Eric Meier originally began this project to create a knowledge clearinghouse for all wood products and their uses while he was making psalteries—a type of stringed musical instrument. This and experience with various applications led to The Wood Database Project.
according to Meier,
“Eventually, I realized that all of the data that I found in most wood identification books available to the public was just too vague and limited. Concerning mechanical properties of the wood, many times it would read something like “moderately hard and heavy, with good strength properties . . .” But I was left wondering: how hard, how heavy, and how strong was this wood? What were they using as a standard, and how exactly did it measure up to other woods that I was used to using?”
Over time, Meier further built his learning with USDA wood engineering manuals. Realizing that visual identification is central to common practices in dendrology, Meier scanned wood samples and welcomed numerous contributors to the database.
Eric Meier also publishes a print edition of The Wood Database.