Pine is a very common softwood of choice in the windows, shelves and many more because it is always readily available and gives a very fine and nice ending to woodwork. As there are so many species of pine, it can be selected for specific woodwork because of its practical function.
Pine is a soft wood and needs some sort of expertise for those working with other types of wood which are harder in nature Though, there is a species of pine that is hard, revered and stable just like its name, stable pin. It can not be easily damaged just like its counterpart and as its resin canals are few, they can be made to give a lovely finish due to the production of less pitch.
Types of pines found in the US
Pines are native to tundra region of the world, and in the United States, they are found in the North. There are a wide variety of pines and they may include:
- Eastern white pine
- Western white pine
- Yellow pine
- Sugar pine
- Red pine
- Pitch pine
- Jack pine
- Longleaf pine
- Shortleaf pine
- Loblolly pine
- Slash pine
- Virginia pine
- Lodgepole pine
- Ponderosa pine
All these different types of pines are used in woodworking and it all boils down to choice and what it is going to be used for Though pines are classified as a softwood, some can be denser than others, making them a bit hard. Pines are all prone to warping, but some can better withstand the environmental conditions than others. Example the yellow pine is dense and hard, so woodworkers need to handle it like maple or any other hardwood.
Pros and cons of woodworking with Pines
With a lot of different types available, there are no one pros and cons that can better describe all varieties of pine, but a general unit use to qualify them, may include:
- They are cheap and affordable.
- They easily absorb paint and can be first choice for most woodworkers in the construction of children’s furniture.
- They develop a nice sheen as the age due to polishing.
- If set and maintained properly, they are shrinking and swell resistant.
- When used in fencing, they can last for very long in the soil.
- It is a soft wood, so it is not dented proof.
- It gets easily scratched and remains that way.
- When there is a tint, it never fades away.
- There is always a problem with pitch during the finishing touches.
- Wet pines will shift when stored.
- Produces pine tars that can be sticky on blades.
Dealing with Moist Pine
Pine (and its cousins, Spruce and Fir, which make up the SPF triumvirate type of wood for the construction of most materials) is best kiln-dried for fine woodworking to give a great finish, but this has become impossible because rarely are they as dry as optimally needed. As such, when this construction material reaches a job site, it is advised to use them as quickly as possible to avoid twisting, bows and cups. But if you are someone that pays attention to details, you would want the best look from your finished pine woodwork.
The solution to this is simple, when you get your choice of pine, select the best pieces from the stock and stack them. This should allow to remain for some months. This way, the pines are given the chance to adapt to environmental changes. This will leave you with a good stable set of pine to work with.
The best type of pine to give you a wonderful finish, is an antique pine, these were used in the 18th century and are well ova hundred years old. They have become so dry that kilning becomes so easy. They are surely difficult to come by and might be a bit pricey.
Pines and Pitch
Even though the pitch has a lot of other advantages to pines, like natural protection and waterproof, they are usually a nuisance when constructing and woodworking. They have a reputation of leaving tar on woodworking cutting tools and making it difficult to work with This can be taken care of by a very simple way, during the process of curing, the right amount of preservatives should be used, this way, as the pine is drying out, it takes along with it most of the stored pitch.
Now, let us see how we can deal with a pitch build upon our blades-
- Do not allow the pitch to be too thick before you clean the blades
- Use a general cleaner in a spray and add water, then spray over the blades
Another good thing we need while working with pine is to have a very sharp cutting tool, this is a great compliment to woodworking and will enable one cut smoothly without fear of destroying and crushing the pin. Blunt blades tend to chip off areas of the wood that is needed to give optimum results.
Dealing with Scratches and Dents
Working with pines make you more sensitive to your work area This is to get a better result out of your pine. Here are some tips that will help solve the issues
- Make sure the area where the pine will be kept before work is free of any sharp objects like tools and wood chips.
- 2. All surfaces should be clean.
- 3. If your woodwork takes you to the floor, also make sure its free of any materials that can harm it
- 4. You can also use a cardboard layer before placing the pine.
- 5. Use a sander to remove scratch just in case you got one.
Dents can be a little trickier to address but what they need is moisture, so get some water and dab in the area after some time it will be less noticeable. This can also be achieved with a damp cloth and an iron.
Having a great Finishing with Pine
If we used the right environmentally adapted wood, our finishing will be perfect. There is a few tricks to each finish pine woodwork:
- For painted projects, caulk all joints and fill all nail/screw holes. Sand the surfaces for the last time and use a few coats of a quality primer before applying the desired layers of top coat paint.
- For stained projects on pine, use of a pre-stain conditioner to even out the color of the stain across the project, providing a much more consistent color when compared to a project without conditioning.
- Then use the stain and protective finish of choice.