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BobP

Wood Density Chart

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This is an open source chart. Various tests and testers come up with somewhat different results when testing wood samples, but the important thing to know is that one species tends to be more dense than another species listed in the table. Comparing densities will help you select the best wood for your particular bait. Also know that the particular piece of wood you hold in your hand can differ significantly from the chart, depending on where in the tree it came from. That notwithstanding, the chart is a useful tool.

Physical Properties of Common Woods

Values of density marked * are for air dry samples.

The following table presents values for the properties of common woods.

This table is in the public domain and may be copied without limit. The user is encouraged to download it for private use and public distribution in any form including that of making it available on other Web servers.

Common name Botanical name Density, g/cc Density, lbs/cu.ft. Modulus of rupture, air dry

kg/sq.mm. Modulus of elasticity, air dry,

kg/sq.mm. Alder 0.38 23.7 Applewood or wild apple Pyrus malus 0.745 46.51 8.96 894. Ash, black Fraxinus nigra 0.526 32.84 8.97 1126. Ash, blue quadrangulata 0.603 37.65 9.82 984. Ash, green Fraxinus pennsylvanica lanceolata 0.610 38.08 10.04 1170. Ash, white Fraxinus americana 0.638 39.83 11.01 1249. Aspen Populus tremuloides 0.401 25.03 6.04 838. Aspen, large tooth PopuIus grandidentata 0.412 25.72 6.38 996. Balsa (Tropical America) Ochroma *0.11-0.2 6.86-12.49 . Basswood Tilia glabra or Tilia americanus 0.398 24.85 6.13 1029. Beech Fagus grandifolia or Fagus americana 0.655 40.89 10.25 1180. Beech, blue Carpinus caroliniana 0.717 44.76 8.48 752. Birch, gray Betula populifolia 0.552 34.46 6.88 797. Birch, paper Betula papyrifera 0.600 37.46 8.79 1119. Birch, sweet Betula lenta 0.714 44.58 11.81 1520. Birch, yellow Betula lutea 0.668 41.70 11.88 Boxwood/Buis Buxus sempervirens 0.95-1.1 59.3-68.6 Buckeye, yellow Aesculus octandra 0.383 23.91 5.36 829. Butternut Juglans cinerea 0.404 25.22 5.72 830. Cedar, eastern red Juniperus virginiana 0.492 30.72 6.07 612. Cedar, northern white Thuja occidentalis 0.315 19.67 4.56 568. Cedar, southern white Chamaecyparis thvoides 0.352 21.98 4.77 655. Cedar, (Tropical American) Cedrela odorata *0.37-0.70 23.10-43.70. Cedar, western red Thuja plicata 0.344 21.48 5.38 819. Cherry, black Prunus serotina 0.534 33.34 8.81 1046. Cherry, wild red Prunus pennsylvanica 0.425 26.53 6.10 892. Chestnut Castanea dentata 0.454 28.34 6.16 870. Cocobolo Dalbergia retusa 1.10 68.6 Coralwood Guilbourtia spp. 1.1 68.6 Corkwood Leitneria floridana 0.207 12.92. Cottonwood, eastern Populus deltoides 0.433 27.03 6.14 972. Cypress, southern Taxodium distichum 0.482 30.09 7.44 1010. Dogwood (flowering) Cornus florida 0.796 49.69 10.72 1085. Douglas fir (coast type) Pseudotsuga taxifolia 0.512 31.96 8.44 1357. Douglas fir (mountain type) Pseudotsuga taxifolia 0.446 27.84 6.72 981. Ebony, Andaman marble-wood (India) Diospyros kursii *0.978 61.06 7.80 1270. Ebony, Ebène marbre (Maritius, E. Africa) Diospyros melanida *0.768 47.95 5.55 1007. Elm, American Ulmus americana 0.554 34.59 8.44 948. Elm, rock Ulmus racemosa or Ulmus thomasi 0.658 41.08 10.55 1086. Elm, slippery Ulmus fulva or pubescens 0.568 35.46 9.29 1050. Eucalyptus, Karri (W. Australia) Eucalyptus diversicolor *0.829 51.75 12.16 1885. Eucalyptus, Mahogany (New South Wales) Eucalyptus

hemilampra *1.058 66.05 11.50 1608. Eucalyptus, West Australian mahogany Eucalyptus marginata *0.787 49.13 10.54 1462. Fir, balsam Abies balsamea 0.414 25.85 5.42 879. Fir, Douglas (See Douglas Fir). Fir, silver Abies amabilis 0.415 25.91 6.69 1076. Concalco Alves .96 60.0 Greenheart (British Guiana) Nectandra rodioei *1.06-1.23 66.18-76.79. Grenadilla (Mpingo) Dalbergia melanoxylon 1.2-1.25 74.9-78.0 Gum, black Nyssa sylvatica 0.552 34.46 6.82 839. Gum, blue Eucalyptus globulus 0.796 49.69 11.75 1683. Gum, red Liquidambar styraciflua 0.530 33.09 8.40 1045. Gum, tupelo Nyssa aquatica 0.524 32.71 6.85 889. Hemlock eastern Tsuga canadensis 0.431 26.91 6.06 846. Hemlock, mountain Tsuga martensiana 0.480 29.97 6.95 797. Hemlock, western Tsuga heterophylla 0.432 26.97 6.51 1015. Hickory, bigleaf shagbark Hicoria laciniosa 50.53 12.91 1335. Hickory, mockernut Hicoria alba 51.21 13.56 1570. Hickory, pignut Hicoria glabra 51.21 14 25 1603. Hickory, shagbark Hicoria ovata 52.17 14.39 1525. Hornbeam Ostrya virginiana 0.762 47.57 10.22 1199. Ironwood, black Rhamnidium ferreum 1.077-1.30 67.24-81.1 18.10 2100. Jacarandá, Brazilian rosewood Dalbergia nigra *0.85 53.07 Larch, western Larix occidentalis 0.587 36.65 8.24 1188. Lignum Vitae Guaiacum officinale and Guaiacum sanctum 1.25-1.33 78 - 83 Locust, black or yellow Robinia pseudacacia 0.708 44.20 13.63 1448. Locust honey Gleditsia triacanthos 0.666 41.58 10.59 1165. Magnolia, cucumber Magnolia acuminata 0.516 32.21 8.91 1276. Mahogany (W. Africa) Khaya ivorensis *0.668 41.70 <12.38 1079. Mahogany (E. India) Swietenia macrophylla *0.54 33.71 6.73 817. Mahogany (E. India) Swietenia mahogani *0.54 33.71 7.10 890. Maple, black Acer nigrum 0.620 >38.71 9 37 1141. Maple, red Acer rubrum 0.546 34.09 9.35 1155. Maple, silver Acer saccharinum 0.506 31.59 6.34 805. Maple, sugar Acer saccharum 0.676 42.20 10.97 1290. Mpingo (Grenadilla) Dalbergia melanoxylon 1.2-1.25 74.9-78.0 Oak, black Quercus velutina 0.669 41.77 9.66 1153. Oak, bur Quercus macrocarpa 0.671 41.89 7.21 723. Oak, canyon live Quercus chrysolepis 0.838 52.32 9.26 1149. Oak, laurel Quercus montana 0.674 42.08 9.45 1114. Oak, live Quercus virginiana 0.977 60.99 12.95 1381. Oak, pin Quercus pallustris 0.677 42.27 Oak, post Quercus stellata or Quercus minor 0.738 46.07 9.30 1063. Oak, red Quercus borealis 0.657 41.02 10.02 1274. Oak, scarlet coccinea 0.709 44.26 Oak, swamp chestnut Quercus montana (Quercus prinus) 0.756 47.20 9.73 1247. Oak swamp white Quercus bicolor or Quercus platanoides 0.792 49.44 12.36 1446. Oak, white Quercus alba 0.710 44.33 10.68 1251. Persimmon Diospyros virginiana 0.776 48.45 12.72 1443. Pine, eastern white Pinus strobus 0.373 23.29 6.26 898. Pine, jack Pinus banksiana or Pinus divericata 0.461 28.78 5.70 868. Pine, loblolly Pinus taeda 0.593 37.02 9.09 1354. Pine, longleaf Pinus palustris 0.638 39.83 10.90 1445. Pine, pitch Pinus rigida 0.542 33.84 7.40 965. Pine, red Pinus resinosa 0.507 31.65 8.81 1264. Pine, shortleaf Pinus echinata 0.584 36.45 9.34 1345. Poplar, balsam Populus balsamifera or Populus candicans 0.331 20.66 4.76 716. Poplar, yellow Liriodendron tulipifera 0.427 26.66 6.52 1058. Redwood Sequoia sempervirens 0.436 27.22 7.56 958. Rosewood, Bolivian 0.71 44.3 Rosewood, E. Indian 0.78 48.7 Sassafras Sassafras uariafolium 0.473 29.53 6.43 790. Satinwood (Ceylon) Chloroxylon swietenia *1.031 64.37 9.68 1101. Sourwood Oxydendrum arboreum 0.593 37.02 8.24 1083. Spruce, black Picea mariana 0.428 26.72 7.24 1069. Spruce, red Picea rubra or Picea rubens 0.413 25.78 7.15 1071. Spruce, white Picea glauca 0.431 26.91 6.38 1001. Sycamore Platanus occidentalis 0.539 33.65 7.12 1002. Tamarack Larix laricina or Larix americana 0.558 34.84 8.23 1154. Teak (India) Tectona grandis *0.5892 36.33 9.04 1195. Walnut, black Juglans nigra 0.562 35.09 10.42 1185. Willow, black Salix nigra 0.408 25.47 4.42 513.

Send a message to Oliver Seely about this table? --> oliver@dhvx20.csudh.edu

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Sorry guys - I can never get the editor to retain all the table formatting when I try doing this. You can go to the home page cited and download the table to your computer.

If you're into gobbletygook, the table headings are

Common Name / Botanical Name / Density g/cc / Density lbs/cu ft / Modulus of Rupture kg/sq mm / Modulus of Elasticity kg/sq mm

Edited by BobP

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Thanks for this information BobP, is it safe to assume that a wood that has a density of 1 g/cc will sink?

I use the "Janka hardness scale" to determine how hard a wood actually is. Google it, it's actually a very interesting read.

s54

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Wood with a density of 1g/cc will suspend in pure water at 4 C. A lure made from that wood will sink at that temp (or any temp we fish)due to wt of hardware, clear coat, etc.

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Interesting! Therefore, a lure made of Mahogany for arguments sake is used in 80 degree water in summer and 38 degrees in late fall will have a different action? Or is it all related to how close the density is to 1?

s54

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I like using mahagony for lures! The action wont be different (in theory one could argue it would be but no need to split hairs), but it may swim slightly deeper in warmer water. I doubt this is noticeable (seriously seriously doubt this is noticeable) though and cant comment from firsthand experience.

Where this really matters is when you get into perfectly suspending lures. Getting a perfect suspender is not easy, especially the smaller the lure. Once you have a suspender, you may find that it only suspends within a certain temp range (technically it only suspends at a single precise temp). Warmer than that and it is a suuuuuuuuuuuper slow sinker, colder than that and its a suuuuuuuuper slow floater. Once again, splitting hairs.

Edited by pizza
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And to clarify, to get a suspender you want the overall density of the entire lure to be 1g/cc. That is if you are fishing pure water at 4 degrees C.

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Thank you for explaning this concept pizza but what do you mean by pure water? Fresh water?

Has anybody figured out how to achieve a density of 1 on any given wood? Is there a formula? I experimented with Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba). I removed 1/2 of the wood stock and filled it with foam. It worked quite well.

s54

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Pure water is fresh water that is not contaminated/polluted. The water where i fish is fairly polluted so i would think it has a density ever so slightly higher than 1 g/cc. Because of this, a lure with an overall density of 1 g/cc would be a suuuuuuuuuuuuuper slow floater (here i go splitting hairs again) at 4 degrees C in the polluted rivers i fish.

There is a reason why there are only a handful of commercially available wooden suspenders. They are a pain to make (ive gotten close, but no true suspenders yet), and just as difficult to reproduce. I speak for 3/8 oz and smaller baits which is mostly what i make. The only commercially available wooden suspender i know of is the lucky craft wooden pointer.

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Salt water is more dense so lures tend to float more/higher in it. A lure that suspends in 75 degree water will rise in colder 55 degree water and will sink in warmer 95 degree water. If you build suspending lures, it's usually best to build them to suspend in the warmest water they will be fished in. Then, if you are fishing colder water and the lure wants to float, you can add weight to it by upsizing the trebles, adding split rings, using lead tape. There are lots of lures that are sold commercially as suspending baits, especially jerkbaits. Guys who really get into fishing them usually carry some Suspendots to tweak the lures to do what they want. To me, suspending is really important in one circumstance: throwing jerkbaits in cold water periods where you want the bait to sit for long periods.

As a general rule, suspending baits will run about a foot deeper than their floating counterparts. The downside, if you break one off, you're probably not getting it back.

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And don't forget that fishing line materials & weigth will also impart some effect on lure action. Lure shape and type (bill no bill, slope or round nose). Ballasting location. The list is quite large. So calculate all you want but the proof will be in the actual use testing. The table is useful as a starting point. Thanks for the information.

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A density table cannot describe the density of a particular bait or a particular piece of wood. Wood density varies depending on where in the tree the wood comes from, where the tree grew, and the wood's moisture content. That doesn't mean a nominal density number is not useful - it will tell you, on average, how two different species of wood are likely to behave in a crankbait. But that's about the extent of it.

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