Can I pick your brain? The problem with pine is:

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Forum topic by Gabe C. posted 03-16-2012 11:52 AM 2548 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gabe C.

288 posts in 3803 days

03-16-2012 11:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pine

I have a construction background and the wood that I am generally cutting up and fastening together is usually pine. However as I look with wide eyes and dropped jaw at all these gorgeous projects that people create and post on here, I have to ask (to cure my own ignorance), why not pine? What is the difference and the nature of it that causes people to not use it? Is there a style of furniture that is typically made out of pine? Or is it just only pretty much good for building homes?
I would love to get your opinion and experience. Thank you very much for any input!


-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

37 replies so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4803 days

#1 posted 03-16-2012 12:10 PM

here in new mexico
‘south western’ style is dominant

pine is used mostly as it is so abundant
and the style is very simple to make

we see locals selling their wares
out of their pick-ups
on the side of the road
made with nothing more
than skill saws and driver drills
and sheet rock screws
with splotched house paint

seems the more ‘beat up’
the work is
the more the yuppies like it

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4155 days

#2 posted 03-16-2012 12:14 PM

I like pine for utilitarian stuff and I’ve seen some really nice projects here in pine. It’s just so soft that I end up beating it to death in the process of building. It’s a nice wood, though.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View hydrohillbilly's profile


132 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 03-16-2012 12:18 PM

Here is what I did with some old pine flooring Gabe

-- Russel C

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918 posts in 4347 days

#4 posted 03-16-2012 12:27 PM

I think you question is “can I use pine for small boxes” and the like. Why not. I have used it and must always watch for the straightness of the wood. I, also, worry about it over time but perhaps that is just me. Try a few pieces and see how you like it. Post when finished.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 4385 days

#5 posted 03-16-2012 12:51 PM

In “My Projects” I have a wall unit built in pine(2 pictures click to see the finished product) Unfortunatly when I got done with it my wife decided to paint it!
I find nothing wrong with pine. Just remember to use a blocker before trying to stain it.

-- Life is good.

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6184 posts in 3813 days

#6 posted 03-16-2012 01:02 PM

Funny you should ask, I’m building a pine taboret right now. I like it well enough that I use it occasionally. It has it’s problems though. Being soft and can be very fussy to stain, on the other hand it is cheap and easy to get. I use it quite bit in my shop furniture. For me whether I use pine or not comes down to how much effort I am going to put into a project. For a big project taking many hours, I will want the finished piece to be hardwood.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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1 post in 3725 days

#7 posted 03-16-2012 01:10 PM

we use pine for small cabinets, shelves, and other small projects. For the most part we distress and paint our projects. we make a lot of items for our daughter’s store. In fact we just made a dining table out of pine, we distressed and stained it – turned out beautiful. we are new to lumberjocks – i will try to get some pictures up of some of our projects. Kaye

View ChuckV's profile


3505 posts in 4989 days

#8 posted 03-16-2012 01:13 PM

Our kitchen has many pine pieces that I made. We have an old house and love the look of it there. I skip the “distressing” step – I have two boys aged 8 and 10! Actually, I think that these pieces have stood up well over the past few years that some have been around.

If you have access to a library, check out The Pine Furniture of Early New England by Russell Hawes Kettell.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

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Jim Finn

2938 posts in 4384 days

#9 posted 03-16-2012 01:20 PM

I have made small boxes of pine and they do not sell. Folks want hardwood or cedar. I have used some pine in making intarsia projects and in making toys. It does not machine well so it requires a bit of sanding .

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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Pete Mohr

75 posts in 4551 days

#10 posted 03-16-2012 01:37 PM

I made this out of SYP 2×10’s from Home Depot

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

View Bluepine38's profile


3393 posts in 4547 days

#11 posted 03-16-2012 01:48 PM

Check out RockyBlue’s projects here on Lumberjocks if you want to see pine put to good use.

-- As ever, Gus-the 83 yr young apprentice carpenter

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Gabe C.

288 posts in 3803 days

#12 posted 03-16-2012 01:49 PM

Well it is good to get all this input! Thanks everybody!

Please post links to your pine projects, or at least pictures if you can on here!

I find that budget wise pine is the most viable material for me at this point, but lately I had been getting a sense that it is regarded as a type of wood that should be avoided if your project wanted to be taken seriously. (For the record, not from anyone on this site…just comments from woodworkers in passing)
So it is good to see that it has a home too.

Again, thank you for all the responses so far, please feel free to post links and pictures, and keep them coming!

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 3736 days

#13 posted 03-16-2012 01:52 PM

I do mostly scrolling and have used a lot of pine. There is a lot of difference in pine though. My preference is Eastern white pine. It cuts cleaner and sands smoother.

-- Kepy

View ChuckV's profile


3505 posts in 4989 days

#14 posted 03-16-2012 01:53 PM

Here are some pine pieces I’ve made:

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

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Gabe C.

288 posts in 3803 days

#15 posted 03-16-2012 02:10 PM

Wow, you guys have made some great stuff!

Russell, I like it, flooring on the wall!

Pete, That is a beautiful chair! I was at a “St. Louis Woodworker’s Guild” meeting last night and a guy there was showing off a rocking chair that he had made out of walnut and a few other various hardwoods that is similar to yours in style. Good to see that pine can come out looking just as good!

Chuck, Those are some really nice pieces! When I get the chance I am going to have to take a longer look at them. I would be curious to hear your (and everyone else’s) opinion on the difference between working with pine (as in joinery, dadoes, rabbits, etc.) vs other types of wood.

Again, thanks for all the knowledge and sharing going on here, I really appreciate it! Keep it coming!

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

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