Whitewood

Submitted by ildaura on Thu, 09/02/2010 - 04:28

Can anyone share their experiences using whitewood?  I have searched high and low in our area and I can only find 2" thick boards in whitewood, no pine.  I understand the category groups together pine,fir,spruce and I'm wondering if they work well when combined with regular pine boards color-wise.  I also read that they may have a tendance to twist and warp?  Thanks!

st1

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 04:42

ildaura said:

Can anyone share their experiences using whitewood?  I have searched high and low in our area and I can only find 2" thick boards in whitewood, no pine.  I understand the category groups together pine,fir,spruce and I'm wondering if they work well when combined with regular pine boards color-wise.  I also read that they may have a tendance to twist and warp?  Thanks!

I want to add a question to this about humidity effects on it as well. Different woods react differently to humidity. How safe is it to mix whitewood with other woods on a project, say with poplar or maple for example. Will the whitewood move more than other woods can create issues in the finished product? Humidity where I live (Michigan) is all over the map and I can imagine a piece could get really messed up if there's a big variation in the way the wood reacts to humidity if you use different types in a single project. I used on my farmhouse bed recently pine boards for the 1x8's and the rest is all whitewood. I went to extra lengths to paint seal that bed, but I can see the 1x8's already shrunk a tad. Is that ok for the piece structurally speaking?


silky

Thu, 09/02/2010 - 09:39

I've seen whitewood used in combination with pine. I think it works ok because the wood of conifers (is that the english word) has somewhat comparable properties. So maybe combining it with poplar or maple isn't such a good idea.  I don't know how they go together colorwise. I guess it depends on the treatment. If you are going to stain it you could test the stain on leftover scraps and try to mach the colors.

anawhite (not verified)

Mon, 09/06/2010 - 13:47

Hi Jon, Ildaura,

All woods are susceptible to moisture damage, with some woods (like teak and cedar) able to take more moisture and pine and softwoods on the other end of the spectrum. That said, take a moment to consider the mouldings in your home - I bet they are pine. Also, take a second to look through a Pottery Barn catalog. You will be shocked to learn what is made of pine or whitewood boards.

Of course, if you can afford hardwoods, go for it. You won't go wrong. But it is an expensive way to go.

I've worked with a variety of species over the years, and love how easy pine is to work with. And it's readily available in all sizes. And I love the rustic character. It also takes paint well. If you want the best of both worlds, consider building the main "box" out of hardwood plywood or MDF, and then attach a hardwood frame to the face of the piece. Or a pine frame. This will cut down your use of dimensional boards, and plywood and MDF resist warping in humidity better than dimensional boards.

Hope this helps!
Ana

Barbarella517 (not verified)

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 14:17

So I want to finally build something, it's going to be the rolling cubby bench for my entry way. I'm on line looking at prices for wood - it looks like it would be about $30 cheaper if I go with whitewood over pine. Is this okay? Less than $40 vs almost $70. Kind of a tight budget here :)

claydowling

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 07:29

Is kind of a generic term for any conifer that isn't pine, including spruce and hemlock. It's generally going to be okay to use for most projects. Pine is usually stronger and I like it's appearance better, but if you're painting the appearance of the wood doesn't matter.

If you're worried about warping, buy in advance and let it sit in your house or work area for a couple of weeks. Be ultra-paranoid about the straightness of your boards. If you have options besides Lowes and Home Depot, check them out, because there can be a major price and quality difference.

After the two week waiting period, the wood will have bowed and twisted about as much as it's going to. If it's too bad, burn it for fire wood and buy new. If it's just a little warping, you can flatten it with a plane or jointer. If this is your first time out, you'll probably need to fine somebody to show you how to do this (and to borrow tools).

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