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post #21 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 06:27 PM
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In my neck of the woods, clear white pine is about the same price as red oak...
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post #22 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 06:48 PM
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Just for Jim...but please comment if this is interesting to you...

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Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
SPF is construction grade lumber, at least it was when I was building...

...Yellow pine is really brittle and will warp and bow at the drop of a hat. Yellow pine is the strongest of the pine group but hard to work with. Even in construction it was hard to drive a nail without it splitting...

Spruce and white pine is really close in looks and weight, but spruce will have more knots. Both are way too soft and will mar with your finger nail. Spruce is used in construction, white pine isn't...

The old heart pine of years back was hard enough for flooring...

Many high end exterior doors was made of quarter sawn Fir. Fir has a browner color than spruce or white pine. Fir was stronger and hard second to yellow pine. Common pine has a slight yellowish color and Yellow pine is more yellow.

If I were thinking about building furniture I would use FAS Fir or as Onefreetexan said, Ash. Ash isn't a soft wood though, it is in the hard wood class and is more stable and harder than pine but go with FAS. Ash is not a high dollar wood but is a nice wood.

Stay away from Hemlock, it looks just like Fir but it is so brittle it will split from a finish nail. When I ordered trim and they sent Hemlock, it would go back.

Pine is harder to stain than a hard wood, and yellow pine has way too much resin for paint or stain. Don't take my word for any of this, look it up for yourself. This information is just from my own experiences over the years. Things may have changed now days.
Hi BigJim,

As you can tell from my other posts, I have really enjoyed reading this and learning about he diversity of experiences and perspectives everyone has about this wonderful genus of Tree...

I kind of dissected your post to ask some questions about what you think and/or understand from your experiences. Thanks in advance...

Do you think the "Yellow Pine" you have memories of was an actual P. echinata (Yellow or Short Needle Pines) or was it the P. ponderosa (Pondersosa Pine) which also goes by this name?

Your general observations about the Spruces and the White Pines generically is a good description in limited context. This being such a large group collectively do you agree there can be huge variations?

I agree these (by comparison to other woods) are soft. However P. strobus (White Pine) is the dominate flooring (and building) material here in much of New England with boards often being 20" and wider and literally millions of timber frame homes and Barns dotting the land. In the contemporary too, it is often sought after from mills for home construction in the rural or historic setting just behind Hemlock. Flooring is a dominate application. White Pine and Hemlock both, still is today, are commonly used wood for all manner of work here. The range of "softness" is not that much different from virgin historic trees within the Janka scale typically in much of the field testing and examples I've seen. I "think" and it seems to be reflected in colleague observation and research also, that age may and finishing modality that has lead many to believe that "old pine" is harder. These species (conifers) all are known globally for two very unusually characteristics (on a spectrum) for one, turning black over time, and two...getting harder...

As to "heart pine" what is your understanding of it?

This is a designation (both in the historical and contemporary context) as an "cut" of wood...and not a species specific. It is resin laden and very hard do to grain pattern and can come from either an old or young tree depending on environmental stress, climate and other factors more than just age alone.

Your comments about "fir, common pine and yellow pine" again left me with more questions of actual species you may be thinking of. Do you know perhaps or is it just a regional understanding?

"Poor man's White Oak"...

This is an historic designation for the wonders we call the Ash Tree (Genus Fraxinus) both White (F. americana) and Black (F. nigra) being the historic "go to" for this genus. I could not praise this species enough for some of the greatest projects I have had the pleasure to work in, from traditional basket making to timber frames...!!!...It saddens me that I am getting a constant up date that it will soon very possibly come close to extinctions, and (at minimum) will become extremely rare to find by the end of my life time. Sad news to say the least...

Your comments about Hemlock (genus Tsuga) made me laugh (respectfully) because it is such a common position and view point from all my "Southern Brothers" in woodworking...

They all seem to HATE!!! the stuff, while it is one of the most common building species found (next to White Pine) here in New England and actually through out historic Appalachia. If you want a garden shed, Horse Barn or related agricultural building it was the Hemlock that you sought out. Almost as rot resistant as the false cedars we have in North America and still able to find very large and old specimens to work with...Another example of regional preferences...

Thanks again for a great conversation on this very cold Saturday her in upstate New York...!!!!
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post #23 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Shouldn't be any yellow pine...???

In most areas it could be many different varieties of Pinus other than P. strobus (White Pine.)

I can't speak for your area...or what they "might be" calling White Pine? I see it misidentified and/or spec'd all the time on projects in other regions...

There are assuredly different regional variations, to be sure. SPF (or SPFs) in Texas where I have work regularly over the past few years is different than in New York typically for their designations regarding the Pines, and what is found there near the cost some variety of Jack Pine (P. banksiana) typically...but again...not a White Pine.



You will note for SPFs (according to this (et al) sources again...no P. strobus (White Pine) is designated at all...

There is of course many other sources of information if one wishes to fact check further...and...I would be very interested in seeing literature and/or labels describing an SPF that is actually P. strobus White Pine? I have never once seen it but have heard about it a number of times, but each time I see a sample it fails to actually be White Pine but some other species...
I think I found it. Jack pine is sometimes referred to as yellow pine. Anyone I know of when they refer to yellow pine it is a reference to southern yellow pine. This is what is never included in SPF.
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post #24 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 09:16 PM
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I think I found it. Jack pine is sometimes referred to as yellow pine. Anyone I know of when they refer to yellow pine it is a reference to southern yellow pine. This is what is never included in SPF.
Pinus banksiana can have these other names..and why I don't like just using common names alone. It can "muddy the waters" of a conversation to often...

SPF, SPFs (since 91? for wood that is sources south of Canada) and of course the largest (?) lumber speices produced for construction (SYP) Southern Yellow Pine - Pinus echinata.

Pinus echinata common names in order of most used vernacular regionally - Shortleaf Pine, Shortstaw Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Yellow Pine or the "proper" Yellow Pine as some would say...LOL...or at least till you get out West and then it a whole new can of worms with "common names."

I'm not a Certified Grader anymore...

I haven't been to any orientation for grading in years...but I don't ever recall ever seeing P. strobus going to SPF or SPFs designation?

I'm interested now and really have my interest peeked here on this one. I have reached out to some of the Sawyers I know for more information. If I can find an SPF with actual P. Strobus (aka White Pine) in it I will post that info here...
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post #25 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Pinus banksiana can have these other names..and why I don't like just using common names alone. It can "muddy the waters" of a conversation to often...

SPF, SPFs (since 91? for wood that is sources south of Canada) and of course the largest (?) lumber speices produced for construction (SYP) Southern Yellow Pine - Pinus echinata.

Pinus echinata common names in order of most used vernacular regionally - Shortleaf Pine, Shortstaw Pine, Southern Yellow Pine, Yellow Pine or the "proper" Yellow Pine as some would say...LOL...or at least till you get out West and then it a whole new can of worms with "common names."

I'm not a Certified Grader anymore...

I haven't been to any orientation for grading in years...but I don't ever recall ever seeing P. strobus going to SPF or SPFs designation?

I'm interested now and really have my interest peeked here on this one. I have reached out to some of the Sawyers I know for more information. If I can find an SPF with actual P. Strobus (aka White Pine) in it I will post that info here...
When it comes to SPF it's pretty pointless to be that specific on the species of tree they come from. The mills cut what ever they can get their hands on. In the end once built into a project whether and finished very few people care if it's different species. The woods are close enough alike it looks fine.
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post #26 of 49 Old 01-12-2019, 09:58 PM
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No pointless to some of us...

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...When it comes to SPF it's pretty pointless to be that specific on the species of tree they come from. The mills cut what ever they can get their hands on. ...
Not pointless to some of us...

Graders Care very much in my experience, nor do the Sawyers take "whatever they can get their hands on" if they are reputable at all.

You kind of lost me on this one...???

As a grader, the pine species that goes into SPF is not just random "whatever" I get today work. It may be all grouped together and shipped, but the work is not "willy-nilly" at all and species count tracking and such is very much part of any mill I have been in or got lumber from...

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...In the end once built into a project whether and finished very few people care if it's different species. The woods are close enough alike it looks fine. ...
Again, I can't speak to your experience or viewpoints towards caring "if it's a different species."

I can say that the pine species of "woods" are not nearly close enough alike for anyone I know or work with to ever take such lackadaisical viewpoint toward the work they do, but that's me and the work I do and who I do it with. I'm sure some don't...
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post #27 of 49 Old 01-13-2019, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Hi BigJim,

As you can tell from my other posts, I have really enjoyed reading this and learning about he diversity of experiences and perspectives everyone has about this wonderful genus of Tree...

I kind of dissected your post to ask some questions about what you think and/or understand from your experiences. Thanks in advance...

Do you think the "Yellow Pine" you have memories of was an actual P. echinata (Yellow or Short Needle Pines) or was it the P. ponderosa (Pondersosa Pine) which also goes by this name?

Your general observations about the Spruces and the White Pines generically is a good description in limited context. This being such a large group collectively do you agree there can be huge variations?

I agree these (by comparison to other woods) are soft. However P. strobus (White Pine) is the dominate flooring (and building) material here in much of New England with boards often being 20" and wider and literally millions of timber frame homes and Barns dotting the land. In the contemporary too, it is often sought after from mills for home construction in the rural or historic setting just behind Hemlock. Flooring is a dominate application. White Pine and Hemlock both, still is today, are commonly used wood for all manner of work here. The range of "softness" is not that much different from virgin historic trees within the Janka scale typically in much of the field testing and examples I've seen. I "think" and it seems to be reflected in colleague observation and research also, that age may and finishing modality that has lead many to believe that "old pine" is harder. These species (conifers) all are known globally for two very unusually characteristics (on a spectrum) for one, turning black over time, and two...getting harder...

As to "heart pine" what is your understanding of it?

This is a designation (both in the historical and contemporary context) as an "cut" of wood...and not a species specific. It is resin laden and very hard do to grain pattern and can come from either an old or young tree depending on environmental stress, climate and other factors more than just age alone.

Your comments about "fir, common pine and yellow pine" again left me with more questions of actual species you may be thinking of. Do you know perhaps or is it just a regional understanding?

"Poor man's White Oak"...

This is an historic designation for the wonders we call the Ash Tree (Genus Fraxinus) both White (F. americana) and Black (F. nigra) being the historic "go to" for this genus. I could not praise this species enough for some of the greatest projects I have had the pleasure to work in, from traditional basket making to timber frames...!!!...It saddens me that I am getting a constant up date that it will soon very possibly come close to extinctions, and (at minimum) will become extremely rare to find by the end of my life time. Sad news to say the least...

Your comments about Hemlock (genus Tsuga) made me laugh (respectfully) because it is such a common position and view point from all my "Southern Brothers" in woodworking...

They all seem to HATE!!! the stuff, while it is one of the most common building species found (next to White Pine) here in New England and actually through out historic Appalachia. If you want a garden shed, Horse Barn or related agricultural building it was the Hemlock that you sought out. Almost as rot resistant as the false cedars we have in North America and still able to find very large and old specimens to work with...Another example of regional preferences...

Thanks again for a great conversation on this very cold Saturday her in upstate New York...!!!!
Wow, this IS interesting, respectively, I am learning new things today I didn't know, seriously. What I am seeing, from my point of view that woods density and uses vary from different areas of the country. I did not know that.

In this area of the south, southern yellow pine wouldn't be used in furniture or flooring, at least to my knowledge as Southern Yellow Pine in this area is pretty unstable. You could leave a yellow pine stud outside for half a day and use it for rocking chair rockers. The Yellow Pine in this area is from the Loblolly pine.

The old growth yellow pine and common Pine is the heart pine I was referring to. I have used much much antique heart pine in many of the old antique homes I restored. It is some of the most beautiful floors. I have also used the antique heart pine to build furniture and casework in the old antique homes, as well as for making stair treads and parts.

I truly did not know Ponderosa Pine was a yellow pine, I don't recall ever using any. The Southern Yellow Pine is the only yellow Pine I am familiar with.

Southern White Pine in this area is very soft and not usable for framing or flooring. Clear White Pine is pretty pricey in this area. It looks like White Pine is much harder, farther north, that is really interesting. It looks like Hemlock is different from north to south also.

It also looks like lumber is graded differently in different areas of the country. While I have never seen White Pine with the grade stamp SPF, it looks like it is in Texas. SPF is the grade stamped on framing lumber in this area. White Pine in this area, is just not suitable for framing. If it is clear enough for framing, it would be way to expensive to use.

An example of the same named lumber is Western Cedar. In BC I have a friend who sent me a sample of their Western Cedar. Their Western Cedar is by far a lot better and the appearance is so much better than what we get down this way it is unreal. They also have a lot of different woods from down this way that I never heard of.

For a good while I used a tremendous amount of White Ash as it was easy to get and not expensive. I also used an awful lot of Poplar, it was not expensive, very easy to machine and looked great with certain stains. Our kitchen cabinets are built out of Poplar and stained Ralph Lauren Tea Stain, they look pretty good.

Anyway, this is a very interesting thread, I love learning new things. I am sure I left something off here. LOL
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post #28 of 49 Old 01-13-2019, 06:21 AM
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One of the best conversation I have had about wood...

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Wow, this IS interesting...I love learning new things. I am sure I left something off here. LOL
Hello Jim,

First, thanks for a great reply!!!

If I have learned anything from this conversation, or I should say (more clearly) begun to understand better, is the vast diversity that even something as "solid" as wood can have diversity in understanding and experience.

This past year, the concept of "perception being reality" in many things (from politics to woodworking) has been driven home for me...

I love Hemlock (Tusga) and Yellow Pine (P. echinata)...as just two examples...for a list of reasons that are the complete opposite that someone else (with extensive experience and understanding of wood) has of that very same material being something else entirely...All in the end, I once more realize that "names" are so misleading when just in a vernacular form...as Loblolly Pine (P. taeda) is also called "Yellow Pine" and can actually hybridize with each other...something I knew from years ago but never made the connection until today. I suppose this is the reason the use of Latin (the original universal language of our species) was, and still is, the root language that we try to use to be clear with each other...

As much fascinating to me as this all is...so is where factual reality and perceptive reality cross. This doesn't always happen, of course, but even in another conversation hear on the forum regarding "sharpening" the same diversity and spectrum of understanding is taking place...

As in my signature at the end of each post, I am so reminded once more..."...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." both in self and what is known vs what is perceived by others and self at the same time...In lies the true understanding one must seek...or...they will fail to even begin to understand anything...Once more I am humbled in understanding anything...

Thank you once more...It is always refreshing to learn new things, and re-learn things we knew more deeply...
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post #29 of 49 Old 01-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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LOL...."poorman's oak" in my area is sassafras....which is also the Am. Chestnut replacement.
Latin names, we should've never given "nicknames" to them, our "bubba yellowpine" ain't the same "bubba yellowpine" ya'll know, you may call him "sneezy" because his trip up there was during the pollen season....LOL

ALL in fun to learn sometimes we disagree about a nickname thinking it's a factual name ONLY to find out it's niether...man my head hurts, I think I'm just gonna show pictures and stickmen art I just had to say that!!!

Thanks.
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post #30 of 49 Old 01-13-2019, 11:40 AM
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Not pointless to some of us...

Graders Care very much in my experience, nor do the Sawyers take "whatever they can get their hands on" if they are reputable at all.

You kind of lost me on this one...???

As a grader, the pine species that goes into SPF is not just random "whatever" I get today work. It may be all grouped together and shipped, but the work is not "willy-nilly" at all and species count tracking and such is very much part of any mill I have been in or got lumber from...



Again, I can't speak to your experience or viewpoints towards caring "if it's a different species."

I can say that the pine species of "woods" are not nearly close enough alike for anyone I know or work with to ever take such lackadaisical viewpoint toward the work they do, but that's me and the work I do and who I do it with. I'm sure some don't...
We are discussing the SPF grade of wood which the mills are mixing about a dozen different species of wood together. I think it's a fair statement to say the mills are cutting what ever they can get their hands on. Then the species are so close alike you could mix spruce, pine and fir together to make a piece of furniture and once finished few people would even know there was different species mixed.
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post #31 of 49 Old 01-13-2019, 05:37 PM
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...I think it's a fair statement to say the mills are cutting what ever they can get their hands on. Then the species are so close alike you could mix spruce, pine and fir together to make a piece of furniture and once finished few people would even know there was different species mixed...
I guess that is a perspective...Yes.

I do believe (respectfully) I must disagree with it on several points...

I personally don't know of any mill that start "cutting what ever they can get their hands on." They may well exists? I know the ones I've been affiliated with don't and they don't mix species on milling days, They bundle by lot and species, even if getting a SPF or SPFs designation...Again, maybe some do mix these into different lots. I haven't seen it done. I do know of a number of GC that "hand pick" there studs because of professional integrity and selectiveness for performance within there stud walls, and I know most that build furniture from "construction grad lumber" do the same thing...

I also can't agree that the..."species are so close alike you could mix spruce, pine and fir together." They are nothing alike (as this conversation alone has tallied in many examples even between Pinus species) nor would mixing them be advisable in furniture without being fully conscious of that application. I must put that in just for other readers with less experience thinking they can just go willynilly putting wood together and have things always play nicely...They don't!!!

I do agree it happens but would call that bad practice and not to be recommend for a number of reasons...
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post #32 of 49 Old 01-14-2019, 04:57 PM
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I've made lots of furniture from white pine purchased from HD and Lowe's. Had to search through a lot of lumber to find tight knots and good wood to work with. If you are patient and have time, you can find good pieces. They do have clear pine at a price $$$$$. I believe the clear pine is from New Zealand. Don't believe you can't good enough pieces of pine from HD or Lowe's, I'll post pictures of what I've done if you want. White pine is what you want and not yellow pine. Most yellow pine is too pitchy. MR.SAB
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post #33 of 49 Old 01-15-2019, 09:45 AM
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I think I found it. Jack pine is sometimes referred to as yellow pine. Anyone I know of when they refer to yellow pine it is a reference to southern yellow pine. This is what is never included in SPF.
In my Home Depot, right now, all their 2x3s are southern yellow pine. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I have always considered 2x3s as construction lumber, and that is pretty much always SPF, so to me, it is curious that they would have 2x3s in SYP. I have never seen that before, at any of the Home Depots I have gone to.
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............... it is curious that they would have 2x3s in SYP. I have never seen that before, at any of the Home Depots I have gone to.
My best guess is that the 2x4's were warped beyond anyone wanting them so they straight line ripped them.

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post #35 of 49 Old 01-15-2019, 05:14 PM
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In my Home Depot, right now, all their 2x3s are southern yellow pine. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I have always considered 2x3s as construction lumber, and that is pretty much always SPF, so to me, it is curious that they would have 2x3s in SYP. I have never seen that before, at any of the Home Depots I have gone to.
I don't believe I've ever seen 2x3's in my area. Except for maybe 3/4" stock the whitewood also known as SPF and yellow pine both are really considered construction lumber. You would have to go to a more professional lumber supplier to get millwork grade lumber. It probably wouldn't be run S4S like the wood at the box stores, it would be random widths and lengths.
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post #36 of 49 Old 01-15-2019, 09:10 PM
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I have bought 2X3s here in my area, I used these for lath for the tin roof on our porch. These weren't yellow pine though. I think the big box stores buy what ever they can find and an awful lot of their materials are seconds, for sure their plywood is. It looks like they stock different materials in different areas of the country.

Next time I am in HD I will check to see what kind of materials they do have at that time.

I have seen HD say they have birch plywood when it is clearly an import, and for sure isn't birch. The shame of it is, they really don't know the difference.
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post #37 of 49 Old 01-15-2019, 10:38 PM
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I spent the first half of my life in New England and the Western edge of New York.

I learned woodworking using the white pine for construction, and also to build furniture. Whenever I was about to build a piece of pine furniture I would look for boards that did not have any prominent grain lines like yellow pine, no pith, and tight knots. I also looked for pieces with 8% or less moisture content. Yes, I carried a moisture meter with me when I was shopping for lumber.

For New England style pine furniture it's expected that there will be knots in the wood, and they add character to the piece, but they have to be tight and not full of voids, although a dark colored epoxy can usually fix these minor problems. I always bought 4-6" widths and looked for boards that had the grain running more across the thickness of the boards rather than running across the width of the boards because these will cup as they dry further. I also frequently bought tight grain 2 X 10 pine and ripped it into 2 X 2 strips, then turned each piece 90 deg and glued it back together, leaving the center piece containing the pith out of the glue-up. Doing this produces boards that are near in appearance to quarter sawn wood with a more stable shape and shrinkage rates afterward. Pine from a lumber yard is almost never 6-8% moisture content and frequently 16-20% or higher. If I ever had to buy high moisture content pine for my furniture building, I stickered and dried it further to get the moisture content down to 6-8% before attempting to make furniture from it and always lost about 20% to warping and splitting before it was ready to use. I had built a small solar kiln for this. I also tried to buy rough sawn when I could, but sometimes lost 30 or more % before it was ready to use due to cupping, warping, and splitting.

I now build much more using hard woods, but I go through much the same process before I'll try to build furniture with it, and the moisture meter, ruler, and thickness gauge still go with me when I'm buying furniture, but now I also take a pocket calculator with me. I can check the board feet of my order much faster and with less chance of error using the calculator.

In my eyes, properly made pine furniture with the proper finish of a dark stain over coats of sanding sealers to reduce the blotching, and topped with several coats of poly makes some very beautiful furniture. I live in NC now, but my whole family room is heavy pine furniture that I either made or bought when I lived in New England. I learned early on to have a thick carpet pad on my work benches to minimize dents and dings as I was building the pieces, but this type of furniture collects this kind of "character" as soon as it meets the family anyway, so it's kind of expected. Some furniture companies even "distress" their pieces intentionally before they leave the factory.

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post #38 of 49 Old 01-16-2019, 11:48 AM
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This article in American Woodworking touts the advantages of working with "white pine".

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/p...of-white-pine/

White pine, on the other hand, is often cut from huge
trees, far from the pith, and is usually available kilndried
down to 7 to 9 percent MC, ready to be used in
the woodshop.

Once dried, white pine is exceptionally stable and a
pleasure to work. It shrinks and swells less than red oak
or hard maple, for example, and is about on par with
cherry. It has a uniform texture with inconspicuous
growth rings, unlike construction lumber.
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post #39 of 49 Old 01-16-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
.... I think the big box stores buy what ever they can find and an awful lot of their materials are seconds, for sure their plywood is. ....................
The 2 things that are normally and reliably very flat are Baltic Birch ply and MDF...............EXCEPT for Home Depot.
I have never seen warped MDF except for Home Depot. I was with a friend at the time and I NEVER shop HD.

Then again, ever since I started woodworking, I have always been fortunate enough to live within an hour or so drive from exceptionally good quality hardwood suppliers. I had enough faith in them to order over the phone and have them deliver exotics to my shop without ever doubting the quality............and they were reasonably priced. Their baltic birch and other cabinet grade hardwoods were approximately half the price of the local lumber yards.
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post #40 of 49 Old 01-16-2019, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packard View Post
This article in American Woodworking touts the advantages of working with "white pine".

https://www.popularwoodworking.com/p...of-white-pine/

White pine, on the other hand, is often cut from huge
trees, far from the pith, and is usually available kilndried
down to 7 to 9 percent MC, ready to be used in
the woodshop.

Once dried, white pine is exceptionally stable and a
pleasure to work. It shrinks and swells less than red oak
or hard maple, for example, and is about on par with
cherry. It has a uniform texture with inconspicuous
growth rings, unlike construction lumber.
Wow, that is amazing, White Pine is worlds apart from Cherry in every way here. White Pine is as soft as Spruce here and their appearance is very similar. One difference between the two is the way they machine, White Pine machines really good but Spruce doesn't.

I can take a piece of White Pine and snap it with my hands, with the grain, not so with Cherry. I do agree White Pine is very stable and very easy to machine. Good clear WP is a pleasure to work with.

Tony, I love Baltic Birch plywood, you are right, it is some nice plywood. I also like apple ply, it is really nice to work with (never will find that in a big box store). Even the import plywood, the big box stores sell, the veneer is so thin you can not sand it, then at other times it delaminates and has voids in it.
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