Wood Identification

I have numerous wood boards/cutoffs acquired from my father that I am trying to identify but I am finding much difficulty doing so. Is there a proven method; i.e. visual, ring growth, colour, chemical to identify the wood? Your help would be very much appreciated.
More to the point, I need to learn to identify various varieties of wood for my own woodworking interest.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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maico wrote:

This will get you started: http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics /
There are many web sites with varying degrees of information density on wood identification, this being among the denser: http://what-wood.rleeden.no-ip.com /
R
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Thanks for 2nd'ing the book Tyke: it is now a must buy on my list!
The websites below are very interesting and they look like a quick (and useful) answer to my question. I will study them further. Thank you.
RicodJour wrote:

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