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White pine for workshop floor?

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Forum topic by bbrown posted 10-03-2019 03:00 PM 558 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bbrown

350 posts in 4471 days


10-03-2019 03:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: floor workhsop white pine pine floor pine question

Hello folks.

Any opinions about using white pine for a shop floor? I can get 800 SF of ship-lapped random-wide white pine (12 to 6 “widths) for $1000.
The price for Yellow Pine for the same amount (but not as wide) would be $5,400. I split my time between VA and coastal Maine (and I work in NC half of the month!). My shop in Maine is being expanded where I plan on starting classes in the Spring.

Needless to say, I’d like to save $4,500. The chief concern, of course, is the softness of white pine for a shop floor – it’s used often in homes everywhere in New England and wears nicely and looks beautiful. But my concern would be the weight of machines and possible denting or wearing grooves in white pine. Has anyone used it?

Thanks,

—Bill

-- Traditional Woodworking & Carving classes at my shop in Coastal Maine: http://www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com


12 replies so far

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

347 posts in 1449 days


#1 posted 10-03-2019 03:24 PM

White pine is pretty soft. What type work do you do in the shop and are your tools mostly stationary or mobile?

View bbrown's profile

bbrown

350 posts in 4471 days


#2 posted 10-03-2019 03:39 PM

Well, it’s mostly hand tools/carving. But…..

I do have an old 18 inch bandsaw that weighs a ton, awa tablesaw, and other machines.
Perhaps if the BS stayed in one place this might be OK (?).

I wondered if anyone else has white pine flooring and how it worked out.

Thanks,

—Bill

-- Traditional Woodworking & Carving classes at my shop in Coastal Maine: http://www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com

View Dan Katz's profile

Dan Katz

96 posts in 3558 days


#3 posted 10-03-2019 04:07 PM

I’m sure either white or yellow pine would look great, but why waste all that wood on a shop floor. The toughest and cheapest flooring is OSB and could be painted with a tan porch enamel or epoxy.

-- VillageCarver,Chattanooga

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

1243 posts in 1469 days


#4 posted 10-03-2019 04:07 PM

I’ve been in several old churches and old homes that have used pine (what variation I don’t know) for the floor and it seems to do fine but I would suspect that in a shop it would wear down and gouge pretty fast. I know a guy that has used rough cut oak for his house floor and he seems to like it so maybe that could b a consideration

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View bbrown's profile

bbrown

350 posts in 4471 days


#5 posted 10-03-2019 04:16 PM

I’m pretty much a purist here: Gotta have a wood floor. There are other options: Hemlock for 50 cents a BF, but I hear it splinters like crazy. SY Pine is really the best option I think. Might just have to bite the bullet, but it hurts.

-- Traditional Woodworking & Carving classes at my shop in Coastal Maine: http://www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com

View MPython's profile

MPython

316 posts in 731 days


#6 posted 10-04-2019 03:10 PM

There’s a world of difference between white pine and southern yellow pine. SYP has been used for floors for hundreds of years. It is tough, looks nice and lasts. White pine, in my opinion, is way too soft for floors. I believe it would get seriously worn and damaged quickly. Chair legs, stools, your bench and certainly your bandsaw would leave impressions in it, and everything you dropped would leave a dent. Go with SYP and leave the white pine for drawer parts and such.

View smallerstick's profile

smallerstick

31 posts in 2096 days


#7 posted 10-04-2019 03:53 PM

I have owned several homes with white and red pine floors. Yes, it is a softer wood than SYP but, if 100+ tears of wear hasn’t destroyed it, I’m thinking it will do just fine in a shop. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it in my own shop. That being said, have a look at local mills that may be able to produce flooring for you at less than the $5,000+ for SYP. Oak is a good choice, ash, elm, birch and maple are also good options.

-- Peter

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5958 posts in 4162 days


#8 posted 10-04-2019 04:05 PM

There is a difference between white pine used 100 years ago and white pine that is now available. Old virgin pine was much harder than the new stuff. I would go with SYP.

View bbrown's profile

bbrown

350 posts in 4471 days


#9 posted 10-04-2019 04:10 PM

Thanks again to all for taking an interest in my shop floor (LJ is great!).

I like “smallerstick’s” suggestion: I’ll look out for ash, elm, birch and maple, or even oak. Doubt any of these would be much less than SYP, but this is Maine and maybe these are easier to obtain up here.

Excellent point re. old vs. new pine. Old, original growth pine from the forest had tighter rings.

-- Traditional Woodworking & Carving classes at my shop in Coastal Maine: http://www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com

View bbrown's profile

bbrown

350 posts in 4471 days


#10 posted 10-04-2019 05:04 PM

OK, I found a place in York, ME with Rough cut Red Oak, Ash, Beech, White Oak. 5/4 thick and would need planing. Plus 6 hour + round trip and trailer rental – it all adds up….

About $2,000 would cover it.

What do folks think would be best for the shop floor? All the hardwoods seem pretty good to me. Red Oak might look nice with a bit of aniline dye to give some patina and a durable poly/oil topcoat.

Open to suggestions on all the above….

-- Traditional Woodworking & Carving classes at my shop in Coastal Maine: http://www.MaineCoastWorkshop.com

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

27009 posts in 3602 days


#11 posted 10-04-2019 05:13 PM

There is a board sold, called Car Siding. Lot has been used on the walls and ceilings in homes. T&G, then a few coats of finish. Could be used on your floor….just add rubber mats where the traffic is…mats to protect the Pine from anything sitting or landing on it.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2945 posts in 1522 days


#12 posted 10-04-2019 11:00 PM



I m sure either white or yellow pine would look great, but why waste all that wood on a shop floor. The toughest and cheapest flooring is OSB and could be painted with a tan porch enamel or epoxy.

- Dan Katz


+1

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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