Need a Ponderosa Pine Expert

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Blog entry by Dane posted 08-01-2009 07:13 PM 839 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a small wood shop where I make custom wine racks, wine boxes, crates and displays. Being newer at this, I am having some trouble with understanding the different Ponderosa Pine woods that are available.

The first bundle I purchased was a #3 grade Ponderosa Pine. Had the usual knot issues that I was use to, but cut, planed and sanded well. Now on the second bundle, my lumber supplier gave me a deal on some #2 grade Ponderosa Pine. I was excited that I got a good deal. However, this lumber splinters when cut, raises grain and chunks when planed, scars oddly when sanded and has many more resin pockets.

Hoping someone can help me understand if the different species of Ponderosa Pine may act this way, or did I get something other than Ponderosa Pine.

According to Butch Bernhardt at the WWPA,, “It’s possible you received something other than Ponderosa. Or the issues you note could also be caused by lumber that has been overdried or dried improperly. That can make the wood fibers brittle, causing things like splinters, raised grain and chipping when planed.
Typically, lumber coming from the same mill will have similar characteristics, so buying from the same mill can provide more consistent stock. Grademarks, end stamps or end labels can help you identify the mill.”

I hope you guys can help me learn more about what to look for and what to ask for.

Thanks in advance for your help.


3 comments so far

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3377 days

#1 posted 08-01-2009 08:32 PM

So when is a deal not a deal? Well, when you are not satisfied with what you end up with. If it was me my first call would be to the guy I bought the wood from and I would tell him how the wood is not performing to my expectations and experience. You don’t say what your relationship is with the wood supplier but trusting your supplier is critical.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View Gary's profile


1291 posts in 4353 days

#2 posted 08-02-2009 02:46 AM

I’m no expert by any means but here are a few references:
Grading Softwood
Ponderosa Pine facts

Ponderosa pine is a rather soft species with a pleasant aroma and fairly regular straight grain pattern.

From what I’ve heard, it’s not unusual for one softwood to be grouped and labeled in a manner which
combines species. If you look at the listings in the Ch. 5 link above, you’ll see Ponderosa Pine listed in several
different groupings. So, it’s possible your supplier got something labeled ponderosa pine and it comprised of
more than one species.

Having said that, pines will contain different amounts of pitch and their growth can be affected by seasonal

Good luck,

-- Gary, Florida

View Dane's profile


3 posts in 3251 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 03:47 PM

Thanks guys.

I’ve been in contact with my wood supplier and they are looking into it. Hopefully, that will tell the tale.

Thanks again, Dane

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