Expert in Temperate and Tropical Wood Technology: Properties, Uses, and Identification
Expert ID: 722740
Expert B. Expert is a world authority in temperate and tropical wood identification. He identifies thousands of wood specimens each year for the wood-using industries, antique collectors, museums, art conservators, research scientists, engineers and architects restoring buildings, and government agencies such as APHIS, U.S. Customs, and crime labs. He has identified charcoal specimens found in various archaeology excavations and from buildings and forest fires. Expert notes that the size of the specimen for identification should be as big as one’s hand, but he has identified specimens from thin veneers and as small as toothpick-sized pieces from antiques and even sawdust and wood flour. For accurate results he not only uses his naked eye and hand lens, but also the light microscope.
Expert worked for more than 35 years in forest products research. A critical part of his position was in technology transfer. This included responding to phone, email, and mail requests and a tremendous number of questions concerning all aspects of wood. In addition to identifying woods from many artifacts sent from many parts of the world, he responded to questions concerning the properties and uses of the wood he identified. Expert notes that questions about the use of exotic woods for outdoor decking and indoor flooring sometimes can be complicated because the common name is not what it appears to be. For example, Brazilian walnut and Brazilian cherry are not at all related to American black walnut and black cherry. If the common name cannot be verified, then a specimen of the wood must be identified before information is given to the customer.
Expert notes that the Customs Bureau needs to determine the species of wood from foreign markets because the Harmonized Tariff Schedule contains rules that govern the rates at which species are taxed. For example, plywood of lauan or meranti (Shorea spp.) from Asia and banak (Virola spp.) from South America are allowed into the United States at a lower rate than are other species. Expert has identified thousands of samples for Customs, especially the more difficult separations or when court cases have been pending. From 1993 to 1995, he taught wood identification courses at the Forest Products Laboratory to 11 scientists from the Customs Laboratory. He has also developed an advanced wood identification course; assisted a scientist in a New Orleans laboratory with a project to scan microscopic images for a data base; commented on a court case for the Office of Assistant Chief Council, NY; and identified an occasional problematic specimen for various U.S. Custom Laboratories.Over the years, the National Park Service has been involved in a number of restoration and archeological projects on National Park lands. Expert has identified woods and charcoal samples from historical buildings. For art objects and furniture, he has provided insight to where the original manufacture was located or who may have made the object, especially for objects made in Europe and shipped to America. Information from this work has been catalogued, archived, and published by conservators.
Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin - Kenosha, Wisconsin - Racine, Wisconsin - Appleton, Wisconsin - Rockford, Illinois - Aurora, Illinois - Elgin, Illinois - Waukegan, Illinois - Schaumburg, Illinois