what is the best kind of pine to use?

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 06-14-2011 05:47 PM 8833 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 3053 days

06-14-2011 05:47 PM

Hi, I was wondering what is the best kind of pine to use to make furniture out of. I know there is white pine, yellow pine, and I am sure there are a couple of others that I don’t know. But I was just wondering what you guys thought was the best kind to us.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

7 replies so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3352 days

#1 posted 06-14-2011 06:03 PM


If you’re just starting out … I might suggest using whatever’s cheap in YOUR area.

Example: I’d have LOVED to have built my bench out of Southern Yellow Pine. For some LumberJocks, SYP grows on trees. In my area, though, it’s rare.

What’s common in MY area is Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pine. Not BAD wood, but … splinters and chips out pretty easily, in my experience.

But … there’s lots of it in the area, making it cheap, and … a pretty good place to start.

Not sure what’s common in your part of IN, but … the local lumberyard oughta’ be able to tell you, or … just by price … you can probably figger it out.

One other thing: if you’re anywhere near the Amish country … they have some GREAT lumber mills, where they sell QUALITY product at GREAT prices. I bought some in Ohio. Not sure where you are relative to the IN Amish, but … if it’s anywhere near you … worth a look.

-- -- Neil

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4816 posts in 3352 days

#2 posted 06-14-2011 06:04 PM

Follow up:

Looks like you’re VERY close to Amish country. Is that right ??

I’d make a few calls. Positive stereotypes are still stereotypes, but … I wouldn’t hesitate to call a few places—lumber yards, mills, OR furniture places, and talk with them a bit about what’s common, where to buy it, and what species THEY think you ought to start off with.

-- -- Neil

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2823 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 06-14-2011 06:12 PM

White pine handles, cuts, and glues up very nicely. It’s not a hard wood but it’s solid. In my area, Maine, Southern Yellow pine is only sold as pressure treated lumber for decks. It tends to splinter and cracks when dry.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View nate22's profile


475 posts in 3053 days

#4 posted 06-14-2011 06:13 PM

Thanks NBeener, I am close to amish country I have a amish family that live on the same road that I do. I’m not a beginner woodworker but I am designing a new style of bunk bed for my business and I want to use the best kind of pine that I can. I will just have to ask the people at the lumber yard that I buy my lumber from.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View dmorrison's profile


151 posts in 3440 days

#5 posted 06-14-2011 06:43 PM

I build the majority of my things with pine. I’m from the Northeast and love colonial style. Availability will be the main factor. I prefer Northeast white pine but living in Texas, it is not available. I have used Home Depot “white wood” which is either Spruce, Fir or Pine. the exact species may not be known. But I have had some nice results with HD “white wood”.
I primarily use Ponderosa Pine now. It is readily available here in the DFW area and I like it’s grain and knot content.

Southern yellow pine is very grainy and has a lot more sap in it than the whiter grades of pine. I find all pine takes glue well. cuts and shapes well. You will find pitch build up to be a problem and must be addressed when using pine.

Staining does require pre conditioners to prevent a blotchy appearance. I use Minwax pre-stain conditioner, then stain and finally a polyurethane coat. Waxed with steel wool to finish it.


View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4183 days

#6 posted 06-14-2011 07:03 PM

Old growth Long Leaf (heart pine) is the most highly sought after. The only problem is no more trees to harvest, so you have to get it from demolition of old structures in the form of floor joist and beams. By far the most prized because of its closely spaced growth rings making for a tight and beautiful wood.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View MickeyGomes's profile


2 posts in 2283 days

#7 posted 08-23-2012 08:58 AM

For pine furniture, White Pine will be the best choice.

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