Wood Gloat and ID Question

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 12-11-2010 10:18 PM 1957 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16284 posts in 4725 days

12-11-2010 10:18 PM

We are getting ready to do a complete renovation of our long-vacant old library building at the university where I work. The building is about 60 years old, and there was quite a bit of wood shelving that was going to be carted off to the dump. I picked up on about 16 pieces of what I thought looked like maple, and about 20 pieces of red oak. They are all 10” wide and 36” to 48” in length.

The first photo below shows both types of boards, before and after planing. Some of the oak are solid full width, and the rest are T&G. The others are butt glue jointed, but seem absolutely solid except for a little separation near the ends.

The second photo is a closeup that leads to my ID question. I originally was pretty sure these boards were maple from looking at the ends, but after planing they actually look more like cherry to me. I’ve only worked with cherry on a limited basis, so I’d thought I’d run it by you guys for your opinions.

While I’m at it, I’ll throw in a planer tip for guys like myself who might be fairly new to using a planer. I started having feed problems and thought something was seriously wrong. But then I remembered some things I’ve read here at LJ’s, so I shut off and unplugged the planer, cleaned out the sawdust, wiped off the feed rollers, and put a fresh coat of wax on the tables. Presto! Problem solved.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

19 replies so far

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13654 posts in 3848 days

#1 posted 12-11-2010 10:24 PM

that last shot
looks like it could be alder

good score charlie

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3433 days

#2 posted 12-11-2010 11:33 PM

I agree, great score!

I have some maple that has similar grain, either way, you win!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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14578 posts in 4573 days

#3 posted 12-11-2010 11:40 PM

Wow Charlie – great score. If you need any help hauling away anymore – or need a place to store some :-)) let me know. What a great score! And based on where it is coming from, it should be some very smart wood.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4806 days

#4 posted 12-11-2010 11:52 PM

I think it’s Birch, so I looked on the Wood ID Site to make sure.

I think I might be right. There’s a lot of Birch growing in this neck of the woods.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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2735 posts in 4105 days

#5 posted 12-12-2010 12:30 AM

Haven’t the foggest idea of what the wood is. But one thing is sure…. you cannot pass up free wood!

Thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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16284 posts in 4725 days

#6 posted 12-12-2010 12:34 AM

Bill, I thought about you. Our carpenters are keeping all the longer stuff for various repairs around campus as needed, and this was about all I could get. Had there been any more I would have called, because I don’t have room for much more anyway.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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16284 posts in 4725 days

#7 posted 12-12-2010 12:36 AM

Dick: Birch is a good possibility… I hadn’t thought of that.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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402 posts in 4420 days

#8 posted 12-12-2010 01:16 AM

Lucky you! I think it might be birch as well. Enjoy!

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

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3902 posts in 4204 days

#9 posted 12-12-2010 01:24 AM

Yellow birch looks a lot like maple and is as hard as maple I say yellow birch too.
White birch is of a light color.

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4907 days

#10 posted 12-12-2010 02:36 AM

It doesn’t look like the Yellow Birch that I have. The sap wood is an ivory color and the heart wood is pink with ivory striping. It’s what I’m making my kitchen cabinets out of.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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14578 posts in 4573 days

#11 posted 12-12-2010 04:21 AM

No problem Charlie, always keep me in mind though :-)). One of these days I will get to gloat about some wood – other than the styff I buy.

Karson, you are a blessed man – so much wood and being retired – so much time :-)). Enjoy.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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18671 posts in 4183 days

#12 posted 12-12-2010 04:41 AM

Thanks for the planer tip Charlie ;-)) One of these days I’ll be new when I fire it up!!l

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View tdv's profile


1202 posts in 3577 days

#13 posted 12-12-2010 05:43 AM

Charlie I bought a load of short ends of birch to joint up for a bench top & they look exactly like the wood in your pic. for colour & grain pattern it has a sort of sheen that maple doesn’t. Whatever it is Charlie you did good & hey they look ideal for boxes
Seasons greetings to you

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

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1388 posts in 4052 days

#14 posted 12-12-2010 06:28 AM

Charlie, according to R. Bruce Hoadley, the best way ( and according to him, it makes sense) is to magnify the end grain , the book Identifying Wood, by R. Bruce Hoadley is a very good reference for IDing wood, I have seen fresh planed maple and cherry that is very difficult to tell apart, so looking at end grain with a magnifying glass and seeing the pics in the book will help a lot

-- Smitty!!!

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16284 posts in 4725 days

#15 posted 12-12-2010 06:47 AM

Smitty, thanks for the reference.

Karson, that does not look like my wood, but I’ll bet it is going to make some beautiful cabinets.

Bob, Times a’wastin’!

Trevor, Happy holidays to you as well.

Bill: Why are you calling Karson lucky? I thought you retired also. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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