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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 03-11-2018 10:09 PM 2202 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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133 posts in 1311 days

03-11-2018 10:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: southern yellow pine syp lumber 2x10

...then you’ve probably seen the older topics, all with suggestions on where to look for it. No one has written on it in a while so I thought I’d refresh and bring the knowledge base up to current.

As of 2018, there are no big boxes, 84 Lumbers, local lumberyards, Owl Hardwoods, etc. that stock untreated SYP in Chicagoland. I had one that offered to order it for delivery in a month, but at #2 grade.

Your best option, I found, is to source it from downstate Illinois’s Menards—Champaign and Normal still carry it—or from Northern Indiana Menards, which is what I did (Mishiwaka). While easier, I do not recommend having them ship it to your store—I received warped and edge damaged boards that were stored under snow in a receiving area (bad timing too). I recommend you travel to those places and select the wood yourself, particularly if you want to ensure they’re clean on the edges for face lamination with the edges exposed as the top.

They carry #1 KD SYP, untreated in larger 2x’s and up to, I think, 20 feet lengths. I was able to pick out clean, pretty straight boards.

I brought them home and the MC was about 12, ideal for outdoor work (and Menards stores them outdoors). I’m planning on following Schwarz’s advice and laminating for a bench, so am also open to anyone’s sage opinion on whether 12 is sufficient to start ripping, if they are to be used in a semi-insulated garage (I can somewhat control the RH in there, but not the constant of in the home—equilibrium looks to be a 9-10 after a month of drying)

4 replies so far

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73 posts in 2958 days

#1 posted 03-12-2018 10:43 AM

Good to know. I live in central Illinois so I am glad to see we have something Chicago doesn’t

-- Gary, Central Illinois

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1618 days

#2 posted 03-12-2018 11:59 PM

Southern Yellow Pine is about all you can find at some sawmills around here. The countryside is covered in it. It is definitely not a highly sought after species.

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133 posts in 1311 days

#3 posted 03-13-2018 04:14 AM

GMC: That and (more) affordable land/property costs. Hardwoods, generally, seem pricey here. Both of those things definitely help with the hobby. I’m very lucky to have a single family bungalow in my neighborhood with a garage off the alley. My girlfriend is nice enough to street park. The flip side is that you can walk to every sort of cuisine, bar, etc, in a couple blocks, and everything besides good wood is close. So tradeoffs, like everything I guess. There are some beautiful spots down state, tho.

ArtMann: I’m new to the game but SYP seems like a good economical wood for a variety of tasks, including workbenches. We have Douglas Fir in all the big boxes around here and I like the SYP better. Since Chris Schwarz made much to do about using it for an on the cheap workbench, I’d saw it all down and ship it bulk to the needy folk in the upper midwest and west, for a premium, hah.

View ArtMann's profile


1480 posts in 1618 days

#4 posted 03-13-2018 11:52 PM

It is used here mainly for framing houses. I buy kiln dried 2 inch material and put it in my (very hot) shop loft for a few months to really dry. Then I will run it through my jointer and planer just as if I were milling rough cut lumber. The end result of machining a 2 X 6 might be 1-3/8” by 5-3/8”. Once I do this, it is straight, flat and stable enough for many applications. I just don’t make furniture out of it.

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