Timber identification and use knowledge base.

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Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Would you welcome a forum for knowledge on identifying and utilising different timbers?

Poll ended at Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:48 am

1 yes
10
91%
2 no
1
9%
 
Total votes : 11

Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby HughSpencer » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:48 am

I have been asked to create a section devoted to timber identification. I propose that this is extended to building up a knowledge base on experience of using different timbers.
Please indicate by voting on whether you think this would be a good addition to the board.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby robin wood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 11:21 am

Are you talking about a new forum or a thread or section within this forum?

I think a new section on timber from how to source it to what to use it for would be good. I am always a little wary of timber IDs particularly on the web. Having spent a fair time looking at old wooden artifacts I stopped doing timber IDs unless I either had all the info eg a tree with leaves, buds, bark, cross section and tangential section, or a microscopic id. Too often though I see someone post a picture of a piece of wood asking what is this timber followed by lots of guesses and there simply is not enough information to make a true ID.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby HughSpencer » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:43 am

Thanks for your input Robin, much appreciated. I think you are right about this, I've got a book with timber samples in it and still struggle, but having a compendium of folks experience with various timbers would be useful knowledge to gather together.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:49 pm

Like Robin I think it's difficult without the timber in your hand.
Even then its often difficult.
Sometimes its even the smell - laburnum and peas or oak and breakfast cereals.
It would be a good resource for posting useful information but not a "what do you think this is" forum.

I'm sure someone could set up a page with "Post it to me with £10" for individual identifications.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby Chris_S » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:11 pm

When I aksed Hugh if it was possible for a Wood section on the forum, it was based on the fact that I'm very new to working with wood and I don't have a clue what different woods can be used for or how to identify them - as I suspect, other newbies won't either.

I can see from the replies that the identifying wood can be extremely dificult, so maybe that area is a 'no-go', but I think there's a wealth of experience on here regarding the different uses and personal experience that people miss when it's shrouded in other conversations.

For example, I intend to try making spirtles and bowls for foodstuffs - but I don't know if all woods are suitable for food, are some woods poisonous? etc.

Hopefully, this will go some way to clarifying my initial intentions.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby Bob_Fleet » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:27 pm

Sycamore or maple are pretty good for food use and the don't taint the food either.
They turn quite well.

All sorts of other woods are good e.g. oak but may flavour your food, or whisky.
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Re: Timber identification and use knowledge base.

Postby ToneWood » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:31 pm

Bob_Fleet wrote:...Sometimes its even the smell - laburnum and peas or oak and breakfast cereals...
Noticed a powerful and "distinctive fresh smell" of what I thought was cedar, while walking amongst newly harvest logs of various types recently - turned out to be, I think, Douglas Fir! I guess it is a least possible now, if not practical in most cases, to definitively identify trees and wood by their DNA.

It is difficult to keep track of. I have a bowl and spoon which I "at least knew were from the same branch of the same tree" - once oiled the bowl promptly turned a lovely chestnut brown, while the spoon turned a delicate pale yellow. Clearly, I had got confused between two similar looking branches from quite different trees that I processed from the same area around the same time. Until oiled, the wood looked the same.
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