Pine is a wood that comes in dozens of varieties. The count is currently 120 known non-extinct species. Naturalists love pine trees because of the lovely scent they release into the air. The wood and the needles have a pleasant aroma. The trees come in various shapes and sizes, but not all varieties of pine are suitable for making furniture or building materials. Woodworkers are concerned with the varieties that work for crafts and construction projects. Here are the 15 types of pine wood that are best suited for woodworking projects.
1. Western White Pine
The Western White Pine is known by a few names. It is also called silver pine. This type of wood is native to the northern Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascade Mountain Range. Trees grow to 150 feet tall. The trunk diameter reaches up to 5 feet, according to Home Stratosphere. The wood features an even grain with a texture that is medium to coarse. Its primary uses are for making fine furniture, carving, veneer, plywood, and construction lumber. Because of a fungal outbreak, the species has suffered devastating losses, and it’s getting hard to find.
2. Sugar Pine
Sugar Pine is a species that reaches more than 200 feet tall. The texture of the wood is the coarsest of all pines. it is prone to large reserves of resins that streak the wood a brown color, which is stylish. The wood only develops brown streaks when sawn. This type of pine is suitable for making molding, musical instruments, and interior and exterior trim work. It is a valuable and pricey type of pine wood.
3. Shortleaf Pine
the Shortleaf Pine grows to 100 ft tall with a maximum trunk diameter of 3 feet. The Shortleaf Pine is valued for its fast growth, which is good for the lumber industry. It is an affordable type of pine that is primarily used for making plywood veneer, wood pulp, and lumber that is used for heavy construction projects including beams, railroad tracks, and bridges.
4. Eastern White Pine
The Eastern White Pine grows to 100 feet tall with a maximum trunk diameter of 4 feet. The wood of the Eastern white pine has a finer texture than most other pine woods, with smaller resin reserves. The wood is used for carving, boat-making for construction lumber, and interior millwork. There is a history associated with the Eastern White Pine as it led to the Pine Tree Riot of 1772 that was a precursor to the Revolutionary War. The fight was over the highly prized wood valued for ship-making. The King of England claimed the largest trees for the British Navy, but the Colonials disagreed.
5. Spruce Pine
Spruce pine trees reach up to 80 feet tall. They grow in dense stands. the wood is suitable for heavy construction lumber. it is commonly used to build railroads and bridges, as well as for plywood, wood pulp, veneer, beams, and poles. Spruce pinewood ranges in color from yellowish-white for the sapwood to a reddish-brown at the heart. The grain is straight with a fine to medium texture and large resin canals. Abrupt color contrasts occur giving it a unique appearance. This wood is highly prized for its resistance to decay. Spruce pine has a distinct scent and it works well with most woodworking tools. An associated drawback is that it clogs sandpaper because of the ample resin. Spruce pine has a lower density than most Southern Yellow Pinewoods, of which it is a member. The price is moderate. The wood is used for the production of plywood.
6. Loblolly Pine
Loblolly pines grow to a height of 115 feet with a maximum trunk diameter of 5 feet. The wood of the Loblolly pine is minus the usual pine scent. The wood produced from this species primarily gets used for roof trusses, piles, joists, stringers, pallets, plywood, and floorboards. You also find it in the production of furniture and composite boards. Because of its low resistance to rot, the wood is treated with a preservative. It works well with most woodworking tools, despite its large resin canals. The grain is straight with a fine to medium texture.
7. Sand Pine
Sand pines grow up to 33 feet tall. The foliage is shrubby, however, the tree is adaptive. This is a type of pine that is unsuitable for most woodworking projects. it is, however, used for making wood pulp. Woodpulp is the only known industrial use that the variety has upon the lumber industry, but it is worth noting.
8. Eastern White Pine
According to The Wood Database, the Eastern White Pine has a fine texture and straight grain with the smallest resin canals of all pines. The heartwood is a light brown color with a reddish hue with yellow to white sapwood. Aged Eastern White Pine wood tends to darken. Larger rein canals exist in the end grain with even distribution. Color transitions are gradual with low contrast.
9. Slash Pine
Slash Pine is a type of Southern Yellow Pine that has a yellowish-white color in the sapwood and a reddish-brown in the heartwood. the grain is straight with a texture that is fine to medium. The rot resistance is moderate in the heartwood. Slash pine is easy to work with except for sandpaper, which clogs with the resin. It is a hard pine with high density.
10. Virginia Pine
Virginia pine has a reddish-brown heartwood and pale yellow to white sapwood. The texture is medium and the grain is straight. This wood contains large resin canals. It is low to moderate in its resistance to decay and may perform better if it is treated. This wood is used mainly for construction lumber at a moderate price.
11. Lodgepole Pine
Lodgepole Pine has a lighter-colored heartwood with light reddish/yellowish brown hues. The wood is uniquely patterned with dimples resembling Birdseye Maple, Lodgepole pine has the most distinct features of all pine woods. the grain is straight with a medium texture. Numerous medium resin anals are distributed in the end grain with abrupt color transitions of low contrast. This wood is best when pretreated because of its low resistance to decay. It is commonly used as construction lumber at a modest price. The wood is also used for subflooring, for making interior trim, cabinets, plywood, veneer, crates, boxes, and posts. Lodgepole pine is hard pine wood.
12. Ponderosa Pine
Ponderosa pine has a straight grain and a medium texture with a reddish-brown heartwood and light yellow to white sapwood with medium to large resin canals. The color contrasts can vary with this pine wood type. It has a low resistance to decay but works well with machine and hand woodworking tools. It is mostly used for construction lumber with moderate pricing. It is also used for interior trim, cabinetry, crates, boxes, subflooring, plywood, and veneers. Ponderosa pine is a hard pine in the yellow pine family, however, it has a lower density than most other yellow pines, moving closer to softwood.
Wood Finishes Direct describes Scandinavian Red Pine as a dense wood with distinctive pink-colored stripes running through the wood. Some of the stripes are light and others dark, making it a unique wood for woodworking projects of all kinds. This type of pine wood is highly desired and used throughout the world. It’s one of the more expensive types of pinewood, and you can also expect to pay more for products made of this type.
14. Russian White Pine
Russian White Pine produces wood that is among the strongest of all pinewood varieties. The reason is because of the cold growing environment that slows down growth, causing extreme density. Trees grow in the furthest northern portion of Russia in the Angel region. The cold climate and slow growth make it among the strongest pine wood on the market today. The color of the wood is pale with few knots.
15. Quebec Yellow Pine
The Quebec Yellow Pine is from the Quebec region of Canada. Because of the large branches of this tree, the knots in the wood are large. The color is a warm slightly yellow color. The wood products work well with hand or machine woodworking tools. It is mostly used for producing furniture for the European industry.
Pros and cons of Pinewood
According to Orangeries UK, pine offers distinct advantages over some other types of wood. In the same regard, there are also disadvantages. It’s wise to learn all that you can about each type of wood before you start a project. Here are the pros and cons of pine.
-Pine is less affordable
Wood from most pine species is cheaper priced than most hardwoods. Its affordability has boosted the popularity of the wood for large projects requiring massive amounts of lumber products. Compared with hardwoods, large building structures could cost thousands less when pine components are used versus the more expensive Oak or Maple.
-Pine is a versatile type of wood
Pinewood comes in a large assortment of varieties. Although many of them share common features, there are notable differences that give consumers more choices. For example, Scandinavian Red Pinewood has unique pink streaks in the wood that varies from light to dark. Products made with this type of pine, stand out from the rest. Loblolly Pine is scentless. The list of variations goes on. Some pine is deemed hardwood, but it’s still considered softwood. Even the hard pine with its higher density is still less dense than a true hardwood. Pine is generally lightweight, has good elasticity, and it comes in attractive grain options. Pine is resistant to shrinking and swelling. It retains its original shape well, and it does not require reinforcement. On the downside, pinewood sold as common lumber comes with many defects. You must be selective about the pieces you purchase to avoid getting irregular or warped boards. Many pine products have knots and knotholes, which take down their overall value. The density of the wood makes it susceptible to denting and scratching. It can be easily damaged. Most types of pine wood have a low resistance to rot. This realization means that it has to be treated with preservatives to enhance its longevity. Hardwoods do not require treatment for durability. Pine is not a perfect wood, however, it is one of the most popular types. Even pine species that are not high quality get used for creating wood pulp to make other products. You can find pine trees growing all over the world.
Pine is a diverse wood that comes in many different varieties. It’s estimated that there are one hundred and twenty known species of pine trees, but many of them are not of the quality that makes good lumber or woodworking products. Pinewood comes in soft and hard densities, but that does not make it a hardwood. Some pine varieties are denser than others, giving them a hard texture. All pine is subject to scratching and denting because it is not strong enough to resist damage. Commercial preservatives and treatments shore up the durability and strength of pine. Treated pine is in high demand throughout the world as construction lumber, valued for its reasonable cost compared to other types of wood. Pine is the kind of wood you find in most building components such as trusses, joists, framing, floors, and more. Some varieties of pine are exceptional choices for shipbuilding. Other pine types are excellent for wood carving projects. You can find pine varieties with different scents, and there is one known variety that is scentless. Pine is a versatile wood that helps to fuel the world’s economy and keep us in building and construction supplies. It’s helpful to understand the variances found in different types of pine to find the best option for your next woodworking project.