Building with Fir or simple 2x4's or 2x10's??

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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 01-18-2015 07:21 PM 954 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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117 posts in 2306 days

01-18-2015 07:21 PM

Ok my wife has developed a liking to furniture we are seeing in stores that are built out of what looks like simple Fir or Pine 2x material.

I need an education on how to select or dry this wood out so it is usable where it won’t shrink or do whatever where it becomes unsightly. Any experience using for framing has shown it would not lend itself to finer furniture type building. I know it is being done so I am sure it is my lack of knowledge. Plenty of 2x material at HD although I am sure my hardwood supplier has better grade fir but then why not just build out of cherry, walnut or?

I want to build a simple bookcase. Can someone please direct me on which species to buy and what to do to it before cutting to dimension. I have a planer so that isn’t an issue. I do not want too wind up with a product that looks like it belongs in a backyard shed.

I have joinery books, does anybody have a good link to a book that deals with selecting woods, grains, etc??


1 reply so far

View jerryminer's profile


928 posts in 1468 days

#1 posted 01-18-2015 08:25 PM


I built some stuff with construction lumber—-way back in my early days. Here are the biggest (IMHO) issues with using it:

1. It often contains the “pith”—the very center of the tree. This is very unstable wood—likely to twist, split, ...

2. It is often not dry—- you can buy KD (kiln-dried) construction lumber, but to be sure it is really dry, you should check it with a moisture meter.

You CAN, though, carefully select some straight-grained decent stock. I would look at wider boards like 2×12 with an eye to ripping off the relatively vertical grain edges and removing the pith, maybe getting two pieces 4-5 inches wide out of a 2×12.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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