Tips for Woodworking with Pine

Pine is one of the most frequently used types of wood and is available in large quantities at just about any home center or lumber yard. There are multiple pine species you can choose from, but they often get lumped together, and are generally only used in framing, shelving or other projects not associated with higher quality woodworking.

However, while pine in Franklin County, MA has some limitations, that does not mean serious woodworkers will not use it in certain types of projects. In fact, stable pine, especially antique pine, can be better suited to some applications than hardwoods like cherry or maple.

The main limitations associated with pine are that it tends to dent or scratch easily and that, when purchased at a lumber yard, it is often sold a little wetter than is ideal, meaning there could be some movement in the wood during acclimation. However, you can overcome both of these challenges with relative ease as long as you know how to work with the wood properly.

Dealing with pine that has too much moisture

Pine is typically kiln-dried, but usually is still not as dry as you might like it to be for fine woodworking projects. This means, at construction sites, it is used as quickly as possible to avoid developing any cups, bows or twists. This isn’t something you can necessarily do in finer woodworking projects.

For this reason, after you pick out your pine boards at the lumber yard, you should allow them to sit in the lumber storage area of your shop for a few months if possible so they can better acclimatize to your environment. When selecting the boards, you should look for pieces that have as few knots as possible, hopefully resembling quarter-sawn wood.

Finally, it can be helpful to always be on the lookout for antique pine. Old wood you can recycle and turn into new works of art is always great to work with, and it’s also extremely satisfying to reuse it in new ways. Again, make sure to let it acclimatize to your shop before working with it to allow the moisture to evaporate.

Dealing with dents and scratches

The other most common drawback with pine is that it is easier to scratch and dent than other types of wood. Therefore, whenever you work with pine, you should always make sure your work surface is completely clear of items and debris. It can help to place some cardboard on the work space to protect the surface of your wood.

If the wood does develop a scratch, you can remove it relatively easier by sanding it down. Dents, however, are a little trickier to deal with. In some cases you can fill the dent (especially hammer dents) with moisture, though wood filler can also be used in some applications.

For more information about how to deal with pine in Franklin County, MA and some of its drawbacks when using it for woodworking projects, contact the team at Forest Products Associates today.