Using Pine Boards For Furniture Projects
This lumber is appealing because it’s cheap and you can find it at any big home and lumber store.
However, it’s not designed for use with fine furniture right from the store.
It’s moisure content may be over 20 or even 25%. This means it may warp, cup, or twist as it continues to dry.
There’s also the possibility of internal tension in the board, which could cause it to bind on the back side of the table saw blade. This is more likely with 1 bys than with 2 bys. Be sure to use your splitter on the table saw if you have one.
Technically, it’s always best to let the lumber you buy dry for a few weeks in your shop before starting a project.
However, for a basic rustic-style project, I’ve personally never done that.
I live in the midwest where it gets very humid in the summer, and dry in the winter, and my pine wood projects are holding up just fine.
I figured it’s because of their rustic style, any tiny flaw basically goes unnoticed.
Also be sure to buy the absolute straightest boards you can find at the lumber store.
Sometimes I’ll have trouble finding any decent 1-bys for a project, so I get these premade pine panels that Lowes sells. They’re smaller pieces of pine all glued together, and come in various widths and lengths. These are really flat and straight, and I’ll just rip it into narrower boards on my table saw to get the pieces I need for a project. This also eliminates the ‘internal tension’ problem I mentioned above.
This premade panel idea works if I’m going for a rustic look, but otherwise be aware these boards will look like a butcher block panel when finished, not like a single solid board, so you’ll need to consider that in your design.
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