Wood Technology Workshop

The purpose of this two-day program is to:

  • enhance wood product manufacturers and woodworkers understanding of wood as a raw material and
  • to suggest practical solutions for common problems such as warping and splitting as well as finishing, machining, and gluing problems.


Day 1 will focus on the basics of wood anatomy and structure and how variability within and between species can lead to challenges. The biological origins of juvenile wood, reaction wood, figure, and moisture-related challenges such as shrinking and swelling, checking, stain, and casehardening will be discussed in detail. Participants will take part in a hands-on exercise to learn how wood is identified.

Day 2 will focus on common problems for woodworkers. Topics will include defects that occur in standing trees and in wood in-service. Common problems and solutions in wood finishing, machining, and gluing will be discussed.

Program presenters are Scott Leavengood, Dr. Jim Reeb, and Dr. Charles Brunner with Oregon State University's Oregon Wood Innovation Center.


Day 1: Introduction to wood technology
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Basics of wood structure

Variation within species

  • Earlywood/latewood
  • Heartwood/sapwood
  • Juvenile wood/mature wood
  • Reaction wood/normal wood

Variation between species

  • Hardwood/softwood

Wood identification

Wood moisture/drying issues

  • Humidity
  • Causes of shrink/swell
  • Warp
  • Splitting/checking
  • Collapse
  • Casehardening
  • Stain - fungal, enzymatic, oxidative

Day 2: Common woodworking challenges
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Defects in standing trees or storage

  • Shake, pitch pockets, sinker logs/sinker stock, wetwood
  • Bacteria, end-checking, shrinkage

Common finishing problems

  • Fisheye, orange peel, water marks/white rings, blotchiness

Basics of wood machining/gluing

Defects that can occur in-use

  • Wood-boring insects, decay fungi
  • Weathering, shelling, UV bleaching, mildew