Wood Identification Guide

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 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.

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.

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 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. Observe the wood grain.

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:

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.

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

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 its history.

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.

Despite its discoloration and wear, it’s very likely that this rolling pin is made of hard maple.

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/sides, yet due to CITES restrictions placed upon that species, East Indian rosewood became a much more common species on newer guitars. (And this is a continuing shift as newer replacements are sought for rosewoods altogether.)

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, in the United States: 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.

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.

Black Locust: fluorescence (under blacklight)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) glows a bright yellow-green when placed under a blacklight.

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:

I. 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.

II. 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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III. 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, you’ve got a few options for next steps:

USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory

You can mail your physical wood samples to the Center for Wood Anatomy Research

Pros:

  • Free
  • Professional wood identification

Cons:

  • Only available to US citizens
  • Slow turnaround times (up to a month or more)
  • Limited to three IDs per year

See their Wood ID Factsheet for more info.

Alden Identification Service

You can mail your physical wood samples (even small sections taken from antiques) to Alden Identification Service.

Pros:

  • Professional wood identification
  • Faster turnaround times (ranging from a few days to a week or two)

Cons:

  • Paid service

See their ordering page for more info. (Note that Harry Alden has written several books while at USDA, including both Hardwoods and Softwoods of North America.)

Ask for help online

If the wood ID is merely a curiosity, or non-critical, you can post pictures of the wood in question.

Pros:

  • Free
  • No need to send physical samples

Cons:

  • Greatly limited by the quality of the pictures provided
  • Extra work usually required to get adequate clarity in photos

See article of Common US Hardwoods to help find the most commonly used woods.

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 Amazon.com 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.
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James

hello, could you please give a wack at identifying this door handle, from an Outback Steakhouse. Lightly sanded with a coat of polyurethane. I would greatly appreciate any help. ??

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Desert southwest
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James

Thank u ?? so much. I really appreciate you. I get a lot of red oak, when doing a search . Is that what you think this is or maybe white?

James

Thank you for the help. I really appreciate you. Have an awesome day.

Jake Limpf

Hi Eric,

thanks for the article, it is very informative! Hoping you can help identify the wood type used in an old family desk. It’s about 150 years old and originally came from New England. It’s been stained, but I’ve also included a photo from the inside.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
New England
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s Sherry

Hello Eric, I have failed to identify exactly what this hardwood flooring is as I need to match it to finish the flooring now I’m short!! Any chance your trained eye can identify. Its in the UK south and out of a 1920’s house. I’m thinking Rosewood, teak or mahogany? Could you cast your opinion. Many thanks, would help my search.

Steve London

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
UK
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Christine

Hi Eric, hoping you can help again with identifying what this chair is made of? I’ve taken as many, hopefully, helpful pictures as I can. There are 4 of these ladder back chairs which went around the dining table you helped identify a few weeks ago. Many thanks once again, Christine

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Yorkshire, England
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Christine

Many thanks once again Eric

Chris

Can anybody please tell what type of wood these floor boards are. We just sanded them back

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
I am in Australia
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Ron H

Hello

I am very new to this and i found myself making a countertop redwood

I would like the wood master identify this wood and if you can let me know what is price range
tips and guide for woods wholesale and resin is well appreciated

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
CA
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DONNY MURRAY

NEED HELP IDENTIFYING WOOD USED ON THIS OLD HOUSE IN SOUTH CAROLINA,IT’S ALL WOOD INSIDE AND OUT,,IS IT WORTH RECLAIMING THE WOOD,,AND HOW OLD DOES IT LOOK TO BE,,NOTICED A FEW ROUND HEAD NAILS BUT MAINLY CUT NAILS WAS USED TO BUILD,,THANKS IN ADVANCE

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
South Carolina
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Telman

Hi Eric, thank you for the great article. Based on your article and other sources I believe I have identified #1 as purpleheart, #2 Mahogany and #3 as Rosewood. The #2 is extremely heavy but I did not water test to see if it floats or not. Not labelled wood is maple ( back side of the hardwood flooring). All three pieces came from a cabinet-making shop.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Alberta
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Telman

Thank you, Eric, regarding #2 I have been looking again, it also looks like Teakwood? https://www.wood-database.com/teak/comment image

Telman

Thank you very much!

Beneka Rigsby

Hello. I’m looking to identify what type of wood my hutch is. I would like to stain it but need some info before I sand and stain. My uncles made this in high school in the 70s in Alabama

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Southeastern United States
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Ramona Mafulu

Could you please tell me what type of wood this is? The x2 tables and chairs, thank you kindly

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Australia
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Ramona Mafulu

Hi Eric, I’m not sure why my enquiry is skipped. Is it because you not sure either? Do you need me to get better pictures? Please help as I need to sell but I’m not sure what to add to the description for the sellers

Ramona Mafulu

oh i see, thank you kindly
i just found that the last 2 picture is Jarrah wood.

Last edited 11 days ago by Ramona Mafulu
Pidgeon

Hi! Looking for identification of this wood used in the risers of a front hallway in a 1910 greystone two flat building in chicago. I just sanded away the top 4 or so layers of paint. It’s hard to the touch, doesn’t dent with finger nail test.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
I don’t know
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Pidgeon

thank you so much! do you suppose it’s original ?

Rebecca

Hi

I was wondering if you can help identify this wood.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
scotland
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Rebecca

Thank you. Much appreciated :)

Michael J

Hello, I am trying to identify this wood flooring. The house was built in 1945 in north Iowa and I am guessing that it is original. I sanded off the finish in one area. When I smelled the sanded area, it reminded me of cedar but was certainly more faint. I’m not at all certain of the cedar smell. I am able to dent the wood with my fingernail which I thought was a little odd for it being flooring.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Iowa, USA
PXL_20211010_005704694.jpg
Barry Walls

What kind of wood and table is this.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
San Diego, California
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Crystal

Hi. Do you know what kind of wood this is? I’m assuming mango wood but I’m unsure. It feels light but I’m not sure what to compare it to. There’s almost a green tint on the front drawer in certain light.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
NY
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Justin Justin

Unsure what type of wood this would wood be. Assuming it’s a 1980’s variety

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
OH
Justin Justin

See the pictures ?

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Jeff Leigh

I have this antique settee, and I was hoping you could identify the wood. Thank you.

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Neil Lewis

Hi there,
A question from the UK – I’m in the process of renovating our old stairs, and wanting to inset some replacement sections where there is a fair bit of woodworm damage. I’m trying to identify the existing wood, so I can match some new/reclaimed pieces – any suggestions? The stairs have been there potentially for over a 100 years, the wood has a slight reddish tinge and a relatively pleasant smell when worked! Pretty sure it’s a hardwood.
Any suggestions gratefully received!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Wiltshire
Neil Lewis

Here they are again – thanks

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Neil Lewis

Hi Eric, Thanks for your response – I’ve done some research and most people seem to agree they’re elm too. So, I visited the local reclamation place and they just happened to have a batch of 19th century elm floorboards! A bit ‘wiggly’ and quite expensive, but I secured a small amount, enough to finish my project. Fingers crossed!

Jenny Lo

Hi, Eric. I am so happy to find this website cause I am having difficulty identify what did my fence contractor actlly installed in my yard in July this year. The contract promised providing premium cedar. Within 2 months, this fence is already warped and bended everywhere. It has been quite rainy since Septemer here in BC Canada, but cedar suppsed to be weather resistant. That is why I strongly doubt if these panels are made of cedar wood. It would be against the contract law if mispresentation was acted. Please help! Thanks.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
BC Canada
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Jenny Lo

Thanks so much for replying. I just had another fence expert to check the fence and was told they are actually cedar panels. The extreme heat domes in Summer this year played a big roll on causing the warps. Will repair them back to normal shape. Thanks!

Viktoria

Hi Eric, I am thinking of renovating my wooden floor that up until yesterday I thought was just some MDF board with a decorative cover. To my surprise I found rings on the end cuts when removed the end cover . Now I am curious what wood it might be. Doing the fingernail test, I cannot make any marks on the end or side cuts, so thinking it is oak (house was built in 1930s although I am not sure these are the original floors). Pictures attached show surface (1 and 2), end grain (3) and side grain(4), the latter… Read more »

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
UK, London
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Viktoria

Thank you Eric

Benjamin Gaucher

Hi, I have obtained some wood from a local orchard in Quebec. Most of of it was apple wood but I was also given 4 pieces that look like this. They are light and have a strong smell that is slightly unpleasant and a bit like glue. From looking through the website, I was thinking of Black Ash. Any idea what this could be? Many thanks.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Quebec, Canada
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Benjamin Gaucher

Thanks for the reply. Here are some slightly cleaner shots of the end grain.

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Keshlam

If anyone is still playing “Name That Wood”… or at least Name That Finish…

Wooden desk, unknown age but at least 50 years. The wood is probably not identifiable from this picture; definitely stained at least (much lighter where worn or on underside), and the dark lines and speckles appear to have been painted on rather than actually being a feature of the wood.

My question is: assuming those markings were indeed added at the factory, were they trying to suggest a fancier wood… or is this just some maker’s idea of an Aunt Eek Style finish?

Thanks in advance!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Northeast US now; no idea where it originated
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Tucker Billimek

The home has original hardwood floors from 1935, built in the heart of San Antonio Texas. We suspect it might be walnut but we are unsure!

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Texas
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Jen

I have a house in Arkansas built in 1960 with an all wood paneled office. It is solid hardwood and the same wood was used for the kitchen cabinets. It is stained (it’s darker in the kitchen) I am wondering if it knotty pine perhaps. We pulled quite a few nails out with a bit of difficulty.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Arkansas
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Paul

Japanese Tamo Ash?

Hi. I found this old desk insert at an estate sale. The bottoms of the drawers look as if they are bamboo, and there is tis wonderful veneer on the outside, which I would like to identify. I have a piece to replace on the back that is missing. (does not have to be figured)

Thanks

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
MIDWEST
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Paul

Thanks!

Dale

Wow, that wood is beautiful!

Last edited 22 days ago by Dale
Virginia

Victorian tilt-top pedestal table: please can you help identify the wood of the table top and the wood of the pedestal (I think it is different) Thank you.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
UK
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Virginia

Can anyone offer some help, please

Virginia Valentine

Thank you for your reply. I hope this photo is better.

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Virginia Valentine

Here’s another photo

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Virginia

Thank you for your input. Fascinating website

Tracey Hendry

I have this antique wardrobe from an estate – the previous owner says early 1900 dutch. Are you able to tell me what wood it’s made from? I appreciate your opinion.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
South Africa
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Tonya Panepento

Hello, have a house built in WNY, 1856. Not sure when wood flooring was installed. Was refinished and clear coated. Trying to match to extend into another room.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Western New York
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Christine

Hi, wonder if you can help identify the wood used in this drop leaf table. We believe it may have been made by Priory or JayCee in the UK sometime in the 60s. It’s fairly heavy but not as heavy as another table we have of similar construction that is Old Charm. We know that one is oak but the grains look different to our eye. Any help gratefully received:

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
UK (Yorkshire)
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Christine

Thank you Eric in taking the time to reply. I’ve taken some more photos today which may help further? As the top and visible legs have been french polished I’m supplying photos of the underneath as well as the bottom of the gate legs plus anything else that is not polished.

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Christine

Thank you for your help Eric.

Monica

Hi,

I would like to buy a desk that is close to this wood/stain as possible… Can you identify it/Give suggestions to a close match. Thank you!

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
NY
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Monica

Thank you so much for your help!

Erin Kipp

Hi! Just purchased a table and am sanding it down. I am not sure what kind of wood I’m dealing with. It’s not perfectly sanded yet but I’m hoping it’s enough that you’ll be able to tell? Pretty heavy but not exceptionally so.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Cleveland, OH
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Dori

Hello, I bought this from a charity shop but they do not know what type of wood it is. It’s heavy and looks like solid wood. End grains +. Dovetail joints +. Any clue on what wood it may be would be really helpful.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
England
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Kevin

The top counter surface grain looks like oak. Seeing that you’re in the UK, if it is really heavy and hard its probably oak. You can always sand down an inconspicuous area to test.

Dave

It’s Oak

Dori

Thank you so much Kevin and Dave. Since it was a perfect match to my oak fireplace, we too thought it must be oak as it’s the same colour and grains. Very convinced now, thanks.

Chandler bruning

Please help identity! Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
N/a
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Phil Mills

Hello Eric! I purchased some reclaimed wood here in Cleveland Ohio, and I’m told they were originally office paneling from Terminal Tower in Public Square in downtown Cleveland. The tower was built in the 1920s/30s and the wood may have been from that era. They are in large 10 foot panels with a separate wood surround. They all seem to be similar in weight. They seem heavy like oak, but I have no idea what wood they are, and neither did the people I got them from. Hoping you can help! Many thanks.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Cleveland Ohio, USA
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Valter Benvegnu

Hi , I have got this wood plank from an industrial store.. I guess it was used as reinforcement in a shipping crate for heavy machinery. It is dry and heavy, see pics attached. original appearance was dark grey, the picture shows the real color after passing it few time in the drum sander.
Thnaks for help :-)

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
New Zealand
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Valter Benvegnu

Thanks Eric, I thought about it was a type of conifer but the weight it seems out of range. I put the plank on a scale and measured carefully the dimensions to calculate density which is 732kg/m3 (or 45lbs/3ft). The wood is really dry so it seems a bit out of range for a Pine species. Tonight I will take a close pic of the endgrain and post it to you . I should also be able to measure the dryness.

Valben

See endgrain pic, moisture content is about ,10%

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Filip

I received this block of wood as a gift, it’s 38,5 x 28,5 x 15 cm and weighs 16.5kg (15″ x 11″ x 6″, 36 pounds). The friend who gave it to me said it’s from a construction site. He had it for 20 years, so I cleaned it up a bit, but it has no distinct odor.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Most likely Asia
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Filip

That seems like a great fit. Thank you!

Obrien Schroeder Ursula

1830’s-40’s stair risers. Dense wood smells kind of sweet.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Ohio
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Obrien Schroeder Ursula

The image attached shows 170 yr old patina that I just wiped the dirt from.. I don’t think it is stain. I am petty convinced it is the same as this newel and banister. Pictures 2 & 3. Btw, the floor is ash.

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Ramey

Hi! I’m trying to identify the type of wood pictured here. It is a table my great grandfather made in his high school shop class in Evansville, Indiana in 1925. It previously had been stained a dark color and then painted over. I have sanded down as much as I can but I am sure the color is unhelpful. The end cuts may provide a better idea? It is very heavy and does not seem to be a soft wood as I cannot indent with my fingernail and it doesn’t have many scratches for being so old.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
midwest
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Tony

I just ripped down a 100 year old barn panel that was 20” wide. It light in weight. The 2” piece in the picture is an off cut of what it looked like before plaining. The 4.5” went through the plainer. The wood came from Missouri or Kansas. I can’t tell what type of wood it is. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Midwest Missouri / Kansas
Rachel

Hi I need to identify thins wood and I am hoping you could help! It has a smell, just not sure how to describe it besides ‘woody’

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Tasmania, Australia
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Kristie

Can you tell me what kind of wood this desk is made of? Thank you!

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
?
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Kristie

Bought it from a friend, said they paid $600 for it. We paid $100. We are located in fl.

Shannen

This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I can see why you bought it. Just gorgeous!

Tracy Liles

Hi. I’m trying to gain information on a sideboard family heirloom. My guess would be pine or oak. It appears to have differing patterns. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
South
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Nina O'Brien

Hello, I have this Singer sewing machine from 1902 and I want to varnish/polish it but don’t know what wood it is? Someone suggested teak?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Ireland
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Vicki Andrews

Could you possibly identify this timber? Thanks

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
UK London
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Destiny Showalter

This was a great page to read for me to better identify wood types but still I’m an amateur. I love to craft n use branches n wood I find exploring.. I wish I knew what kinds of wood I have collected.. unfortunately u may not be able to identify the ones I’ve painted already. I’ll send pics, thanks for help n info.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
USA
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Lizza V.

I bought this coffee table at a local TJMaxx/ Homegoods. Its fairly heavy and it had this greyish tone. Trying to get rid of the grey and get it to a lighter natural wood color. Do you have any idea what wood this is and how can i get the grey out? 1st picture is how I bought. 2nd picture after a second stripped and multiple sanding.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Virginia
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Melanie

Moving into a new house. We got a sample of the hardwood floor but they could not tell us the species. We want to put in the same wood upstairs. Thank you!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Oregon
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Samantha

It didn’t attach pictures to the last comment

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Florida
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Samantha

What kind of wood is this

PATRICIA

Thank you for the information. I am working on refinishing a boat ..think it is made in the 80s in New England area..wondering what this wood is for sure..my brother is thinking red oak

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
MA
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Patricia

Thank you for the information..appreciate it! Just wanted to note – that is the natural color – reddish – would that be true of yellow pine of Douglas fir?

Stephen Justice

That is regular Plywood, maybe birch or pine

Marie Graham

Hi! I found this frame at an estate sale. It is quite heavy. Any idea about type of wood? Thank you so much and advance

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Georgia
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Marie Graham

Thank you so much!

Elizabeth

Recently purchased a home, and not sure what kind of wood floors we have. The home is 111 years old.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Midwest
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