Return to the Woodworking Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
How to determine type of wood

Posted by LLW10130 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 18, 11 at 17:45

I have several pieces of antique furniture that need to be refinished. How does one tell what kind of wood a piece is made of? Is this something that just comes with time and experience, or is there some kind of a chart that lists wood characteristices, picture of wood grain, hardness, etc?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: How to determine type of wood

While there are rough guides and experience, wood identification is a scientific discipline and involves evaluating characteristics, including microscopic evaluation of end grain.

Certain woods have natural coloring, respond better or poorer to certain stains and finishes. Other than that, I'm not sure why it matters. You have the pieces and they are what they are.

In an antique piece, the most likely candidates are:
- hard maple
- cherry
- walnut
- birch
- poplar (generally finished to look like something else)
- red oak
- white oak
- mahogany

Here is a link that might be useful: book you might find at your library.


 o
RE: How to determine type of wood

"I have several pieces of antique furniture that need to be refinished. How does one tell what kind of wood a piece is made of?"

The finish chosen does not have all that much to do with the type of wood unless you are looking for specific finish styles (like 'pickled oak' say).

Different types of wood can require more steps (like pore filling if a smooth surface is desired) but once again, if the wood does not have open pores it would not need filing.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Woodworking Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here