I use yellow pine for my construction projects (dividing up the basement)
and hardwoods (red oak, maple) for cabinets, tables. etc. At HD I found
white pine but it was in the hardwood section. It looked much better than
yellow pine. It is also much cheaper than red oak.
How does white pine compare to yellow pine regarding warping? I want to use
white pine in the construction of a wine cabinet. The white pine will be
used for the bottle supports.
I don't know about using it in cabinet construction. As far
as the differences go, it has less warping than yellow pine,
but still has a tendency to warp. It is not as strong as
yellow pine structurally. When there is a need for structural
framing, yellow pine is spec'd for its strength. You are not
allowed to substitute white pine.
I think you're comparing apples to oranges, at best. Both woods can be
fine for a project, but they're completely different. Either will
warp, depending on the cut of the wood, knots etc... Both will cup &
twist, too. I'd have to say that I usually have better luck with
Yellow Pine, it's inherently more stable, being denser, with a longer
grain & is a lot stronger than White, so I'd use the dimensions that
you'll be cutting it to for making a decision. It can split easier
than the White, though. You're back to how the wood is cut & how
you're going to join it & at what dimensions.
Comparing either one to Red Oak or Maple is another kettle of fish.
They're hard woods, the first extremely ring porous & the other is
diffusely porous. All have completely different finishing properties.
How are you planning on finishing it?
Half the battle with any project is picking out the wood. I've gone
with a different species simply because I couldn't get enough of one to
be able to cut out enough good pieces for the amount of money I had to
spend or because the design called for strength that one wood had &
another didn't. Finishing is always a consideration. White Pine
blotches unless you seal it well before staining. Yellow can have
pockets of resin that won't take a stain well. Red Oak needs to be
filled while Maple is usually perfect for staining with almost no work.
Mostly, I like clear finishes because the wood is so pretty anyway.
If you're painting, who cares? You might as well use plastic wood.
"Luck" would seem to be the operative word. Eastern white pine, according
to the Forest Products Labs has less radial, and far less tangential
movement that either reds or yellows. That supposedly translates into
"stability." Probably accounts for the popularity of white pine as a
I've read the specs & know what I get from the local lumber yard. I
think most of the White Pine we get is cut from younger stuff or
perhaps it's just the sawyers & grading. Looking in the racks, the
Yellow Pine tends to look a lot better over all. Some of the White
Pine is just garbage. You couldn't get a stable 2' piece out half the
8' pieces in the racks. I don't mind over buying & picking some, but
it's gotten ridiculous with White Pine. It also seems to not be dried
as well. last year when I was repairing some facsias, I bought a
bunch, stacked it on the porch neatly & had a bunch of pretzels the
next weekend. I haven't had that problem with the Yellow Pine I've
George, you might keep in mind that a lot of the testing & write ups
are pretty dated. My 1970's USFS Wood Encyclopedia is word for word for
the latest publication on it that I read (2002?). 30 years ago, I
agreed with them. About 15 years ago, that started changing. Since
everyone else seems to disagree, maybe it is my supplier, but the
industry has also changed its methods & standards in that time, too. I
laid the problem down to immature trees, faster KD times & looser
grading methods. Since YP has a different set of standards, I thought
their's were more accurate. I used to be able to buy 10% - 20% over &
get all the material I needed. Now I find it's more like 50% and I
still see way more movement in service from this supposedly 'stable'
Sure, help yourself. You can have a jury trial if you want, I guess. That
can override good forensics, good science, even the law itself. But it's
While you may believe you're clever in citing plantation yellow pine and its
faster growth, much hardwood and some softwoods grow in climates which
restrict their rate of growth by the temperature of the air. Among these,
of course, is eastern white pine.
Enough. If you can't believe properly gathered and validated - and still
valid - data, you'll have to work by AM/FM alone. Be prepared for some
tricks at your expense, however.
It sounds like your lumberyard not only sells crappy, under dried
lumber, they might also mislabel it as white pine. I find it much more
stable than yellow pine and much more enjoyable to work with. I imagine
it was used in the majority of rustic colonial furniture, their every
day things(spoons, bowls, etc.) as well as in most of the dwellings.
The King of England even glommed onto the best trees for use in his
ships as masts so to use some to hold up some wine bottles would put a
person in pretty good company. You don't even have to worry about the
death penalty anymore if you inadvertantly use some of his stuff.
Conditioner helps when staining. Sam
What's "stability" though ? The simple ratio is a guide to the amount
of plain cupping you might get, but it's no real guide to random
twisting. Besides which, random twist is as much a feature of the site
where and position how that individual tree grew, not just the species.
Don't play the fool for a fool. Stability comes from minimal movement -
The woodworker will have to assume the responsibility of - in the case at
hand - being able to recognize pine in an SPF construction grade pile of
S-dry construction lumber - hint, there isn't any - and know enough about
his raw material to avoid areas of obvious risk.
Oh yes, the definition of "random" hasn't changed. Look it up if you're
OK, I've gotten much good advice from this group and I'm very grateful. I
will use the white pine for the bottle racks only. I have the cabinets made
already. The racks will not be stained but will be left 'raw.'
The white pine I saw at HD showed little or no sign of warping. Also, most
of it was in the form of 2"x1" and did not appear to be much in demand (ie:
the section was small compared to the other hardwoods). I think I'll proceed
with the white pine for this stage of my project.
See my reply to Andy before you search at HD versus a lumberyard where
"white pine" is likely to be. White pine is a premium wood in most places
because of its desirable characteristics. White woods of coniferous habit
include spruce and fir, which are not as stable, and are commonly sold as
"furring strips" in places like big box stores.
Around my way I'm able to buy red oak cheaper than I can buy CWP.
If it was me I'd use white oak in preference to the white pine because
it will resist dings better and will resist the moisture that is often
in areas where wine is racked.
I've used a good bit of white oak in wine rooms and have found it to
be very satisfactory.
I like to run a small diameter roundover bit along the cutouts and the
oak takes this detail and maintains it a bit better than a softwood.
Rackage areas often have spillage problems and the oak looks better
with a wind stain than the pine.
Tom Watson - WoodDorker
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