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Is Pine Wood Strong? My 20 Yrs Of Experience With Pine

When it comes to woodworking, pinewood is often misunderstood. Pine lumber is undervalued, probably because it isn’t as well-known as some of the more trendy alternatives. Pine is much more durable than most people realise; I’ve been working with wood for decades and have seen it myself. Is that true, is pine wood durable?

The durability of pine wood means it may be used for any and all of your woodworking needs. Pine is satisfactory in most uses where minor imperfections are not critical.

My 20 years of experience with pine are reflected in this article. I can give an unbiased assessment of pine’s durability because I’ve also dealt with more exotic woods like cedar, poplar, oak, and cherry.

What Is the Strength of Pine Wood?

Pinewood is used for making furniture because of its moderate to high strength. Pine wood is strong and durable, but it is not recommended for use in aesthetic applications due to its soft grain structure, which is readily damaged.

As working with wood requires more than simply brute force, you need to be mindful of this particular vulnerability. Sometimes it’s also expected that something be aesthetically pleasing. Pine wood is robust enough for most projects, but it is easily scratched, which might be a major letdown if you’re focusing on aesthetics.

Here is what the harness and strength of several commonly used woods look like, according to my research:

Type of Wood Janka Hardness Tensile Strength (from strongest to weakest)
Wood stress in white oak 1,360 lb/770 psi
1,290 lbf / 798 psi Red Oak
910 lbf / 380 psi Paper Birch
For a longleaf pine, the pressure is 870 lbf/290 psi.
Pine, Shortleaf 690 lb/280 psi
540 lbf/460 psi poplar
White Cedar, 218 ksi (350 lbf)
Woods’ Janka hardness and tensile strength are listed below.
The Janka hardness scale evaluates the amount of force needed to sink a tiny steel ball into wood half its thickness. Woods are tested for their hardness and dent resistance.

This demonstrates that a greater force is required to dent pine than poplar or white cedar, demonstrating that the weakest pine requires more effort to dent before its integrity is compromised.

The video below demonstrates the results of a long-form strength test conducted on pine softwood.

How durable is soft PINE wood? The Tuesday test!
Here is a video of a strength test performed on a pine tree.
It demonstrates that pinewood can be used for softwood applications, but should be avoided in settings where screws would be in close contact with it.

Various kinds of pinewood include:

Trees made of fir, spruce, and pine
Pinewood, Longleaf
Pinewood, Shortleaf
Pine from Table Mountain
A Sand Pine Treewood
Remove Pine Trees
Timber from the Loblolly Pine
in addition to a great deal of others that vary according to location.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Furniture?

The lumber from a pine tree is among the hardest of any softwood, and any softwood is robust enough to be used in furniture. Pine wood is suitable for the construction of heavier pieces of furniture than those used on a daily basis.

Acceptable Furnishings
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5:35 PM · Jan 3, 2020
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As far as I’m concerned, pine is just a “softwood” in name, as it is surprisingly sturdy and possesses many characteristics more typically associated with hardwood. It can be used for every project that calls for a softwood, as well as others that typically require a less expensive hardwood. Pine’s compatibility with hardwoods is only a concern when you need to use pine for hardwood purposes.

Products made from pinewood include:

Chairs
Tables
Desks
Beds and Bedsteads
On average, my pinewood creations have lasted 13 years. When I finally got around to throwing away the utensil organiser I’d built out of pine scraps, it still looked quite nice. But that’s probably due to the fact that we only utilised it for a month before stowing it away.

Other than pine, inexpensive furniture wood includes:

Ashwood
Poplar
Fir
Gum
University of Michigan Forestry
@MSU CFR
Do knots weaken or weaken the rigidity of a 2 x 4? Researchers at the Forest Stewardship Research Center’s Sustainable Bioproducts programme are investigating the effects of many near knots on the stiffness and strength of southern pine lumber. Find out more about this study that the @usda has supported here. Link: https://t.co/o2ZAyJXlkA Link: https://t.co/7wCZe074S2
1:43 AM · Aug 19, 2021
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What Is the Strongest Wood for Furniture?

For furniture, oak is the strongest wood available, while pine wood is the strongest option for long-lasting lumber. Pine wood is utilised for moderately priced furniture that is expected to endure at least ten years, whereas oak wood is chosen for high-end furniture.

Oak’s primary benefit is that it is nearly indestructible compared to other types of wood. The typical lifespan of an oak tree is reported to be 300 years, which includes the time it takes to grow, live, and die. For wood, this is the pinnacle of durability.

However, Oak is the most expensive wood available, which may influence design choices for some projects. For example, unless the oak wood has some sort of symbolic meaning, it is pointless to spend money on furniture that won’t endure for more than ten years and is constructed out of oak (i.e., signalling wealth or status).

When weighing cost and usefulness, Pinewood comes out on top. Pine wood has rarely been prohibitively expensive for a project I’ve undertaken. Pinewood, however, is prone to scratches and hence has its limitations. While I continue to like pine for general purpose furniture and other tasks, I place Oak in a category all its own.

Is Pine Wood Strong for a Bed Frame?

The bed frame I made out of pine wood is quite sturdy. A typical pinewood bed frame has a Janka hardness of 690 lb, which means it would take 70 times the force of gravity to crack all of the boards. There’s no need to mention that this is highly improbable.

Pine wood is ideal since it is durable, affordable, and much of the bed structure will be hidden from view.

Nevertheless, it is feasible to overcome the influence of 70 times gravity with power, speed, or additional weight. To approximate the difference between the force on the bed frame and the force required to shatter a bed frame, I merely divided the value of gravity (9.81) by the Janka hardness of the lumber (2,400).

They’re the Carpenters, ZA
@WoodenFurnitur6
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12:31 PM · May 23, 2022
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If you’re worried about the strength of your pinewood bed frame, just remember that cedar is typically weaker than pine and use the above formula instead. Pinewood is the ideal material for a bed frame if your weight is between between two and three times the typical American.

Is Pine Wood Strong for Stairs?

Stair treads can be made out of pine wood, which is much stronger than the wood itself (the top cover of each step). Due to its delicate texture, pine wood stair treads will need to be replaced after a few years.

Personally, I think pine wood is terrible for stair treads. The lumber is hard and sturdy, but it is not good for things like speed or impact. When placed in a bedstead, it is less likely to shift around during the night. Also, even if it is used by a married couple who lives together, the type of motion it experiences will vary. There’s also a mattress there for comfort.

Pine wood is likely sturdy enough for stair stringers, but it is too pliable for stair treads. To me, Oak is the best option.

Stairs, however, are subjected to a far more intense level of pressure from foot traffic and so demand a more robust material. Stairs should have hardwood treads installed. Earlier, I indicated that careful consideration of your options is warranted only when you need to use pine for hardwood purposes. And yes, I have considered that possibility.

“Proletarian Dude”
@petite lk dude
After a fire destroyed a townhouse, I visited the site today to put down new pine steps. Worst case scenario, it was a catastrophe. When we only needed 8, the shop fabricated a 9-story boxed flight. Field-cut staircases are ugly and useless. To view the image, please visit: https://t.co/ApCBBrIAWn
3:58 AM · Dec 21, 2021
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Stair treads in a busy home should be made of hickory or oak, while those in a bachelor pad should be made of pine. Get a can of wood filler like Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler if you can only afford pine wood steps and you know someone will be racing across the stairs.

Stair treads that have been scratched can be repaired with wood filler. Substituting the tread is another alternative, albeit a more pricy one.

Is Pinewood Strong for Shelves?

Pine wood is one of the most popular and commonly used shelf materials since it is sturdy enough to hold books and other items. If you plan on storing heavy goods like books, I suggest installing a front stiffener rail. Pinewood is fine for most shelving projects, but you can use tougher woods if you choose. It is suggested that more brackets be added for stability.

It’s not so much that the shelves are weak as that the support framework has a sharp bite and the pine is weak. The pine wood is too dense for the plugs on the screws, therefore the shelf sags.

On level ground, the same piece of pine wood can support the weight of numerous tools. Pine slab shelves can hold a lot of weight without breaking, and they can withstand the knocks and scrapes that come with transporting heavy things like those found in a garage or a woodworker’s tools.

The idea that bookshelves don’t need to be sturdy is widespread. Even if books aren’t particularly heavy on their own, when they’re all loaded down together, they can cause screws to dig deeper into wood.

The best and most expensive components for shelves are:

Mahogany
Koa
Padauk from Africa
Birch
Oak
Pine (Stronger variety) (Stronger variety)

Is Pine Wood Good for a Dining Table?

Pine wood makes an excellent dining table and is a popular choice for everyday tables. Pine wood, which does not shrink, can be surprisingly long-lasting in situations where hot food is placed on the tabletop or when liquids are spilled.

The fact that pine wood is easily good enough is often disregarded in favour of dining tables designed to show off richness, which is unfortunate.

In this clip, we see a pinewood dining table with a metal base and a pinetop. It’s evident that this style of table will outlast a traditional pinewood table.

Authentic Pine Wood Table and Chairs
How to make a table from pine wood (Video)
On the other hand, you should be aware that it is feasible to acquire a pinewood dining table with no metal legs if this is your preference.

Standardized sizing makes construction a breeze, as demonstrated in the video below. The video’s table, meanwhile, appears to be quite nicely constructed.

Best Pine Dining Table Plans Ever Made With Only 2x4s And Quality Lumber || Amir Creator
Pine dining table in action
Here are some things to think about if you don’t utilise pinewood for your dining table:

Elm
Walnut
Cherry
Hickory

Is Pine Stronger than Poplar?

Pine is a more durable wood than poplar. While shortleaf pine lumber (the type of pine most commonly used for construction) is marginally harder than poplar, longleaf pine lumber is more than 50% harder. A look at their individual Janka scores will reveal this.

Poplar may seem like an odd choice for widespread use, but it is frequently seen in such settings. However, that is nearly entirely related to price and accessibility. Our product adoption process is such that we tend to keep utilising the same products that everyone else is using. Due to its widespread use in construction, the popularity of poplar keeps growing as more people see it and decide to utilise it for their own projects.

With its current surge in popularity, Pinewood, in my view, can undergo a similar explosion. In the previous twenty years, I’ve noticed a rise in its use in furniture construction projects.

Tembo’s Handcrafted Furnishings and Woodworking
@isdore chiteshe
Pine wood furniture is guaranteed to win your heart. https://t.co/uvCJiXZjW8
1:26 AM · Jun 9, 2022
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Is Pine Water-Resistant?

Pine is water-resistant, but you can’t rely on that property to hold up in persistent wet conditions like persistent rain or spills. A fairly watertight coating on the wood is required.

However, a powerful waterproof varnish has the potential to obscure the wood’s natural grain. The distinctive grain pattern of pinewood is widely regarded as one of its best qualities. You should select a treatment that is waterproof without altering the wood’s natural texture.

Typical water-resistant coatings consist of:

Polyurethane
Varnish
Lacquer

Is Pine Better Than Oak

While it lacks oak’s strength, durability, and longevity, pine lumber is less expensive. Pinewood is preferable over Oak if the anticipated profit from the project is less than the cost of the Oak raw materials.

Woods like these are also commonly used for making sturdy furniture:

Ash
Mahogany
Maple
Birch
Hickory

Is Pine Stronger than Cedar?

Pine is more durable, while cedar is highly prized for its aesthetic value. If you don’t have access to cedar wood, you can substitute pine wood in its place. However, you should think about things like pricing and availability.

You’ll have to deal with the obvious aesthetic distinctions between these woods, first and foremost. Pine is much paler and more transparent in colour than cedar.

Pros and Cons of Pinewood. Is it Good?

Pinewood is useful for many things, but it’s not the only kind of wood that gets turned into things. The reason for this is that it is not inherently better than any other type of wood. That it isn’t optimal in all circumstances is due to its limits.

부적 🧢⚾️💛
@ongisniels
Okay, so I was walking past a pine wood furniture store and I spotted Niel and Ong’s bed — https://t.co/E5vSAeiVOO
11:46 AM · Sep 9, 2018
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Examining the benefits and drawbacks of pinewood is the focus of this section.

Pros of Pinewood

What follows is a list of pinewood’s many good qualities. Due to the prevalence of misinformation, it is essential to provide a clear picture of this lumber. The following are the true benefits of working with pinewood.

1. Pinewood Doesn’t Warp

Unlike manmade materials like vinyl and laminate, wood does not distort over time. Wood is a natural material, and like any other organic material, it can contract or expand depending on the surrounding environment. Pinewood is a dead wood that won’t warp or expand or contract under normal conditions since it has a very low moisture content. It’s because, under normal conditions, pinewood doesn’t contract as much.

As for how Pinewood shrinks in comparison to other materials, take a look at the following:

Tangential Shrinkage, Wood-Type
10.5% White Oak
The Red Oak Contribution to the Total is 12%
Eighteen percent of birch trees are made of paper.
7.5% of longleaf pine
To wit: 7.7 percent shortleaf pine
Poplar 7.1%
4.9% White Cedar Trees
Common types of wood and their respective percentages of shrinkage
This video will explain what Tangential Shrinkage is and why it’s important.

Wooden Hearse Revival
Shrinkage and movement in wood: a video

2. It Is Easier to Work With

Although it feels good to see an oak project through to completion, I don’t miss the work that goes into it. Hardwood is (excuse the language) a real pain in the rear to work with. Pinewood is easily transportable due to its light weight.

It streamlines building processes and makes transit more convenient. Lightweight and not resistant to work tools are just two of its many advantages. In addition, it’s less taxing on your equipment.

Pinewood’s density is below average compared to other popular woods.

Density Scale for Various Woods
The density range of white oak is 37 to 56 lb/ft3.
45 lb./ft.3 Red Oak
White Birch (38.5 lb./cu.ft.)
LONGLEAF PINE: 29 lb/ft3
Specifically, 35.6 lb/ft3 for shortleaf pine.
Poplar density ranges from 22 to 31 pounds per cubic foot.
The Density of White Cedar Is 23 Pounds Per Cubic Foot
Density of Wood: a Table

3. Pinewood Is Durable

Don’t underestimate a pinewood board just because it’s rather lightweight. This wood is exceptionally durable and suitable for any application that would normally call for softwood. Pinewood stair treads, for example, can be useful in some situations despite the fact that it is not typically used in hardwood products.

4. It Is Not Expensive

Pinewood is less expensive than other woods of same size, which is generally the decisive factor when choosing wood for furniture and other tasks. It’s not easy to get lumber that’s as robust as pine if you’re on a low budget, but that’s the reality for most projects that don’t bring in enough money.

List of easy, low-cost pinewood DIYs:

Place under your desk as a footrest
A chopping board with an epoxy coating that is safe for use with food
Case for holding various instruments
Holds a pen or pencil
Knife block in the kitchen

5. Has Decent Moisture Resistance

Pine wood is ideal for usage in areas prone to moisture buildup. This covers places that are typically humid, such as the outdoors. While pine does scrape when hit, it doesn’t rot when exposed to moisture. Even so, it’s best to seal any pinewood surfaces.

6. It Has a Pleasant Grain

It’s possible that the last benefit of pinewood is more of a subjective plus than a truly objective one. Pinewood, in my opinion, has an appealing grain and a pleasant to the touch texture. When the piece of wood is within easy reach, this quality really shines.

The Cons of Pinewood

Pinewood has numerous benefits, but if it didn’t have any negatives, it would be employed in every project. Pinewood, like all other types of wood, has its limitations. The pine’s drawbacks are listed below.

1. It Can Get Dented with Everyday Use

The surface of pinewood is easily scratched, even with normal use and no unusually hard impacts. Pine is tough to dent to the point where the core is damaged with regular use, but it is easy to scrape the surface.

2. Requires More Paint

Pine’s porous wood grain makes it an inefficient paint substrate. If the cost of pine is your primary consideration, you should not use it for anything that will require painting.

Public Notices
@ClassifiedPosts
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12:03 PM · Jun 13, 2022
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3. Requires Sanding

I’ve also discovered that pinewood requires a minimal amount of sanding prior to shipping. Pinewood models get more hand-sanding than ever before. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but the grain sometimes stands out too much. Pine is typically easier to work with, although it might sometimes take longer to sand off the rough spots than it would take to deal with more dense woods.

Because, in my experience, working with pinewood requires less time than working with equivalent hardwoods, even after sanding, I have only heard of this.

4. Not as Strong as Hardwoods

Pinewood is a unique middle ground material since its superior toughness to other softwoods means it is often treated as though it were hardwood. Only in rare cases does it even come close to competing with hardwoods in any way besides cost.

Final Thoughts – Is Pine Wood Strong?

Pine wood is stronger than you believe it is but weaker than you wish it is, if you are an ordinary woodworker. Raw pinewood is more durable than even the oak used to make furniture. Unfortunately, the shortleaf pine that has been brought to market is not nearly as durable as other hardwoods. With the exception of shelving, it can still be used to create long-lasting furnishings.

 

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