Author Options:

how can you tell what wood your furniture is made of ? Answered

is it made out of oak or pine or cherry wood, how can you tell the difference?i bought a used coffee table and i can,t tell what wood it is made out of.




Best Answer 8 years ago

Post a few good photos of face and end grain, and I'll give it a shot.

pls help identify the wood of this dining table. Table is old.. not sure how old though. Wood is hard. Didn't indent when I pressed fingernail into wood. Any help would be greatly app

taste it, pine is bitter, cherry is sweet, and oak is bland.


8 years ago

Why did I get "best answer"? Is there some automatic "last response" selector?
My answer, without followup (from the OP and myself) was lame.

I would suggest that you visit a lumber yard and inspect the various types of wood. Although there can be slight overlap in individual trees, in part dependent on its placement within a forest community or prevalent weather in the region in which it is grown, each species has a characteristic weight, color, and distinctive grain pattern. The public library also often has books that have pictures of the primary wood species.

Failing ability, I'd ask someone I know to inspect the table and identify the constituent wood(s).

For a coffee table, I'd look at the bottom side of the table for color, since stains will disguise the natural color of the wood, and furniture makers rarely coat hidden areas of a construction.

This web page has quite a lot of detail on determining the wood type of furniture. It was the first hit in google.

+1 Though veneers really throw you off. We have a bed we bought off Ebay "Solid Cherry" - I knew it wasn't before we got it - in Solid wood, I don't think we could have lifted it. In fact its all veneered MDF.

oak is very heavy, strog/ compact wood so strong that drilling or sawing inot it is very hard. pine is fragile, elastic and usually brighter. of course in both cases depends on the type, quality..
check carefully. if you find some pitch, it's pine.

You can try and find an inconspicuous bit - say the bottom of a leg, out of site, and remove some of the finish to look closely at the wood. Very little furniture is made of solid wood - big panels dont' work well in it, and you'll find they are veneered ply or MDF