The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood

Translate

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wood Science 101 (25) - Spotting Softwoods in Stained Furniture

One of the more useful woody sites on the web is Eric Meier's wood-database.com. Besides having a nice alphabetical listing of several hundred of the most common woods in woodworking, he occasionally posts detailed articles and informative videos.

One of the most common questions I get at shows and by email is "how can I tell if a piece of wood is a hardwood or softwood?" Well, there are a bunch of ways, most of which are way too technical for most folks...but Eric does a great job in the following video of giving one of the simplest answers in a straightforward, yet technically sound wood science way. The secret is in understanding the science of growth rings.




And if there are no growth rings, or you want to be able to distinguish between different hardwoods? Well, then...you sign up for one of Randy Wilkinson's wood identification classes.

1 comment:

Jeff Wartluft said...

New info like this is fun to learn. It all makes sense, but I never thought of it this way.