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  1. #1
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    Default Your favorite wood ID service?

    I have had wood samples ID'd by Syracuse U wood department and with the company I sub to, the FPL.

    FPL is (was?) free but they do it on a " as available/get around to it" basis. Syracuse price was ok ($100/sample) but they took a couple months of "reminding" to get around to doing it.

    Need a service with faster response.
    Can certainly look online and throw a dart. would love to hear anyones's personal experience and recommendations.

    smt

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    No personal experience, but if I was in the same boat I might look to UMass, which is the same place where Bruce Hoadley taught. Not sure how easy it is to work with them, but they can certainly do wood identification. summer is likely not the best time though, as most people are away.

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    O.K. for us, the unknowing.....What exactly does this service
    do ? And what do the results look like ?

    And why does a woodworker need this info ?

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    It identifies the species of tree a sample of wood came from. The results could be as simple as species botanical name and colloquial names. It could also include some noted details about the likely age and origin of the tree, based on vascular detail, coloring, and deposited minerals.

    A woodworking needs this info if he/she is being paid to do repairs on historical structures (to identify the original material), or has a contract to use only certain species of wood (to confirm what the current supplier actually has possession of). Some jobs might require South American Mahogany, Swietenia macrophylla, for an authentic material match, while other jobs might prohibit the exact same species, due to environmental and sustainable harvest concerns.

    Also, it can be extremely difficult to identify many painted, fumed or heavily filled and varnished woods without a microscopic technical examination. Is that tobacco brown wood with black streaks fumed oak, fumed chestnut, or something more exotic?

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  6. #5
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    Stephen, ping inwoodcutter on here, he used to work at Purdue and might be able to do it for you or tell you who can. PSU here in my hometown might as well, but they are on summer break as well, haven't seen anyone there yet. I don't recall Pitt doing a formal ID like you describe although I am positive they could ID it.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    O.K. for us, the unknowing.....What exactly does this service
    do ? And what do the results look like ?

    And why does a woodworker need this info ?
    What Sfiedberg said.
    It may or may not be necessary to verify what you are using for historical stuff, again for the reasons he stated.

    It's like any contract - let a designated expert with adequate papers tell you what it was. Then the principles all negotiate what to substitute for mutual benefit, sometimes influenced by other experts including architects or historians. When the dust settles, we procure something in the range of agreed options, and build it. Every once in a while i have to write the proposal or an initial analysis. So have to make sure i know the basis and can document if required.

    smt

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