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Wood Characteristics - Natural Characteristics I

Effects of Growth Ring

  • Growth rings are distinctive due to the light and dark colors
  • Lighter portion is usually grown in the spring, called “springwood”
  • Darker portion is usually grown in the summer, called “summerwood”

Wide Growth Ring

Wide Growth Ring

Narrow Growth Ring

Narrow Growth Ring

Burl Grain

  • Also known as curly grain, burly grain, fiddleback, or figure wood
  • Causes include knot location, damage to cambium layer of bark, and tree genetics
  • Common in most wood types

 

Burl Hard Maple

Hard Maple

Burl Red Oak

Red Oak

Burl Soft Maple

Soft Maple

Tiger Stripe and Cross Fire

  • Unique pattern common in Red and White Oak
  • Also in Hard and Soft Maple
  • Most often found along with burl grain

Tiger Hard Maple

Hard Maple

Tiger Soft Maple

Soft Maple

Bird’s Eye

  • Small area where fibers form circular figures on the surface
  • Common in Hard Maple
  • Rare in other wood types

Bird’s Eye Hard Maple

Bird’s Eye Hard Maple

Knots

  • Closed Knot. Flat face with no openings in the surface.
  • Open Knot. May occur as a very small pin-sized hole to a large gaping hole.
  • Unsound Knot. A portion of the wood will move readily. Also known as a loose knot.
  • Sound Knot. Also known as a tight knot. Solid, with no portion moveable. As hard as surrounding wood with no signs of decay.
  • Pin Knot. Small, sound, and tight.
  • Knot Cluster. A grouping of usually small knots.

Closed Knot

Closed Knot

Open Knot

Open Knot

Unsound Knot

Unsound Knot

Sound Knot

Sound Knot

Pin Knot

Pin Knot

Knot Cluster

Knot Cluster

Bird Peck

  • Woodpecker produces a small hole, which is a starting point for brown to blackish mineral streak
  • Most common in Hickory and Cherry

Bird Peck

Bird Peck in Hickory

Cat’s Paw

  • Cluster of pin knots in the shape of a cat's paw
  • Most common in Cherry

Cat’s Paw

Cat’s Paw in Cherry