Identifying Wood Species

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Woodyvolt posted 06-06-2021 10:47 PM 427 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Woodyvolt's profile


74 posts in 1315 days

06-06-2021 10:47 PM

I recently acquired several pieces of exotic wood pieces. Some were labeled, most were not. I want to identify each type. I could supply pictures of each, about 20, but would be simpler to use an app to do the work. I took pictures of each piece, plus a picture of each end grain. Would appreciate help on selecting an app that helps identifying wood types.

11 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4655 posts in 2648 days

#1 posted 06-06-2021 11:22 PM

Watching to find an app that does this automatically. :-)

Typically I am the app that looks at pictures here and makes suggestions based on experience and these sites:

Good Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Madmark2's profile


2955 posts in 1742 days

#2 posted 06-07-2021 01:38 AM

USDA’s free “Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material” is the reference you need. Its a free .PDF

It has woods classified by grain and end grain enlargements as well as a full reference on mechanical, thermals, etc. properties and usages.

EVERYONE: Read chapter 14 ”Control of Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes”

Giggle it. Its free for download as it was produced with tax dollars.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


8183 posts in 1728 days

#3 posted 06-07-2021 06:08 AM

Mark, that link opens to a Goofle search page for me.

For a direct link I found your site at the addy below.

Your exact reference for the chapter on drying is found directly at.

Huh, seems we just talked about that…..

-- Think safe, be safe

View Foghorn's profile


1247 posts in 540 days

#4 posted 06-08-2021 01:35 AM

There’s a guy in my woodworking club that specializes in identifying wood. He mostly does it with magnification of end grain. I usually just feel it, look at it and wing it.

-- Darrel

View Phil32's profile


1490 posts in 1057 days

#5 posted 06-08-2021 01:50 AM

A piece of walnut fresh from a specialty hardwood store will be different from the 100 year old walnut table leaf or the dusty, dirty walnut slab stored in a barn for ten years, especially when you show me a dark, out-of-focus photo of it.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View pottz's profile


18610 posts in 2138 days

#6 posted 06-08-2021 02:00 AM

when i dont know what a wood is i just dont worry about it,it gets classified as (beautiful wood) and i move on.who cares,just enjoy it.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Woodyvolt's profile


74 posts in 1315 days

#7 posted 06-08-2021 02:55 AM

To give you an example of what I am trying to determine: The following names were written on some of the wood pieces. Some of it was not too legible, so I’m not real sure of the spelling. These are only five of the wood pieces, I have sixteen more that were not labeled. The rest were of various colors and densities. I got these as a gift from a deceased woodworkers family so I am now trying to determine what I have ended up with.
Monkey Wood

Goncalo Alves

View Phil32's profile


1490 posts in 1057 days

#8 posted 06-10-2021 12:46 AM

Woodyvolt – All of the woods in your list are fairly recognizable names of tropical hardwoods, except Monkey Wood. That one is more likely Monkeypod (Albizia Saman) which is from Central & South America, but now spread to other tropics. I once saw a list of over 50 local names for Monkeypod including Genizaro in Nicaragua. There is no way of verifying the labelling of your wood pieces is correct without in-person, expert inspection.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

View Woodyvolt's profile


74 posts in 1315 days

#9 posted 06-12-2021 03:32 PM

Thanks to all who replied to my question. My main concern is that I may be making an inferior project with a piece of high dollar wood and later wish I had waited until I verified the wood piece.

I will probably take the advice of pottz, and just carry on and enjoy the process and final product.

View EarlS's profile


4611 posts in 3502 days

#10 posted 06-12-2021 05:08 PM

Woody – take some pictures and post them. I’ll bet we can get most of them right.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View splintergroup's profile


5430 posts in 2376 days

#11 posted 06-12-2021 07:35 PM

I’m down with Earl, we love to play guessing games 8^)

Pick a piece and take some quality photos, end grain is very useful if sanded smooth and a close up is included.
Face grain is probably the most useful, smooth and clean, maybe a shot wiped with mineral spirits for a finished color reference.

Use good light. If your camera doesn’t have the capability of a custom white balance, shoot outside with clear (not cloudy) direct sunlight and your camera/[hone set to outdoors. shoot multiple shots and select the best ones.

AZWoody did this for a LJ contest, maybe do a photo post once a week of a single species.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics