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What does everybody have so much against pine?

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Forum topic by Mark posted 1032 days ago 1947 views 0 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark

1787 posts in 1870 days


1032 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

Okay, so maybe pine is a softwood, I understand. Maybe its the cheapest/most common wood out there. Maybe its the wood for beginners. But why does everybody talk it down like its nothing? To be honest, I absolutely LOVE pine. To double that, I love knotty pine more than select. Out of the couple dozen woods that I have ever worked with, pine is by far in my top 3. I love the fact that it is so cheap. I absolutely love the character of it especially when it comes to making rustic/country furniture. It smells up your workshop nicely when working with it. Infact, when I work with it I have strangers come up to tell me I smell nice (during a coffee run or something in that nature).

Anyways, I can go on about how much I love pine and many reasons why I do. But I just want to know who likes/dislikes it and why?

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust


60 replies so far

View pariswoodworking's profile

pariswoodworking

379 posts in 1081 days


#1 posted 1032 days ago

I like pine for rustic projects or projects that will not recieve a lot of wear and tear (like small boxes), but I don’t think I would use it for any kind of fine woodworking.

1) It’s too soft and dings and scratches too easily.
2) Since it is so common, most people think it is cheap so it looses appeal in fine furniture.
3) It does not take stain well and even soaks up polyurethane like a sponge (I usually use sanding sealer just so I can get a finish on it without wasting a lot of it).
4) I have trouble getting it perfectly smooth/flat because the grain is a lot harder than the rest of it.

I think it is a pretty wood but just doesn’t make great wood for fine furniture.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View bent's profile

bent

311 posts in 2265 days


#2 posted 1032 days ago

stains unevenly
dents easily
pitch pockets
low strength

it has it’s place, but i’m not a fan.

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StumpyNubs

6114 posts in 1396 days


#3 posted 1032 days ago

I think half the problem is that few people really know enough about working with pine. First, there are several kinds of pine, and choosing the right one for the project can mean the difference between a fine looking piece and a rustic look. I really like Douglas Fir, which can have an amazing, perfectly straight grain that is unlike any other wood. And it is very durable, as is southern yellow pine. Of course, it is never as durable as a hardwood.

The most important thing about making nice stuff with pine is learning how to finish it properly. You will never have a nice pine peace if you use a dark stain. It’ll look terrible. A very light stain can be quite nice, especially if you use a sealer. But for a really stunning pine piece use an acid bath followed by a colored wax. I made some morris chairs out of 2X4’s with this finish and they are nice enough for anybody’s living room.

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at: http://www.stumpynubs.com

View wb8nbs's profile

wb8nbs

137 posts in 1288 days


#4 posted 1032 days ago

Can you share some photos of the acid and wax pieces?

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5242 posts in 1194 days


#5 posted 1032 days ago

I don’t find the majority of it visually pleasing. Color or grain uually doesnt do it for me. There are nice looking pine boards, they tend to be the exception and not the rule

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#6 posted 1032 days ago

Never say never , Pine cane be be stained to look great light or dark ,it’s just knowing how to do it and what material to use when finishing it. I think pine is a good inexpensive wood,but it can have many of the problems Bent listed. I think people view pine as a cheap wood so if your selling an item made from it many folks will view it as a low quality product in spite of what kind of workmanship was involved in making that product. For close to the same money you can buy poplar it is a harder would and can be finished to look like many other woods ,if you know how. Furniture manufacturers have know this for centuries.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1870 days


#7 posted 1032 days ago

Well yes I understand its a soft wood which can ding easily or stain unevenly but like stumpy said, if you have enough experience with it than it shouldn’t really be a problem. It may dent easily but what are you doing to it to dent it in the first place?

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

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a1Jim

111999 posts in 2173 days


#8 posted 1032 days ago

Dent it ? let me count the ways … bump it with another board,lay it on top of a tool, using clamps on it, pressing a little to hard with a nail gun,laying tools on top of it, bumping it with a vacuum after you have made an item. There’s no law against using pine like any other wood if you know it’s properties before you build something you will know what you end up with when you have finished your project. I have made many things out of pine but not major pieces of furniture.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View pariswoodworking's profile

pariswoodworking

379 posts in 1081 days


#9 posted 1032 days ago

If you made a coffee table out of it, all you would have to do is set a cup down a little hard at an odd angle and it would dent it. The corners/edges would be really easy to dent or chip. If you accidently kicked the legs with your shoes on, it would likely dent it. Little things like these are all it takes to dent it. Give it a few years and it will be full of dents, dings, and scratches.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2375 posts in 2123 days


#10 posted 1032 days ago

I believe that pine furniture has its place. I am filling the keeping room of our 1800 colonial with my pine furniture. I do not expect it to still be in pristine condition in 20 years. It is furniture that you live with.

I recommend The Pine Furniture of Early New England by Russell Hawes Kettell.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

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pariswoodworking

379 posts in 1081 days


#11 posted 1032 days ago

Chuck, can we see some pics? :)

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Gary's profile

Gary

6962 posts in 2029 days


#12 posted 1032 days ago

Mark, I think you worry too much about what others think. If you like it, that’s all that counts. Some people love to stain wood. I dont stain much. Some people love poly….I don’t …. It’s just up to you.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2375 posts in 2123 days


#13 posted 1032 days ago

pariswoodworking,

Sure. I just posted a cabinet today. This includes links to some other pieces.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1870 days


#14 posted 1032 days ago

Well I understand how to dent it but does it hurt to be a little careful? I honestly think its a great wood. Not for ALL projects like a few of you had mentioned. It does have its place and value. IF PINE HAD FEELINGS I WOULD BE ITS ONLY FRIEND! :P

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1870 days


#15 posted 1032 days ago

But for instance, if someone were to ask “what type of wood did you build that out of?” and you answered pine, its as if they don’t give you as much credit for it as if you were to answer oak.

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

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