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Forum topic by weedsnager posted 12-15-2011 06:44 PM 1280 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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weedsnager

59 posts in 1899 days


12-15-2011 06:44 PM

Looking for southern yellow pine in the Chicagoland area any suggestions?


17 replies so far

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13729 posts in 2082 days


#1 posted 12-15-2011 09:04 PM

It’s easy to find downstate; all floor joist – sized materials (2×10s, 2×12s, etc.) are available in SYP south of Springfield. Maybe make a trip down… something none of our Governors are very adept at doing… :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1819 days


#2 posted 12-16-2011 07:46 AM

I hate to say this, but southern yellow pine is a very fast growing tree, and it tends to warp, bow and cup because of it’s short growth cycle. While it may do good for the framing of the table, I’d definately choose another wood for the top.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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weedsnager

59 posts in 1899 days


#3 posted 12-17-2011 12:56 AM

well Chris Schwarz reccomends it in his workbench book…i figured since the guy wrote a book on workbenches he might know what he’s talking about.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13729 posts in 2082 days


#4 posted 12-17-2011 01:38 AM

I think it’d be a great choice!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1940 days


#5 posted 12-17-2011 02:52 PM

You can go the one of the big box stores, go to the 2×12’s or 2×10’s as they are usually SYP. Look at the growth rings, and pick out the kind of quality you need. There is usually some good in with the bad.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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jmos

737 posts in 1833 days


#6 posted 12-17-2011 03:05 PM

In Chris’ new workbench book “The Workbench Design Book” he summarizes the section on materials thus “The best workbench material is the biggest, driest stuff that you can buy right now. End of story.”

I’m also in the process of getting materials together to build a workbench. Chris does have very good things to say about SYP, but I can’t get it by me either (New Jersey outside Philly.) In fact, I’m having a heck of a time finding anything bigger than a 4×4 that is not pressure treated. All the dimensional lumber I can find is knotty as heck, and the clear stuff is more than hardwood per board foot; crazy.

I’ve settled on using LVL for the top, hardwood for the base. He has one bench in the book made entirely from LVL; has good things to say about it for the top, but some criticisms about it as a base material. Says it’s very easy to machine, stable, cuts easily… It’s also made from SYP. My local hardwood dealer can get it for me cut to any even length; (2) 8’ 2×12’s will do me for the top. I’ll cut it into 2 3/4” strips, flip 90deg, and laminate, then edge with hardwood to get up to ~24” wide.

The only other source of SYP I found by me was Lumber Liquidators; they sell unfinished 3/4” thick SYP for flooring/paneling. Rip off the grooves and you’ve pre-thicknessed, pretty straight and flat stock. The price is not terrible, and they have wide widths, but you would have to deal with random lengths which would make the glue up more challenging. As I think about it, you could build up your top flat, like layers of flooring, instead of turning it on edge.

Good luck! (to both of us)

-- John

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weedsnager

59 posts in 1899 days


#7 posted 12-17-2011 03:46 PM

“You can go the one of the big box stores, go to the 2×12’s or 2×10’s as they are usually SYP. Look at the growth rings, and pick out the kind of quality you need. There is usually some good in with the bad.”

maybe in your area, but not near chicago. none of them carry syp here

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13729 posts in 2082 days


#8 posted 12-17-2011 06:10 PM

Weed- Your bench is important… If there’s any way you can see fit to head south a couple hours, you’ll get the wood you seek. A bit of googling for lumberyards around springfield, maybe even further north, would be worth it IMO.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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weedsnager

59 posts in 1899 days


#9 posted 12-17-2011 07:54 PM

i found a couple of places up here in nw indiana that carries syp, thanks

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jaydubya

183 posts in 2276 days


#10 posted 12-17-2011 08:23 PM

Im outside of bloomington/normal. i used to work at menards. All the 2×10s and 2×12s were SYP. I cant imagine the menards up there doesnt carry the same thing

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1819 days


#11 posted 12-17-2011 08:29 PM

Chris Schwarz may recomend southern yellow pine, but I will not. it’s as common more common than lodgepole around these parts and is far less stable. Maybe a little denser, but it’s far less stable. Trust me on this one it gets used for framing around here, but only when they’re out of lodgepole….

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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weedsnager

59 posts in 1899 days


#12 posted 12-17-2011 08:47 PM

“Im outside of bloomington/normal. i used to work at menards. All the 2×10s and 2×12s were SYP. I cant imagine the menards up there doesnt carry the same thing”

i’ve heard other people say that the big box stores carry syp downstate….nothing in the two i looked at up here, i asked the guy in the lumber yard, and looked myself, since sometimes they don’t even know what they have.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

13729 posts in 2082 days


#13 posted 12-17-2011 10:18 PM

Sorry, cc, we’ll have to agree to disagree. SYP certainly can be unstable; pick through the bins at the borgs and some boards will be nearly twice the weight (moisture) of the others… Choose With Care and it’s dense, workable and stable upun assy. Schwarz’ bench has not self destructed in 6 years. My grandpa’s bench is stable after 60+ years. No lodgepoll to compare to, though. :-)

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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doordude

1085 posts in 2447 days


#14 posted 12-17-2011 10:47 PM

jmos; i wouldn’t use the lvl for anything on the bench. i,m using the lvl for the legs and ash for the top.
i had emailed megan at the magazine that chris s. did the story on; and she liked the lvl for the top,but not for the bottom.
it does spinter when cut and you have more tendecy to get spinters from the edges. Megan, said the lvl tends to compress more in the vise area, when clamping material. so i ripped my 3×5 legs and glued up 5/4 maple to the leg surfaces. i’m sorry i bought the material,and won’t waste it.but i’m glad i didn’t use it for the top.
spend the money,you’re going to have this tool for a long time.

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TCCcabinetmaker

930 posts in 1819 days


#15 posted 12-18-2011 06:07 AM

If you’re picking through it you may be picking up loblolly instead, which is a superior pine. It’s also known as heart pine, and occaisionally a tree will get mixed in with a batch of yellow. How it works with the yellow pine though, is it is grown for a period of about 15-20 years then cut down. Most of it used to go into making pulp for paper, but since Nafta/Gat, those inferior trees that usually would have been pulp aren’t going to the closed papermills, but are instead finding their ways to the sawmills. There may be better “better” older forest growth out there but….

But I guess it’s the whole, no one uses redwood in california, no one uses pecan (except me) in the south and so on arguement. I could use it readily for a work bench top, but I just have no respect for it, worked with it too much in rough applications.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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