastal plain) Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (525 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .42, .52 Janka Hardness: 700 lbf (3,110 N) Modulus of Rupture: 10,300 lbf/in2 (71.0 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,405,000 lbf/in2 (9.69 GPa) Crushing...

WOOD! book: Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide

NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON  272 Pages8.5" x 11" page size (22 cm x 28 cm).Full color throughout; Hundreds of images. HardcoverWith a sewn binding and jacket-less design to stand up to the rigors of nearly any wood shop. $35 PriceRobust, trusted ordering through Amazon. Free domestic shipping; reasonable int’l rates.* Over 350 woods coveredOver 100 full-page wood profilesOver 100 half-page wood profilesData on over 150 related species * Shipping currently not available to Canada or Australia. WOOD SPECIES COVERED IN THE BOOK Full-page profile Half-page profile Mechanical data listed European Silver Fir (Abies alba) Pacific Silver Fir (Abies amabilis) Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) White Fir (Abies concolor) Grand Fir (Abies grandis) Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) California Red Fir (Abies magnifica) Noble Fir (Abies procera) Gidgee (Acacia cambagei) Koa (Acacia koa) Mangium (Acacia mangium) Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) Yarran (Acacia omalophylla) [...]

Worldwide Woods, a new poster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjAfSffIQdA Temporarily unavailable! Please use the email signup list below to be notified as soon as the poster becomes available for sale. Over 500 worldwide woods pictured 24" wide (61 cm) x 36" tall (91 cm) Divided into 8 geographical regions $30 (shipped by Amazon.com) Alder, Red (Alnus rubra) Ash, Black (Fraxinus nigra) Ash, Green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Ash, White (Fraxinus americana) Aspen, Bigtooth (Populus grandidentata) Aspen, Quaking (Populus tremuloides) Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) Basswood (Tilia americana) Beech, American (Fagus grandifolia) Birch, Paper (Betula papyrifera) Birch, Yellow (Betula alleghaniensis) Box Elder (Acer negundo) Buckeye, Yellow (Aesculus flava) Buckthorn, Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana) Butternut (Juglans cinerea) Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) Cedar, Atlantic White (Chamaecyparis thyoides) Cedar, Eastern Red (Juniperus virginiana) Cedar, Incense (Calocedrus decurrens) Cedar, Northern White (Thuja occidentalis) Cedar, Port Orford (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) Cedar, Western Red (Thuja plicata) Cedar, Yellow (Cupressus nootkatensis) Cherry, Black (Prunus serotina) Chestnut, American (Castanea dentata) Chinkapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) [...]

Softwood Anatomy

by Eric Meier ©Amidst the daunting jungle of hardwood species, (where there are several hundred commercial species used worldwide, with many thousands more that are intermittently seen in woodworking applications), the world of conifers is much more limited. With perhaps only a few dozen chief species worldwide, and only a few hundred species (rather than thousands) that are ever harvested for wood, softwoods represent a comparatively smaller percentage of the diversity seen in wood.However, softwoods are also much simpler than hardwoods in their anatomical features, so there are far fewer clues to help identify them. Consequently, macroscopic softwood identification is usually less conclusive, and many times will only result in more broad or generic identifications, such as, pine (Pinus spp.) or spruce (Picea spp.), rather than determining an exact species.The primary distinguishing feature between softwoods and hardwoods is that softwood species lack pores. So upon initial examination of an unknown wood sample, the most immediate detail to note is whether or not the endgrain section has numerous circular openings—commonly referred to as vessels or pores.With hardwoods, the most conspicuous anatomical feature is the pores, which serves to initially separate hardwoods based upon the various distributions of their pores. However, because softwoods are poreless, [...]

Balsam Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > balsamea Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) Common Name(s): Balsam firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Northeastern North AmericaTree Size: 40-65 ft (12-20 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 25 lbs/ft3 (400 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .33, .40Janka Hardness: 400 lbf (1,780 N)Modulus of Rupture: 8,800 lbf/in2 (60.7 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,387,000 lbf/in2 (9.57 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,000 lbf/in2 (34.5 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 2.4 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood. Color tends to darken with age.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: No characteristic odor.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Balsam fir is used as construction lumber and is commonly grouped together with other species of spruce and pine [...]

State Trees of the United States

StateState treeScientific Name Alabama Longleaf Pine Pinus palustris Alaska Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis Arizona Blue Palo Verde Parkinsonia florida Arkansas Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda California Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Sequoia sempervirens and Sequoiadendron giganteum Colorado Blue Spruce Picea pungens Connecticut White Oak Quercus alba District of Columbia Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea Delaware American Holly Ilex opaca Florida Cabbage Palmetto Sabal palmetto Georgia Live Oak Quercus virginiana Hawaii Candlenut Tree Aleurites moluccana Idaho Western White Pine Pinus monticola Illinois White Oak Quercus alba Indiana Tulip Poplar Liriodendron tulipifera Iowa Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa Kansas Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides Kentucky Tulip Poplar Liriodendron tulipifera Louisiana Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum Maine Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus Maryland White Oak Quercus alba Massachusetts American Elm Ulmus americana Michigan Eastern White Pine Pinus strobus Minnesota Red Pine Pinus resinosa Mississippi Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora Missouri Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida Montana Ponderosa Pine Pinus ponderosa Nebraska Eastern Cottonwood Populus deltoides Nevada Single-leaf Pinyon & Bristlecone pine Pinus monophylla & Pinus longaeva New Hampshire Paper Birch Betula papyrifera New Jersey Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra New Mexico Pinyon Pine Pinus edulis New York Sugar Maple Acer saccharum North Carolina Pine Pinus North Dakota American Elm Ulmus [...]

Red Pine

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) Common Name(s): Red Pine, Norway Pine Scientific Name: Pinus resinosa Distribution: Northeastern North America Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 34 lbs/ft3 (545 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .41, .55 Janka Hardness: 560 lbf (2,490 N) Modulus of Rupture: 11,000 lbf/in2 (75.9 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,630,000 lbf/in2 (11.24 GPa) Crushing Strength: 6,070...

Abies

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies Example species (Abies alba) Common Name(s): FirDistribution: Primarily in mountainous/high-altitude regions worldwide.Genus Size: About 50 species (see available species listing)Mechanical Characteristics: Low density and hardness; generally good strength-to-weight ratio. Visual Characteristics: Generally light-colored reddish heartwood that isn't well demarcated from the sapwood. Identification: Although Abies is in the Pinaceae family, firs lack resin canals—except in the case of trauma. Hemlock (Tsuga spp.) is difficult to differentiate from fir species: both have similar color, grain, and weight. Both lack resin canals and have little to no discernible scent. Spruce (Picea spp.) and pine (Pinus spp.) are two similar-looking softwoods that can also be confused with fir. However, these two genera both feature resin canals (and pine has a distinct odor), which helps to separate them from fir. Comments: Abies is the genus that contains all true fir species. Note that Douglas-fir is in the Pseudotsuga genus and is actually more closely related to larch (Larix genus) than fir. Interior Construction Lumber: Since species of fir have very poor resistance to decay and insect attack, they are generally used for interior construction purposes. They are usually mixed with other species of spruce (Picea) and pine (Pinus) with similar mechanical characteristics and sold [...]

Subalpine Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > lasiocarpa Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) Common Name(s): Subapline firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Mountainous regions of eastern North AmericaTree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 33 lbs/ft3 (530 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .33, .53Janka Hardness: 350 lbf (1,560 N)Modulus of Rupture: 8,420 lbf/in2 (58.0 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,324,000 lbf/in2 (9.13 GPa)Crushing Strength: 4,910 lbf/in2 (33.9 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 2.8 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Subalpine fir is used as construction lumber and is commonly grouped together with other species of spruce [...]

Bow Woods (From A Mathematical Perspective)

by Eric MeierDisclaimer: I am neither a bowyer/archer nor a materials scientist/engineer. The data and ideas presented in this article are by no means meant to be considered authoritative or precisely correlated to real-world situations. The purpose of the article is simply to foster imagination and exploration in the area of bow woods and what does/does not constitute a good bow wood.Archery bows present a somewhat unique challenge in finding the right requirements for the best wood. In the simplest and crudest terms possible, the wood should be able to bend, but not break. With all of the data available on the Wood Database, there's no single measurement that directly indicates a wood's ability to bend easily without breaking. Instead, it is primarily a combination of two values: the wood's modulus of elasticity (also known as MOE), and the modulus of rupture (also known as MOR).Again, dealing in the simplest terms:The modulus of elasticity (MOE) measures how easily a wood will bend, (the higher the number, the more stubborn and stiff it will be).The modulus of rupture (MOR) measures how easily the wood will break, (the higher the numer, the harder it is to break or rupture).In terms of looking at the raw mechanical data of [...]

European Silver Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > alba European silver fir (Abies alba) Common Name(s): European silver firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Mountainous regions of EuropeTree Size: 100-150 ft (30-46 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3 (415 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .32, .42Janka Hardness: 320 lbf (1,420 N)Modulus of Rupture: 9,590 lbf/in2 (66.1 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,200,000 lbf/in2 (8.28 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,950 lbf/in2 (41.0 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 2.2 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: No characteristic odor.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Prices should be moderate throughout its natural range in Europe when harvested for construction [...]

Pacific Silver Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > amabilis Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) Common Name(s): Pacific silver firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Pacific Northwest region of North AmericaTree Size: 100-200 ft (30-60 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 27 lbs/ft3 (435 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .43Janka Hardness: 430 lbf (1,910 N)Modulus of Rupture: 10,240 lbf/in2 (70.6 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,681,000 lbf/in2 (11.59 GPa)Crushing Strength: 6,060 lbf/in2 (41.8 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: 13.0%, T/R Ratio: 2.1 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform, medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: No characteristic odor.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Pacific silver fir is used as construction lumber and is commonly grouped together with other species [...]

California Red Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > magnifica California red fir (Abies magnifica) Common Name(s): California red fir, silvertip fir, red firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Primarily Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, but also in southwest OregonTree Size: 100-150 ft (30-45 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 27 lbs/ft3 (435 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .36, .43Janka Hardness: 500 lbf (2,220 N)Modulus of Rupture: 10,370 lbf/in2 (71.5 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,483,000 lbf/in2 (10.23 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,410 lbf/in2 (37.3 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 1.8 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though some drying defects may be present or occur while drying the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood [...]

Noble Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > procera Noble fir (Abies procera) Common Name(s): Noble firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Pacific Northwest region of the United StatesTree Size: 100-180 ft (30-55 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3 (415 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .37, .42Janka Hardness: 410 lbf (1,820 N)Modulus of Rupture: 10,790 lbf/in2 (74.4 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,619,000 lbf/in2 (11.17 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,730 lbf/in2 (39.5 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 1.9 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though some drying defects may be present or occur while drying the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Noble fir is used as construction lumber and [...]

Pinaceae

The Pinaceae family contains many of the most well known softwood genera and species in North America. It contains pine, spruce, fir, and hemlock, just to name a few.Genera in the Pinaceae family  Abies (fir) Cedrus (cedar) Larix (larch) Picea (spruce) Pinus (pine) Pseudotsuga (douglas-fir) Tsuga (hemlock)

Grand Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > grandis Grand fir (Abies grandis) Common Name(s): Grand firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Northwestern United States and southern British ColumbiaTree Size: 100-200 ft (30-60 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1-1.2 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 28 lbs/ft3 (450 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .35, .45Janka Hardness: 490 lbf (2,180 N)Modulus of Rupture: 8,740 lbf/in2 (60.3 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,530,000 lbf/in2 (10.55 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,200 lbf/in2 (35.9 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: tangential_shrinkage %, Volumetric: 11.0%, T/R Ratio: 2.2 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though some drying defects may be present or occur while drying the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: Grand fir [...]

Pine Wood: An Overall Guide

by Eric MeierPine is pine, right? Not quite. There's quite a range in density and strength when it comes to the Pinus genus. Take one of the species of southern yellow pine, Shortleaf Pine, for instance: it has strength properties that are roughly equivalent to Red Oak (with the notable exception of hardness)—and in some categories, such as compression strength parallel to the grain, the pine is actually stronger!Yet there are also a lot of types of pine that are considerably weaker, and while they certainly have a prominent place in the construction industry, by using all species interchangeably with the generic name "pine," we create a very inaccurate picture of this interesting wood genus!It can help to know what you've really got, so let's go over some of the key types of pine seen today:The Soft PinesThis group is characterized by pines with a low density, even grain, and a gradual earlywood to latewood transition. Species within this group can’t be reliably separated from one another, but it can be helpful to recognize their features in order to distinguish them from the hard pines.There are three principal species of soft pine:Sugar Pine (Pinus lambertiana)Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)Eastern White Pine (Pinus [...]

Wood Allergies and Toxicity

by Eric Meier "Not to omit any one of them, the yew is similar to these other trees in general appearance . . . It is an ascertained fact that travellers' vessels, made in Gaul of this wood, for the purpose of holding wine, have caused the death of those who used them." –Pliny the Elder, from Naturalis Historia, ca. 77 AD Looking at the above quotation, (taken from a writing nearly two thousand years old), ought to bring—at the very least—a small bit of respect and attention to the matter of safety as it pertains to wood toxicity. If this subject has been known and reported as "ascertained fact" since ancient history, how much more ought we to take heed in modern times, considering that we have so many more well-developed means of communication and testing? Wood Toxicity and Allergen Chart Below you'll find a chart of various wood species, along with their reported effects and properties. The information on this chart has been compiled from many sources, with references given at the bottom. When viewing the chart, please keep the follow in mind: Just because any given wood is not listed on the chart, does not mean that [...]

The Periodic Table of Wood

Woods featured on the poster: [expand title="NORTH AMERICA (27 species)"] Alder, Red Ash, White Baldcypress Basswood Birch, Yellow Box Elder Butternut Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar, Western Red Cherry, Black Chestnut, American Elm, Red Fir, Douglas Hickory, Shagbark Locust, Black Maple, Hard Oak, Red Oak, White Osage Orange Pine, Southern Yellow Poplar, Yellow Redwood Sassafras Spruce, Sitka Sycamore Walnut, Black Walnut, Claro [/expand] [expand title="CENTRAL AMERICA (20 species)"] Balsa Bocote Cedar, Spanish Chakte Viga Chechen Cocobolo Goncalo Alves Jatoba Katalox Kingwood Leopardwood Lignum Vitae Mahogany, Honduran Mahogany, Santos Monkeypod Primavera Purpleheart Redheart Rosewood, Honduran Ziricote [/expand] [expand title="SOUTH AMERICA (18 species)"] Bloodwood Canarywood Cebil Cumaru Greenheart Imbuia Ipe Lacewood Macacauba Marblewood Mesquite, Black Pau Ferro Rosewood, Brazilian Snakewood Tulipwood Verawood Walnut, Peruvian Yellowheart [/expand] [expand title="EUROPE (13 species)"] Ash, European Beech, European Birch, Masur Boxwood Cedar of Lebanon Elm, Wych Oak, English Olive Plane, London Spruce, Norway Sycamore Maple Walnut, English Yew, English [/expand] [expand title="AFRICA (20 species)"] Afrormosia Afzelia Anigre Blackwood, African Bubinga Ebony, Gaboon Iroko Limba Mahogany, African Makore Mansonia Movingui Muninga Ovangkol Padauk Pink Ivory Sapele Walnut, [...]

Jack Pine

Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) Common Name(s): Jack Pine Scientific Name: Pinus banksiana Distribution: Canada and northern United States Tree Size: 50-80 ft (15-24 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6m) trunk diameter Average Dried Weight: 31 lbs/ft3 (500 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .50 Janka Hardness: 570 lbf (2,540 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,900 lbf/in2 (68.3 MPa) Elastic Modulus: 1,350,000 lbf/in2 (9.31 GPa) Crushing Strength: 5,660 lbf/in2...

White Fir

> Softwoods > Pinaceae > Abies > concolor White fir (Abies concolor) Common Name(s): White firScientific Name: scientific_name Distribution: Mountainous regions of western United StatesTree Size: 120-180 ft (37-55 m) tall, 4-6 ft (1.2-1.8 m) trunk diameterAverage Dried Weight: 26 lbs/ft3 (415 kg/m3)Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .37, .42Janka Hardness: 480 lbf (2,140 N)Modulus of Rupture: 9,700 lbf/in2 (66.9 MPa)Elastic Modulus: 1,485,000 lbf/in2 (10.24 GPa)Crushing Strength: 5,740 lbf/in2 (39.6 MPa)Shrinkage: Radial: radial_shrinkage %, Tangential: 7.0%, Volumetric: volumetric_shrinkage %, T/R Ratio: 2.1 More images | Identification Color/Appearance: Heartwood is usually white to reddish brown, with pale sapwood that isn't clearly distinguished from the heartwood.Grain/Texture: Grain is straight, with a uniform medium-coarse texture.Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable regarding decay resistance, with little resistance to insect attacks.Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though some drying defects may be present or occur while drying the wood. Glues, stains, and finishes well.Odor: Generally has no odor, though some pieces may have an unpleasant scent when green.Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, fir in the Abies genus has been reported to cause skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.Pricing/Availability: White [...]

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Common Name(s): Lodgepole Pine, Shore Pine Scientific Name: Pinus contorta Distribution: Western North America Tree Size: 65-100 ft (20-30 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter; size varies widely depending upon subspecies Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3 (465 kg/m3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .38, .47 Janka Hardness: 480 lbf (2,140 N) Modulus of Rupture: 9,400 lbf/in2 (64.8 MPa) Elastic Modulus:...

What is Wood?

by Eric Meier Hardwoods and Softwoods Tree Growth Sapwood and Heartwood Surfaces of Wood Grain Appearance Rays It’s common knowledge that wood comes from trees. What may not be so apparent is the structure of the wood itself, and the individual components that make up any given piece of lumber. Unlike a mostly homogenous piece of foamboard, MDF, or other man-made material, wood is an organic material, and has many distinct characteristics which will be helpful to learn. Hardwoods and Softwoods An immediate and broad distinction that can be made between types of trees (and wood) is the label of hardwood or softwood. This is somewhat of a misnomer, as the label is actually just a separation between angiosperms (flowering plants such as maple, oak, or rosewood), and conifers (cone-bearing trees such as pine, spruce, or fir). Hardwoods (angiosperms) have broad-leaved foliage, and tend to be deciduous—that is, they lose their leaves in the autumn. (However, many tropical hardwood species exist which are evergreen—they maintain their leaves year-round.) Additionally, hardwood trees tend to have a branched or divided trunk, referred to as a dendritic form. This White Oak tree—with a branching form, and leaves that drop in the autumn—is [...]