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Author Topic: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log  (Read 59704 times)

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Offline jon12345

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2006, 12:27:58 am »
Bubble blowing is my preferred method of discerning between oak families

I got a notebook full of end grain ID the only problem is it is (was) my own interpretation, even I cannot identify them from the drawings now  :D
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2006, 07:32:30 pm »
White oak: broad wood rays seen without lens-often 1 " or more along the grain (look at flat sawn surface of board), broad ray fleck on radial surface (split a piece of firewood). Late wood pores are indistinct with hand lens, tyloses in earlywood of heartwood.

red oak: broad rays absent, late-wood pores distinct with hand lens-orifices plainly visible, rounded. Tyloses usually absent but may be found sparsely in early-wood pores.

Help ???  ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2007, 10:45:15 pm »
SD,
I tryed scanning some samples, but definition in the pic is already lost prior to optimizing for forum uploading.  Any tips to get the resolution you have in your samples?  The scanner I am using is 2400 X 4800dpi.  I used a razor to shave a clean surface.  How large were your samples that you scanned?  Did you crop them after scanning?

Thanks, Chris
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2007, 11:42:00 pm »
This is the best resolution I've come with so far.





The actual growth ring width is about 5/16".  Under a 10x hand lens I could not distinguish any more detail than with the naked eye. 

My guess is that this is sweetgum.  Others have guessed that as well here...

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=22793.0
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Offline WDH

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2007, 11:48:33 pm »
Definitely a diffuse porous hardwood.  Looks most like sweetgum or blackgum to me.  I would not argue with sweetgum with what you show here.
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2007, 11:51:21 pm »
From the pic, can you tell me how you came to that conclusion?  I have a hard time seeing anything but the growthrings and the color variation. ???
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Offline WDH

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2007, 12:22:35 am »
There is no differention within the growth ring between the early wood and the late wood.  There is very little differentiation between the growth rings as well.  Everything is kind of uniform and bland.  No distinctive features.  Homogenous.  Poplar would have a band of marginal parenchyma that distinctly separates the growth rings (as would all the magnolias species).  I don't see it here.  All the pores are the same size, so that rules out all the ring porous hardwoods with distinct grain like oak, elm, hackberry, hickory, ash, locust, mulberry, walnut, sassafras, honeylocust, catalpa where there is a distinct difference between pore diameter between cells in the early wood and the late wood.  Some species have a gradual gradation in pore size across the growth ring like walnut, persimmon, willow, and cottonwood.  These are called semi-ring porus hardwoods or semi-diffuse hardwoods.  I don't see that in the photo.  Cherry has one row of large diameter cells in the early wood, then the remaining cells are all the same, and I do not see this row of large diameter cells in the pic.  Other diffuse porous hardwoods like maple and birch have very distinct growth ring boundaries (contributes to their visual grain in a board), and I don't see it in the pic to the extent that I would suspect if it were one of those two species.  Beech and sycamore are diffuse porous like sweetgum, but the rays in beech and sycamore are very large and unmistakeable, creating that wonderful ray fleck that we all love.  So, by the process of elimination, that does not leave much but sweetgum and blackgum (or tupelo gum if it is a swamp species). 

I clearly remember from my wood ID training (eons ago in the Cretaceous Period when dinosaurs ruled the earth) that if a sample was totally non-discript and had very homogenous features from a growth ring standpoint, and it if had a striking red heartwood or a shimmery patina, it was usually sweetgum.

Hope that helps.  Anyway, that is my reasoning........... ::)
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2007, 09:53:25 am »
Wow!  All of that from a blurry picture! That was a virtuosic answer.:D

So in this case identification has as much to do with what we can't see.  The sample I was trying to compare it to is in Hoadley's book Identifying Wood on page 135.  I think his sample is from under a microscope.

Thanks.  This is kind of fun, but I'm glad there is no test!

In the red oak species, can one tell the difference between Southern Red Oak and Northern Red Oak without microscopic enlargement?
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Offline WDH

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2007, 11:25:21 am »
It might have been a virtuosic answer, but it might be a wrong virtuosic answer!

No, you cannot readily distinguish southern red from northern red from a wood sample.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2007, 03:58:55 pm »
metalspinner, when scanning I use a 4 inch wide sample BUT, what you want to do to keep clarity and resolution is....

First off, moisten the sample. When you go into your scanning wizard, do your preview. Then, use your mouse and resize the scanning margins to scan a 1" square section, maybe even 0.5". That is going to produce a fair size picture at the max scanning resolution you have. You want to be able to get a good sized picture with minimal resizing (shrinking) and compressing as possible. You may want to crop out a smaller section of that scanned section. I find 'Photoshop' 'ImageReady' or 'Elements' to have the best scaning features, but I'm not that well familiar with a lot of other scanning software.

Give that a try and see how ya make out. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2007, 11:12:33 pm »
Mulberry?




I see what I believe are rays going from the top right corner of the pic down to the bottom left.  Does this rule out osage and locust?  Looking at the QS face for ray fleck, but what I am seeing is very small, so I'm not sure that is what I see. :-\
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2007, 06:19:03 am »
Split a piece, dampen, scan. ;D

Yes those are rays, but very crowded and fine. Looks like the cut face is covered in burs of fibres, probably the knife was dull. ;) Can't be mulberry, the rays would stand out more with the naked eye. Keeps coming up as sweetgum/redgum to me. The sapwood if present has a pinkish hue and most often is sap stained. I see sap stain in the first pic. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2007, 03:20:30 pm »
SD, The second pic is from a different log.  I don't think my first posting of this latest sample went through like I wanted.  Sorry for the confusion.

The latest pic came from a log that is bright yellow.  I cannot tell the difference between mulberry and osage in lumber form.  Even the bark looks similar.  The leaves are long gone.

I'm still trying to get better resolution on the scanner. 
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2007, 12:20:20 am »
What you make of this SD?



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Offline WDH

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2007, 08:48:56 am »
Oak for sure.  Looks more like red oak because you can see into some of the open pores in the earlywood.  In almost all white oaks, chestnut oak excepted, the pores are totally filled with crystalline structures called tyloses.  I don't see that in the pic, so most probably a red oak.  Nice pic!
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2007, 09:14:04 am »
I'd say red oak also. For a minute I couldn't figure out what that vertical pattern was between the broader rays, but it's the late wood pores in line with finer rays. A little out of focus there. Late wood pores in white oak are indistinct with a hand lens.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2007, 02:38:50 pm »
Interesting enough, sugar maple, yellow birch, beech, white ash, black walnut, butternut and northern red oak all have around 21 % vessels (pores) by volume.  ;D

And hardwood also have tracheids: 1)vascular - which look the same as pores in the cross section and 2)vasicentric-have bordered pits. But, there structure is a bit different than softwoods.

We're getting microscopic here. ;D

I have some pretty good micrographs showing the different types in my copy of Textbook of wood Technology. A lot of this stuff is over my head to folks, if I can't see it by eye than it's hard to understand.  Also, not many of us are biochemists and physiologists. ;D  :D :D :D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline WDH

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #37 on: September 02, 2007, 09:32:34 pm »
SD,

I have always liked sclerids :).
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2007, 04:19:52 am »
Some of them encase a pretty good tasting nutmeat to.  ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Samuel

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Re: Identify wood from the end grain of a board/log
« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2008, 02:22:51 pm »
God I hated that part of Batony...figuring out tree species under a microscope.  I swore I would never use it and todate...  14 years later I still haven't.   8)
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