Many hardwood species can be identified by observing the structure of the wood viewed on the end grain with a hand lens, but such identifications can be subjective and depend heavily on the personal experience of the identifier and their reference materials. More definitive wood identifications depend on the observation of microscopic characteristics. Learning which microscopic features are diagnostic and how to find and identify them is necessary in order to have a complete toolkit for performing wood species identification. Microscopic characters may seem complex at first, but they are in fact typically less subjective and also more plentiful, and so permit far greater identification confidence. To properly interpret the wood anatomical characters that enable identification of an unknown sample, participants will learn some rudiments of wood evolution and tree growth and function as living organisms. This gives a better understanding of what wood is, how it varies, and opens up a whole new way of seeing wood.
The planning committee, led by Dick Schmidt, has built a program that is must for any TFEC member. Non-TFEC members will find the program compelling as well: keynote addresses by Ben Brungraber of Fire Tower Engineered Timber and Gerry Epp of StructureCraft, as well as a packed technical program will make for two days of accelerated learning and information sharing.
Find information here about the annual Timber Framers Guild Conference, slated for May 20-22, in Madison, WI.
Timber Grading Training Course, sponsored by the Timber Frame Engineering Council and the Timber Framers Guild.