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Studies of charcoalified wood have followed two main approaches: observation of fractured surfaces, either under the dissecting or SE microscope, and observation of thin slices of epoxy-embedded samples with the light microscope. I introduce here a combination of techniques overcoming some of the problems these typical methods have presented, related to trouble with the high reflectance of fractured surfaces when observations are made using light microscopy, unavailability of equipment, and time-consuming, sample-altering methodologies.I used transverse surfaces painted with correction fluid for determination of vessel grouping and distribution, and indirect replicas of transverse and longitudinal surfaces made of nail polish for observation of other features including intervessel pit apertures, and ray size and composition. Good results are obtained even with a routine light microscope.


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