This is a wood encyclopedia where you can find different kind of woods. You can check what kind of wood information do you want to read.
Types of wood
Angiosperm species of temperate zones. They have a more complex woody structure, are often harder and have medium penetrability.
Angiosperm species of tropical areas. They differ in that they are usually rich in extracts, not very unpredictable and of darker tones.
Gymnosperm species characterized by being normally clear, soft, impregnable and rich in resins.
Description of parameters for classification of wood types
This encyclopedia consists of a list of wooden letters with information that we consider useful as a starting point for understanding different species. They refer to the description of wood, its physical and mechanical characteristics, durability, work performance and its main uses.
Names and definitions: there are thousands of tree species and it is common for them to have different common names depending on the area and country. For this reason, and to avoid confusion, each card includes the scientific or botanical name of each type of wood.
Description of wood species
The descriptive characteristics of each type of wood can generally be applied to each species, however, we must be aware that each tree is a unique living being and, therefore, there may be differences, mainly in terms of colors.
Color: The description of the color of the wood considers the possible variations that may exist without taking into account extreme cases such as wood exposed to bad weather.
- Sapwood and heartwood: together with the bark, they are the parts that make up the trunk of a tree. The sapwood is just behind the bark and is “biologically alive”. It is where you drive or circulate from the foliage to the roots. This part of the wood is usually softer, lighter and lighter in color. The heart is the inner part. It is the wood that no longer has a conductive function, is harder and dense, more resistant to attack by insects and generally darker in color. When describing a wood, it is common to point out whether there are significant differences between the heartwood and the sapwood, or if, on the contrary, it is difficult to distinguish between them.
Virtually all wood species change their color when exposed. In some it is an imperceptible change, while in others it can be seen with the naked eye.
Fiber: It is the set of cells arranged in the direction of the tree’s axis, discarding vascular elements and parenchyma cells. The different variations it can have in dimensions and layout give rise to the following types of fiber: straight, wavy, twisted, interlaced.
Grain: In conifers the grain refers to the diameter of the tracheids, while in hardwood it refers to the diameter of the vessels. The grain is classified into the following categories: thick or thick, medium and fine.
Note: These last two concepts, grain and fiber, have important implications for the workability of the wood and the final result of the work: difficulty in brushing and cutting, resulting in the quality of the finish …
The values of physical and mechanical properties (average values) are calculated from tests carried out in laboratories or obtained in the international literature. They should be used with caution due to the highly variable nature of wood properties. This variability is well known to people working in the timber industry. It depends on several external or internal factors: age of the trees, position of the wood within the trunk, maturity of the wood and growing conditions (including soil type, precipitation and climate).
Density. The density or relative density of a solid is the ratio of its mass per unit volume, in our case expressed in kilograms per cubic meter. To standardize, it was established in laboratories of international level the use of wood with moisture content of 12%.
|wood||Conifers (kg / m3)||With leaves (kg / m3)|
|Too much light||<400||<500|
|Light||400 – 490||500-640|
|Very heavy||> 700||> 950|
Toughness: This is an important feature because it will allow us to know the resistance to the impact of wood and thus establish whether it is possible to use it in certain situations: parquet flooring, roofs….
By hardness, we understand the resistance that one material opposes the penetration of another.
There are different methods or tests to establish a classification of the hardness of the wood. The most popular are Monnin (Chalais-Meudon), Brinell and the Janka scale. They are all based on exerting force on an object with certain measures to introduce it at a specific point. The strength required for this will give us the value of hardness.
In this encyclopedia, we mainly use the first of the methods mentioned, Monnin, the most common in Europe. On some occasions, when the values of the Monnin test were not found, the values obtained by one of the other methods can be quoted.
|Hardness (1 / mm)||Class|
|0.2 – 1.5||Very soft|
|1.5 – 3||Soft|
|3 – 6||Half hard|
|6 – 9||Difficult|
Stability – volumetric contraction coefficient: The volumetric contraction of a piece of wood is defined as the volume variation that it suffers when its moisture content varies by 1%, that is, how much the volume of the wood changes when its moisture degree changes.
The lower the volumetric contraction coefficient, the more stable (less nervous) the wood will be against changes in the degree of humidity.
This concept is related to the hygroscopic property of wood. Accordingly, wood tends to absorb or lose water depending on environmental conditions.
|Coeff. Volumetric contraction of the unit||Interpretation|
|0.15 – 0.40||A little nervous|
|0.35 – 0.49||A little nervous|
|0.40 – 0.55||Moderately nervous|
|0.55 – 0.75||Nervous|
|0.75 – 1||Very nervous|
Due to anisotropy of its structure (general property of matter according to which qualities such as elasticity or resistance vary according to the direction in which they are examined), when defining their mechanical properties, the directions perpendicular and parallel to the fiber are considered. In this fact lies the main difference in behavior in relation to other materials used structurally, such as steel and concrete.
In other words, some properties of a wood, such as strength or elasticity, are different depending on the direction in which they are measured. Therefore, different values are usually offered:
- Compressive strength parallel to fiber.
- Compressive strength perpendicular to the fiber.
- Resistance to static bending.
- Tension parallel to the fibers.
- Elasticity modules. It measures the wood’s ability to resist warping (the higher the value, the stiffer the wood is). This is an especially useful indicator in the world of wood construction.
The natural durability of wood is considered, not once treated. The sapwood’s durability is also not taken into account, by default it is considered non-durable.
The durability of wood is determined by its resistance to biological agents (fungi and insects) and to atmospheric agents (sun, rain, humidity or changes in temperature).
It should not be interpreted absolutely. The fact that a species of wood is classified as durable does not mean that it is immune to the attack of termites or other insects.
Workability or technological properties of wood types
Here, information is collected on the behavior of wood types in view of the technological aspects of their transformation processes. The most common processes to which a wood is subjected are:
- Nailed and screwed.
- Finishing application.
All wood database
- Framire Wood: Main Uses and FeaturesFramire Wood, whose scientific name is Terminalia ivorensis, It is native to the west and center of […]
- Paulownia or Kiri Wood. Resources and UsesPaulownia wood, also known as kiri or princess tree, is a material that over time has gained […]
- Samba or Ayous wood. Resources and UsesSamba wood is a light, light but resistant and very versatile wood. Among its uses, its excellent […]
- Okume Wood. Uses and resourcesOkume wood (also ocume) is native to Central Africa, mainly from countries like Gabon or Equatorial Guinea. […]
- Oak wood: types, characteristics and usesOak wood is perhaps, alongside pine, the most popular wood. This is due to its excellent relationship […]
- Tatajuba Wood: Characteristics and Main UsesTatajuba wood is an exotic wood with elegant light and yellow tones. It is a very versatile […]
- Tiama Wood: Features and UsesOriginating in the African continent, tiama wood is an abundant tropical wood, with acceptable characteristics and a […]
- Teak Wood: Characteristics and Main UsesTeak wood, scientifically called tectona grandis, is one of the most valued, both by professionals and consumers. […]
- Iroko Wood: Features and UsesIroko is a tropical wood known for its strength and durability, and also for its interesting grain […]
- Quebracho WOOD: Features and UsesQuebracho wood is one of the the hardest woods known, at least according to the Janka Scale. […]
- Cumaru Wood: Features and UsesCumaru wood is a quality wood, very difficult, especially suitable for outdoors, where it competes with others […]
- Doussie or Vitacola Wood: Features and UsesDoussie or vitacola is a tropical wood of great quality and beauty. It is comparable to mahogany […]
- Cypress wood: types, uses and characteristicsCypress wood is a quality wood, with beautiful tones and veins, semi-hard and durable. It is an […]
- Palo Santo wood or rosewood. Resources and UsesPalo santo wood or Rosewood is a very dense, oily and fragrant wood native to South America. […]
- Cherry Wood: Features and UsesCherry wood is a leafy wood, light, light in color and very versatile. It has an attractive […]
- Cedar wood: characteristics and main usesCedar wood is generally light, easy to work with, has reddish tones and has a characteristic fragrance. […]
- Mahogany wood: uses and characteristicsMahogany wood is considered one of the best options within the world of carpentry and wood in […]
- Walnut wood: types, characteristics and usesWalnut wood is considered one of the best woods, mainly in Europe. They have some very characteristic […]
- Chestnut Wood: Main Features and UsesChestnut wood is considered a quality wood. It is resistant, flexible, durable and over time improves its […]
- Sandalwood: characteristics and usesSandalwood is one of the “noble woods”. It has been used since ancient times, not only in […]
- Ebony Wood: Features and UsesEbony or African ebony wood (Diospyros Crassiflora) is a wood much appreciated for its quality and dark […]
- Mango wood: characteristics and usesThe mango tree is well known for its fruits, and not so much for its wood. Mango […]
- Hemlock or tsuga wood: characteristics and usesHemlock or tsuga wood, whose scientific name is Tsuga heterophylla, It is a wood originating in the […]
- Zebrano wood: characteristics and usesZebrano wood or zebrawood is known for its striking and characteristic appearance that makes it unique and […]
- Acacia or robinia wood: uses and characteristicsWhen talking about acacia or robinia wood, we should not over-generalize, as there are different types or […]
- Elm wood. Resources and UsesElm wood has traditionally been a favorite option in Europe. On the one hand, due to its […]
- Rubber or Hevea Wood: Features and UsesThe rubber tree, whose scientific name is Hevea BrasiliensisIts main commercial or industrial use is the production […]
- Pear wood: characteristics and usesPear wood is a quality wood, very popular in Europe and used mainly in interiors. Although native […]
- Ash wood: characteristics and usesAsh wood is a very versatile and widely used wood. It offers an excellent relationship between quality […]
- Douglas Fir or Oregon Pine Wood: characteristics and usesOregon pine or Douglas fir wood is one of the most widely used in the construction world, […]
- White locust wood: characteristics and usesWhite locust wood is native to South America, more specifically in some areas of Argentina, Paraguay and […]
- Wenge wOOD : Properties and UseWenge wood or wenge is a quality exotic wood, very versatile and with a characteristic dark color. […]
- Sapelly or Abebay Wood: Features and UsesSapelly or abebay wood, also written in places like sapelli, is a quality wood native to tropical […]
- Sucupira Wood: Features and UsesSucupira wood is a hard wood, with brown tones, required mainly for demanding uses such as floors, […]
- Acajou Wood or African Mahogany: Features and UsesAuburn wood, also known as ACAJOU or AFRICAN MAHOGANY, is a quality wood, although it certainly does […]
- Mansonia wood: Features and UsesMansonia wood, also called concrete, is versatile, with excellent appearance and durability. In fact, it is a […]
- Bamboo wood: characteristics and useThe use of bamboo wood, although it may seem that way to Westerners, is nothing new. It […]
- Beech Wood: Characteristics and Main UsesBeech wood is a hardwood, hard and heavy, especially known for its light tones it’s yours excellent […]
- Sycamore wood: characteristics and usesSycamore wood is a versatile wood, light in color and easy to work with. Its demand for […]
- Mukali or Anigre Wood: Features and UsesMukali or anigre wood is used mainly to obtain veneers and is very appreciated for the ease […]
- Sabina or Juniper Wood: Characteristics and UsesSabina or juniper wood has a characteristic and irregular vein reddish. It is highly regarded by professionals […]
- Alder wood: types, characteristics and usesAlder wood is a light wood that stands out for its ease of work. It is widely […]
- Olive Wood. Resources and UsesOlive wood has a very characteristic and appreciated aspect. O irregularity of your veins and the complex […]
- Tulipwood Wood: Features and UsesTulipwood (Dalbergia decipularis) is originally from South America, from a very specific area of Brazil. It has […]
- Balsa Wood: Features and UsesBalsa or Balso Wood (Ochroma pyramidale) is a tropical species known for its lightness and flexibility. This […]