Woodworking With Pine Softwood Made Easy With These Tips

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pine softwood

Among pine softwood species, you will find pine among the common ones available in your local home center. For one, pine softwood has a lot of species to choose from and is considered by most woodworkers as utilitarian by nature.

Although pine isn’t always associated with fine woodworking, you get to use it for building everyday projects like shelves, and frames.

Although pine softwood has some limitations, when you get stable varieties of pine, it can be one of the highly revered wood stocks.

Surprisingly, stable varieties can even be better than hardwoods like cherry or maple. In cases of the yellow and Eastern white varieties, the yellow one can be harder than the Eastern white.

When cut properly however, both can still have fantastic results. If you’re woodworking with pine softwood, here are a few tips on how you can make crafting easy.

Moist Pine – How to Deal with it

When you’re buying lumber, you would notice that pine is oftentimes kiln-dried, and it rarely is as dry as you would need it when doing fine woodworking. Because of this, pine usually can’t be used when it arrives at the job site to avoid getting twists and bows.

To help you out, you can try to pick your stock at the home center and look for the best pieces before stacking them with care at your lumber storage for a couple of months – just to get them acclimatized with the local environment.

Always buy the cleanest stock with as little knots as possible (if possible buy those which seem to be quarter-sawn). As you allow the stack to reach a balanced state, with the aid of the weight of other boards on it, you would likely get a stable pine softwood to work with.

Deal with the Pine Pitch

Ask any woodworking expert and they’ll tell you how frustrating it is to have pitch or pine softwood tar on your blades. Although by curing your wood properly will help a lot if you have excessive pitch, you can simply use basic cleaner.

A favorite by some who are woodworking with pine is simply mixing in about 2-3 tablespoons of plain laundry soap with a quart of water, and sprayed from a bottle. This simple trick will help you remove pine pitch from your equipment, especially when you do this before it builds up too heavily.

Tool Care

Always remember that you must keep your blades and bits pitch and sharp all the time when you’re working with pine. Since the wood is a bit soft, you will end up crushing the wood instead of creating clean, smooth cuts if your blades and bits aren’t as sharp. Save your project by keeping your tools at their sharpest to avoid creating chips and splinters in the cuts.

Dealing with Dents and Scratches

As mentioned, when you’re working with pine it is easy to get some scratches and dents on it. To deal with this issue, always have a keen eye and remove all the loose wood, fasteners, and tools on your work table.

If you’re working on the floor, the ordinary cardboard box can help create imperfections on the wood’s surface. If ever you’d still get a scratch just use a random orbital sander over it.

The tricky problems are the dents but you can try placing a very damp cloth over the dent and apply steam from a hot iron over it for a few seconds. The steam will work its magic into the wood’s fibers to cover up the dent.

Pine Finishing

When woodworking with pine remember that it needs a lot of time to get into a state of equilibrium with regards to the climate it’s in. Being impatient will only result in having a less desirable finish. If you are planning to have the project painted, use a quality primer after doing the initial sanding.

If you want a simple stain on your pine project, you really should use a pre-stain conditioner because it can help even out the color across the project and give you the consistency that you want. Finally, go ahead and place the type of finish that you want such as a polyurethane coat.

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