southern yellow pine vs douglas fir


Maintenance: Douglas Fir Wood is a softwood so that it can easily be damaged. Etc.

Since I finished one substantial laminated-top project (the auxiliary bench) with SYP along with a few other utility pieces, I have now used it in addition to a bunch of other woods for workbench construction.

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Things might be very different for the aspiring benchbuilder if Schwarz had no access to southern yellow pine in his local big-box stores. 4 0 obj <> endobj

Fir has tight, close grain lines.

As with the softwoods weve just talked about, the fiber structure is quite fine, so youre not likely to get crud caught up in places. 0000000790 00000 n

Soft maple, on the other hand, can be a joy to work as long as the grain doesnt be a big ol jerk and reverse.

Specializing in hardwood furniture, trim carpentry, cabinets, home improvement and architectural millwork, Wade Shaddy has worked in homebuilding since 1972. Well, at least if its not pressure-treated.

My bench was made from reclaimed warehouse beams.

You should probably be called Douglas Weirdofreak, but I suppose that wed need approval from Pseudotsuga wilsoniana, or whatever that thing is being classified as these days. Youre going to have to be picky, of course. Southern Yellow Pine vs. Douglas-Fir vs.

Now I use a countertop from a local Wendys that was remodeled.

Douglas fir falls in the gymnosperm, or softwood category. Use any spare flat surface you can and figure out how to how things fast.

I bought some It might have helped that the bench was pretty flat to begin with, but it was a smooth, even motion, and the shavings were very uniform. That latewood in DF gets so dang hard as it ages.

If youre feeling a little more adventurous, you can look for reclaimed wood, which will give you access to old-growth wood (a quick search shows that The Lumber Baron over in the east bay is an example source, but there are also a lot of general reclaimed building supply places around). Even though fir will shrink and expand as it absorbs moisture, it always returns to the same shape. Back in the old days I lived south of Seattle where old-growth Doug for could be had just for the looking.

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Observe what happened when I did the same thing on endgrain with the smoothing plane that I did earlier: All of my woodworking buddies out west know what I mean. I imagine that the carbide-tipped stuff does a lot better against the old stuff.

Most softwoods have a higher tendency to spelch, that is, splinter out of an end when cutting across the grain.

When I think of hard maple, I think of a wood thats a royal pain in the butt because its so freakin hard. 212, 210), you find better stuff.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. In particular, I can get southern yellow pine (SYP, also called simply yellow pine by actual southerners). Going right off the edge about the worst thing you can do to invite spelching. Is Douglas fir more expensive than yellow pine? Around 40 species alone are native to North America.

I wouldnt think twice about using it for a workbench base even if I were dead-set on a hardwood top. Shaddy began publishing in various magazines in 1992, and published a novel, Dark Canyon, in 2008. The downside to this stuff is that its extremely tough because the resin has been setting up for 100+ years. Itll mush and smash up (for example, when chopping) if your tools arent particularly sharp, but its not a big deal.

This is a requirement: If you dont kiln-dry yellow pine, the sap/pitch makes for a wretched sticky mess.

They were reclaimed from an old warehouse in San Francisco, and came to me by way of Bill K., to whom Im very grateful.

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What are the disadvantages of Douglas fir wood?

Could it have properties like this? Theres a lot of detailed information on the factors in publications like Summary on Growth in Relation to Quality of Southern Yellow Pine by B. Paul and D. Smith, 1956, USDA Forest Service, Forest Product Laboratory Report No.

Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

The last wood that Im going to talk about for benchmaking is not an obvious one.

It machines OK, just be careful about what kinds of blades (or whatever) you use. Besides, which is stronger Douglas fir or southern yellow pine? Pine, under the same circumstances, will take on moisture, swell and warp completely out of its original shape.

That is fascinating reading to me, but when it comes down to it, its best if you get a feel for it in practice.

SYP varies across individual pieces, but its never really terrible. Well, get a load of this: That square sitting on top is metric (a.k.a. How long will untreated Douglas fir last? /Im0 Do I later moved to Georgia and made another of the same out of SYP. Or perhaps we were the lucky ones. Long (Grain) Shooting Board Notes (and NewVideo), Preparing Wide Glue-Ups for the PlanerSled. I had latewood pop out (and even separate slightly) in some of the new clear stuff.

And its also relatively inexpensive for a hardwood, but keep in mind that you cant quite compare it to something like SYP in that regard. Is Southern yellow pine stronger than Douglas fir? However, there are two properties of this wood that drive people nuts. #Ht@`t"!B@%!GD4 )20B9-&Bn2X6~(T9$h)Ck }/ hoVO~}7?D>BOocdU^9.W>E-: Az#}dt2\m} +I5wvC&3@rtRr]>}7! ^">o&k~/~]kK{!_oR)oWy_!8_k!Hg&O1Zu ~9q=?DpO5] }N}~DaJ21ux}Ji~1y`M^K{ KO}cv\{{>!yq =[ ~h0K~,.:0PY*J)w`B)""cxS^2Ai*2KLD~},=G(lD,C%.f `"dHTUhg6.Ia;3AU6G+D(!F6x;pCfg'Ny8.pN3hoq".A9+A.E&6H 3E |E >pA^R}OwOJ

Pine has more knots and differing colors ranging from brown to amber to white. Thanks for the note.

I am also in the Bay Area (Livermore). q

As the Wood Database notes, while the modulus of elasticity can certainly relate to a woods absolute strength, it is not a firm indicator: Strong timber can display substantial elasticity.

Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool , Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images, USDA Forest Service: Center for Wood Anatomy Research - Pseudotsuga menziesii, USDA Forest Service: Center for Wood Anatomy Research - Pinus elliottii, USDA Forest Service: Center for Wood Anatomy Research - Pinus strobus, USDA Forest Service: Center for Wood Anatomy Research - Wood Properties, North American Softwoods.

softwood whitewood It is stong, semi water resistant and harder than doug fir.

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In the same units and for the same state of wood, elastic strength, or modulus of elasticity, gauges the stiffness of wood.

And its almost invariably sold green.

Its so bad that you have to be extremely cautious even when sawing boards to lengthespecially with a hand saw.

The soft wood between the grain lines shrinks and expands, making the wood cup or twist. %%EOF I built the Screwbo out of that stuff, and a friend back out in San Francisco recently completed a cousin bench that he calls the Jacques Roubo from the same source. Hi Bill, no SYP that Ive come across has done that to me, though it will certainly wear unevenly if you give it the chance. Youre also more likely to find big cuts of at a sawmill than beech.

Douglas Fir-Larch studs are the backbone for most interior and exterior wall framing. So far, on paper, this is pretty similar to SYP. Q

The former is an often-enormous conifer belonging to its own genus; its signal traits have, in the past, caused taxonomists to class it with the pines, and an old lumber name for it was Oregon pine. Douglas-fir has wood of moderate strength -- superior to some pines, inferior to others and comparable to still more. Douglas-fir saws pretty well, and planing it works fine, too.

0000000416 00000 n One effect of my cross-country move from the San Francisco bay area to Maryland is that I now have easier access to more types of wood.

The other problem is that when ripping, your saw can track the latewood grain. Redwood also pulls this stunt to a certain extent, for whatever thats worth.

Fir offers stability when used for decking or other exterior applications. Id picked it up at the lumberyard for odd jobs. Beech is a go-to utility wood in Europe, where its been reasonably well-managed there for a long time.

I built my first bench out of 26 turned sideways and cut for dogs.

The piece above is 100+ years old.

Yes, a bench that exists and youre using is far better than one that youre dreaming of!

The factor that youll feel the most is the latewood, especially when working with hand tools.

Not that I have any idea how youd get any, especially kiln-dried. Change), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The species that grows over here in North America is similar, but its rarely harvested, perhaps because we have trees such as the soft maples that are easier to manage.

Douglas-fir is a hugely important lumber tree, grown widely in plantations well outside its native range. This makes it somewhat inexpensive, but its still not as cheap as SYP.

To recap the Chris Schwarz book, youre not looking for the perfect wood when building a workbench.

The behavior you describe in DF seems to happen in certain boards. The former, which roughly ranges west of the crest of the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada to the Pacific shore, is one of the largest of all trees.

Change), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Big specimens may grow to at least 330 feet tall and span over 15 feet across in the trunk.

1751. For some unknown reason, beech happens to be one of my favorite woods, and Im always interested in picking some up.

Now Im going to talk briefly about two other woods that Ive used in benches.

Its much more expensive, but you can immediately recognize how much better it is.

does syp do that? So youre thinking that theres got to be a catch. I dont know, maybe similar to yellow-poplar? But my strongest advice if you want to work wood is to start doing it. Pines are the most diverse genus in the broader pine family, which includes Douglas-fir as well as many other familiar conifers.

Pine and fir are two softwood species harvested in the Northern Hemisphere. You might need to pay attention to the latewood.

It should also be noted that fir is made into plywood far more often than pine.

Heres a sub-1mm offcut that I took with the bandsaw; this is actually two pieces glued together: This was with a pretty aggressive Wood Slicer blade.

The USDA Forest Services Center for Wood Anatomy Research notes strength can vary widely in Douglas-firs depending on their growing conditions. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.

Change). Flattening the new bench (going cross-grain with a jointer plane) was the easiest flattening job that Ive ever done. It might be more convenient to you than the one in Berkeley if the traffic up over Altamont isnt terrible. xref

I havent looked in a while so not sure if Larch is its own line in the charts. Ive used it from time to time, including as the base on my first bench.

Its not as soft as eastern white pine, and the weight? Thats on the light side for workbench material, but it might be good for other utility work.

For the benchbuilder (and woodworker in general), this is obnoxious for several reasons: Its going to shrink and move a lot when it dries, so after acquisition, youre going to have to wait for that to happen, at least a little. Pine plywood is actually a rarity and typically used only in the production of knotty pine furniture. Overall, this is an extremely versatile wood and should not be discounted when building a bench or in any kind of utility work. Buy some

Pine has broad grain lines that wander, making it far weaker than fir.

The mix have similar properties related to construction grading.

Ive heard that Richert Lumber over in Pleasanton has a fairly big yard, so you could start with there (I dont know much else about them).

This is sometimes called old-growth (and sometimes it is), and at other times its just called clear. In the photo below, the three pieces on the left were sold as clear.

Speaking of which. The eastern white pine has an MOR of about 8,500 pounds of force per square inch.

Cost is the overriding factor when differentiating between pine and fir.

Bench screws and, voila, had a nice krenovian set up.

This effect is worst in green wood and gets marginally better as it dries and ages, but its still awful. Douglas-fir doesnt just blow out at the ends. This varies from tree to tree. So it can be worthwhile to just go to one to see what they have because it doesnt require much planning. This view of the side of the new bench should give you the idea: The pieces with the smaller annual rings (often with the thinnest latewood sections) were the toughest to deal with.

All Rights Reserved. Among the strongest is the slash pine of the southeastern coastal plain, which, according to the Center for Wood Anatomy Research, has an MOR of 16,300 pounds of force per square inch -- comparable to or exceeding that of many hardwoods.

How do I know what size my Redshift table is? I asked some friends back in California if they were interested in my thoughts on SYP now that Ive had a chance to work on it, and they said, yeah, why not?.

To give you an idea of what you can expect, I took the smoothing plane shown earlier (and later), and just went at some endgrain with its 45-degree blade angle.

This statistic conveys a woods resistance to pressure and is often coded in pounds of force per square inch.

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Douglas Fir on the other hand, features a tight, flowing grain pattern that resists warping and twisting.

Green stuff is OK, but the old stuff is especially cruel to your edges.

Disadvantages of Douglas Fir Wood Douglas Fir Wood also has some disadvantages which are I am going to share.

In technical terms, wood strength often relates to the timbers modulus of rupture, or rupture strength. However, if what youre really asking is whether or not Douglas fir is a tough, strong building material, the answer is yesits widely known as a very durable wood. What Are the Building Qualities of Fir Wood. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

In some boards, the latewood will be really tough. There is a lot of earlywood without much latewood.

(LogOut/ Many woods have a substantial difference between the so-called earlywood (sometimes called springwood) and latewood (summerwood) in their annular rings, but in SYP (and douglas-fir, which well get to soon), its dramatic. This has been kind of a long-winded reply, sorry!

Fir has little soft grain.

It also isnt cheap.

Etc. With this variety, its little surprise that pine lumber ranges significantly in strength.

SYP is a great choice for almost any workbench if you have access to it! %PDF-1.6 % So its cheap, its stiff, its usually pretty heavy, and you can get it in wide, thick sizes.

The kind that youre most likely to get commercially is loblolly pine, and thats what well concentrate on. Several kinds of pines native to the Southeast -- loblolly, slash, shortleaf and longleaf -- are classified in the lumber industry as southern yellow pine and are widely used in construction. The wood of both races is of moderate strength: the Wood Database gives its MOR as 12,500 pounds of force per square inch.

In applications where either wood can be used, such as exteriors, interior trim or even decking, pine will save thousands of dollars over fir. The wood, being very stiff and strong, has many uses, such as wooden boatbuilding, where it can be used for many purposes, including masts.

Still, with this awareness, you can prevent bad splintering, at least until some assclown mover decides to bang the underside edge of your benchtop onto the concrete.

Its not too bad, but it will put up more of a fight when planing and chiseling than something like cherry or walnut.

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By tough to deal with, there are two difficulties, at least that I noticed. Pines are the most diverse genus in the broader pine family, which includes Douglas-fir as well as many other familiar conifers. I havent explored many other places and am open to suggestions.

Heres the offcut from a large tenon cheek where this sort of thing can occur: The earlywood is generally pleasant to work.

Oh, douglas-fir, what a tangled web we weave. Nightstand: Panel and Groove Work, Router Plane Fence Changes, Beech (F. sylvatica and F. grandifolia work similarly).

Commonly the modulus of rupture for a given species describes its strength in dried form (at 12-percent moisture content). The 212 is the go-to size; if the pith runs through it, in clear enough pieces, you can slice that out and have quartersawn stuff as a result.

4 6 loft bed

Youll also get a wide variety of early- and latewood quantity per annual ring. Though its very stiff, the fibers deform pretty evenly. Its also naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects.

I simply couldnt turn down as 8 x 2.5 x 4 piece of flat maple. endstream endobj 5 0 obj <> endobj 6 0 obj <>/ProcSet[/PDF/ImageB]>>/Type/Page>> endobj 7 0 obj <>stream Among the most ecologically and commercially important trees in America are the Douglas-fir and the many pines native to the country. Many woods have a substantial difference between the so-called earlywood (sometimes called springwood) and latewood (summerwood) in their annular rings, but in SYP (and douglas-fir, which well get to soon), its dramatic.

They look similar, but have different properties that differentiate them from one another. When the fir stabilizes, it will take on the shape of wherever it is installed.

brian, one thing i noticed with that warehouse dougfir (which we used for window lintels and our mantlepiece over the fireplace) is that the latewood kept popping up out of the surface when i was planing it.

id have these long strings of latewood 1/32 thick.

5 Which is stronger Douglas fir or yellow pine?

He has written extensively on outdoor recreation, ecology and earth science for outlets such as Backpacker Magazine, the Bureau of Land Management and Atlas Obscura. Its very stable when dry, not moving much under different humidity conditions. Or maybe it would be like (or even sold as) ponderosa pine, as this is also a yellow pine.

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