Southern Yellow Pine Furniture

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Forum topic by ChipByrd posted 12-09-2014 02:44 PM 993 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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146 posts in 1350 days

12-09-2014 02:44 PM


I have a nice stockpile of 2×12 – #1 SYP. I purchased it and stickered it in my garage for a couple months before building my workbench and some other shop furniture/jigs. The problem is (a good one I suppose) that I still have several really nice boards. I was wondering about using it for small furniture projects: stools, end table, etc. If I mill it and make sure it is sufficiently dry, would it be ok? Or will there be too much movement?


11 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2056 days

#1 posted 12-09-2014 02:48 PM

I made a 5 board bench from SYP. Its rock-solid and has held the primer/paint very well.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3384 days

#2 posted 12-09-2014 03:40 PM

Have you tested moisture content?


View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1350 days

#3 posted 12-09-2014 03:57 PM

No, I haven’t. I don’t have a moisture meter, but I am hoping Santa will bring me one for Christmas. With my workbench, I simply let the wood set in my garage for a couple months. I had heard that would be sufficient. But I’m not really as confident when it comes to building a piece of furniture for inside. If Santa came early and I picked up a moisture meter, what level of moisture would I want the wood to attain?

View Tedstor's profile


1625 posts in 2056 days

#4 posted 12-09-2014 04:52 PM

Were the boards freshly cut when you got them? I assumed you bought them from a lumberyard and would have been mostly dry at the time of purchase.

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2241 days

#5 posted 12-09-2014 05:04 PM

Generally softwoods move less, rather than more, than hardwoods. Quartersawn eastern white pine is far more dimensionally stable than all of the regular North American hardwoods. SYP has expansion-contraction rates similar to those of many hardwoods. See the table at
The issue with softwoods tends to be the way that they are milled and dried. Wood sawn for construction purposes often has the pith still in it and may crack, or it has been stored outside uncovered and may warp as it dries, or it was dried too quickly. But if you have nice boards that have acclimated there is absolutely no reason not to make first-class furniture out of it. If it’s been in your garage for months I would expect it to be dry enough, although you may want to bring it into your house for a couple weeks.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1350 days

#6 posted 12-09-2014 05:28 PM

I did buy them at a lumber yard. Thanks for that reference from Fine Woodworkng. That and the advice are greatly appreciated.

View Sactomike's profile


19 posts in 706 days

#7 posted 12-09-2014 06:15 PM

Southern yellow pine is one of my favorite woods, when I can get it here in California. A while back I salvaged some 6/4 stock which I made into a Medieval style stool, with the legs ( single boards) set in a shallow boxed rabbet and through mortice and tenoned to the top. It worked beautifully!

View ChipByrd's profile


146 posts in 1350 days

#8 posted 12-09-2014 07:44 PM

You guys have definitely answered my question. Thanks. Sactomike, I would love to see a picture of that stool. It sounds awesome.

View firefighterontheside's profile


13100 posts in 1280 days

#9 posted 12-09-2014 08:04 PM

In my opinion SYP makes beautiful furniture. I built a 3’x6’ dining table and bench from reclaimed SYP and finished with oil based poly. SYP is about the hardest of the pines. I have some in my shop to build a new kitchen island cabinet.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View WDHLT15's profile


1565 posts in 1899 days

#10 posted 12-10-2014 02:28 AM

Bring it inside for a month and it will be fine.

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

View Aj2's profile


634 posts in 1221 days

#11 posted 12-11-2014 05:42 AM

Hopefully the wood has been Kd dried.Or you may get some pitch coming out thru the finish.That would be my only con.Aj

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