I've be trying to flatten a short piece of yellow pine 2x12 CCA that
I've had around for a while and just found the use of. I didn't think
it would be too tough a job.
Not having a power planer I've been working on it with a #5, and a #4
(both recently tuned up and sharp) but the only thing that cuts it is
my low angle block plane. This stuff is like planing marble--the 45%
planes just slide over the top. The low angle cuts pretty well, but
leaves a choppy surface.
Anybody here know why yellow pine gets so frekkin' hard?
I'm gonna haf ta find another board.
Where is this yellow pine from? Are you taking about Pinus
Ponderosa commonly known as yellow pine? If so, I don't
know what you mean by hard? I'm in the northwest and have
used lots of yellow pine. About the only thing softer is
cedar and redwood. Must be talking about some other species.
SYP, AKA southern yellow pine, has zip to do with Ponderosa pine. Mostly found
from Jersey's Pine Barrens on south to Georgia, it is a highly figured wood,
the hardest U.S. pine, hardens with age, and is a royal PITA to work. SYP that
is CCA treated doesn't dry out until it's been in place 103 years, or so it
On the Janka hardness scale, long leaf SYP is 870. Cherry is 950.
"They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some
kind of federal program." George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2,
Pinus Ponderosa is technically a yellow pine and is often called Western
Yellow Pine hence his confusion but I suspect you probably already knew
Southern Yellow pine is most commonly comprised of 4 different genus. Pinus
Palustris (Longleaf)and Pinus Enchinta (Shortleaf)
are the 2 genus that every keeps referring to as "old growth". Today, Pinus
Taeda (Loblolly) and Pinus Elliottii (Slash) are the most common for managed
forests due to the hardiness and growth rate. This is the explanation for
differing grain in today's yellow pine vs. yesteryear's. Granted
accelerated growth due to introduced nutrients and forestry management has
played some part but these 2 genus simply grow faster in the first place.
Did you know that most "softwoods" grown at lower altitudes will be harder
(denser) than at higher altitudes, yet most "hardwoods" will be the exact
Thanks for the scientific names and discussion, Mel. As I
explained none of my books mention SYP, which apparently is
an industry and mill designation. Unfortunately that is
fairly common, and common names often are useless to a non
regional person. In the west, yellow pine is Pinus
ponderosa, red fir is actually Douglas fir, white fir can be
several species and Tamarack is most often used for and
larch is most often called Tamarack.
Nope didn't know that about altitude and hardness. High
success in regeneration of burned or logged areas does
depend on using seeds produced at an altitude similar to
the area seeded. Lots of fudge factor there but altitude
differences of 3,000 or so feet are obvious.
feel here is not to make you look bad, Mel, but to educate everyone else,
and I just can't resist it.
same genus, /Pinus/. I'd also like to point out that the plural of "genus"
Quite, also the lower case, but:
Pinus enchinta ---> correct to _Pinus echinata_
echinatus = "prickly", "like a hedgehog"
Pinus pallustris ---> correct to _Pinus palustris_
palustris = "from the swamp"
I've kind of figured P. ponderosa is not what the discussion
is about. However, none of my books on wood and trees, and
I have several, mention southern yellow pine. The problem
with common names is they are often indefinite and
confusing. And syp, seems to be a rather regional
designation. More at response to Mel. Thanks.
Good grief. You're sitting in front of a reference library. ANY search
engine would have flashed SYP in your face if you looked for pine lumber,
pine classification, or similar. It is a woodworkers' and wood producers'
FWIW, my 1949 _ TREES Yearbook of Agriculture_ lists the species indicated
as southern yellow pines.
Your criticism is probably justified. However, lots of stuff
on the Internet is pure BS and I don't search everything.
And you are right, I already figured it was a wood producers
term. Too bad everyone can get on board with species.
I think I have that Yearbook somewhere, at least I have
looked at it in libraries and it was great. There are some
great older Yearbooks of Agriculture. Unfortunately some of
the later ones were worthless, notably those produced during
Jimmy Carter's administration. Apparently some idiot with a
media degree got involved instead of those with an Ag or
I still say it is a regional thing. Not everyone lives in
the east or the southeast.
Cause it's really tough wood. SYP is the king of softwoods
and you ain't met the tough stuff yet....
Older homes with SYP heart wood will bring tears to your
eyes when you jump on them with cutting tools.
You gotta be from the south to really understand SYP.
We got plenty...you want some more ????
I thought that the SYP that was used in old flooring (maybe 75-125 years
ago) is no longer commercially available except as recycled? (I have some
in my 90 year old house.) Is that species still being cut? -- Igor
Oh, lordy, yes...almost all pressure-treated is SYP....it is now farmed
commercially in all the SE.
And it was used (and still is although not presently as popular) for
flooring, siding, etc.
I've even seen some as moulding in the Borg since white pine and similar
species are now so expensive.
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