Wood identification help

//Wood identification help
Wood identification help2017-08-05T23:39:52+00:00
  • Creator
  • #2032506

    Post count: 2

    I have an old deck with tongue and groove board. 1.5 x 5.25 actual measurement. I am having a hard time finding replacements and may be looking for the wrong thing. These are outer board so I could replace them with a standard 2×6 or dado myself (as a last resort).

  • Author
  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 284

    Hi Oostue,

    You don’t say how old the lumber is or what area you are from. Wood identification is difficult enough when you can hold the item in your hand, weigh it, smell it, an judge the strength through handling, especially not knowing the history. Having said that, different woods were traditionally used in different areas of the world and country. Cypress was commonly used in the deep southern United States and resinous southern yellow pine (SYP) was used throughout much of the eastern United States. Based on that, my best guess would be that this is SYP. It looks a little like poplar in the photo but poplar would not hold up well to any exposure to the weather.

    I have to wonder if this comes from a covered deck/porch because I can’t imagine a professional using tongue and groove material on an exposed deck since those features would tend to collect and hold water.

    Unless you are doing historical restoration, the most practical  solution would be to do as you say, just take pressure treated material and mill it as a replacement. Just keep in mind that pressure treated lumber tends to have a high moisture content and tends to shrink quite a bit. There are other solutions but they would probably end up being considerably more expensive.

    Have fun.


    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • Oostue
    Post count: 2

    I am in Montana.

    The deck was probably built in the 70s, guessing off the base paint color we have striped/sanded off that matched the original house color. It is a covered deck, you know your stuff. I think I will replace the rotted boards with redwood and I don’t think I’m going to route in a tongue… I really should just replace the whole thing but I’m not ready to spend the money at this point. Home remodeling is an adventure…

    Thanks for your help.

  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 284

    Hi again,

    I’m changing my guess, based on where you are located,  to western cedar. Redwood is a great choice for this application but has fallen out of favor for this type of use (at least in my area) due to availability and price. Good luck with the project.

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