While flipping through the boards, keep an eye open for signs that a number of boards may have come from the same tree. Looking at the ends and the growth rings will tell you where in the log the board was sawn. In some cases, knots may go through more than one board, and often the outer boards have a live edge. By comparing these features, the colouring, grain and other distinguishing marks, it is often possible to identify several boards cut from the same log.
Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it. Fir is most often used for building; however, it’s inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well. It doesn’t have the most interesting grain pattern and doesn’t take stain very well, so it’s best to use it only when you intend to paint the finished product. Douglas fir is moderately strong and hard for a softwood, rating 4 on a scale of 1 to 4.