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  • Using pine in place of oak

    I am wanting to try making a bench. I have seen the plans on the website for a storage bench made of oak and am wondering if pine would be an acceptable substitute for learning on? If it turned out reasonably well, I would use it in our attached garage for storage and a place to sit while putting on shoes etc.
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  • #2

    Re: Using pine in place of oak

    These benches are very commonly made from pine. I built one 30 years ago that is still in use at my parents place. Pine dents easily but then over time, you have a nice distressed looking piece. To learn on, it's a good alternative to more expensive woods.
    Learning something new every day.

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    • #3

      Re: Using pine in place of oak

      My wife really likes the destressed look, this would be a bonus over time! I will look into the plans and get a list of bulk materials figured. I find, here in Saskatoon anyways, the only place to get decent quantities of select pine are the big box stores. Although they have quantity, the lack in quality most of the time. Anyone have any suggestions on where to look around Saskatoon for good pine? I have been to Windsor plywood, they usually have a decent supply but can be fairly pricey. What about sources for rough pine? I can always plane down to size.

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      • #4

        Re: Using pine in place of oak

        Pine is fine to work with for a bench. I know that there's a lot of people where I live that use pine for any furniture project. It is soft so that inherently means it's hard to work with but that is great when you are learning.

        As for where you can find pine... Where I live I can go directly to any sawmill. I think Select in Pine is rare because Pine is an evergreen so that means there's a lot of knots in pine. If you can find it then grab it but expect to pay a premium to get it.
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        • #5

          Re: Using pine in place of oak

          Living up north fine hardwoods are rare locally unless you want to pay an exorbitant price to have them shipped in. Pine is easy to get still and reasonably priced, occasionally a supplier will bring in big orders of very clear top grade pine. I was in a Timmins lumber supplier one day and he had just got a big order in. I was getting a big order that day and told him I would get a couple hundred bd/ft if he let me pick it out. Yes. Awesome .

          I like colonial designs and many projects I have built over the years have been in that style. Nice clear pine fits the style perfectly. The majority of the order looked like this, 16' of board one knot .

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          • #6

            Re: Using pine in place of oak

            If your driving by some time I have plenty $2 bf 5 & 4 quarter
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            stotto, Fir-minator and 2 others like this.

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            • #7

              Re: Using pine in place of oak

              Most of my initial furniture projects were built from one pine species or another; great wood to learn technique on and the bench you make will serve for many years. To convince yourself, have a look at the Shaker furnishings at Old Sturbridge Village and other museums. Pine has been a utility wood for centuries.

              Ken

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              • #8

                Re: Using pine in place of oak

                Thanks guys! I am cleaning up the shop tonight, picked up wood today and will start whittling at it tomorrow. Looks like we’re in For a long haul here so I’m glad I got a few supplies while in I was able. I will have more than my fair share of questions, I am sure. Looking forward to learning from the collective knowledge this site has to offer!

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                • #9

                  Re: Using pine in place of oak

                  So I have begun! Learning lots already, lol! Cut all my mortises with my router table and a 1/4” up cut spiral bit. Took a bit of time but turned out pretty good. Lots of set up and re-set up. Was going to buy a new plunge router today but never ended up getting out. Likely would have been easier with a 1/2” bit. Ended up squaring out the holes vs rounding the tenon corners, wasn’t to bad. Set up on my crosscut sled with the dato stack for the tenons. Sled worked great, to much tearing on the face of the board with my old datos so I remade them and made my first cut to set the length of the tenon with a single blade then went back and run them over the dato to finish. Much nicer fit up now. Now have everything dry fit and it looks ok. May have to tweak a joint here and there but nothing serious. Here’s a picture of my progress.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Using pine in place of oak

                    Fir... looks good so far, you are right to be satisfied. A reminder, if you don’t mind, is to round over all your edges before final assembly. It is much easier to do the individual pieces while disassembled as I found many years ago. Roy
                    Are you solving the problem, or becoming part of it?

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                    • #11

                      Re: Using pine in place of oak

                      I appreciate the advice Roy, thank you. I was thinking once I get the dry fit done and any adjustments made, I will give everything a going over. I also need to for the front legs to final size and style the tops of the rear legs into a peak.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Using pine in place of oak

                        Hoping someone can advise me on this glue up. Everything is dry fit and ready to go. Just trying to decide the best sequence to tackle this one.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Using pine in place of oak

                          Filled the grove with glue, slid pieces in and used some wedge kinda spreader things to hold fillers in place.

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                          • #14

                            Re: Using pine in place of oak

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                            You're setting the slats in a long rabbit in the pic. Cut a long strip that fits snuggly & flush in the slot and then cross cut short pieces that fit as permanent flush spacers between the slats instead of those "wedge kinda spreader things." On glue up, if time is an issue, just glue and clamp one end at a time (e.g. all the tops or all the bottoms). Then later glue all the other ends at your leisure, with spacers there also.
                            Last edited by Woodwreck; 03-28-2020, 07:13 AM.
                            Start slow and wind down gracefully

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                            • #15

                              Re: Using pine in place of oak

                              I think I kind of did what you are explaining. I put tenons on this slats as well as the spacers in between. The wedges are there to put pressure on the spacers I glued in.

                              jist finished it this afternoon. A few things I would do different next time but overall, quite pleased at my first attempt at any thing furniture related. Here are a few pictures.

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