Pine lumber is cut from several different types of pine trees that grow throughout the United States. Pine is a softwood evergreen tree, is very plentiful and grows at a much faster pace than hardwood trees to enable no depletion of the tree supply as you use lumber for building. The main use of softwood pine lumber is in the construction industry for the above reasons.
Southern Yellow Pine
This type of pine is a bright yellow on the inside, which is a distinguishing factor on lumber and plywood. Southern yellow pine is in use most often in the construction industry due to its superior strength and high density. This type of pine holds fasteners like nails and screws better than other varieties of pine and has the greatest load-bearing capacity. These features make southern yellow pine the preferred lumber for pressure-treated or wolmanized wood.
The clear pine is not actually clear in color but more of a soft creamy white in relation to yellow pine. This is the softest of the pine lumber family and it is useful in cabinetry and trim but does not have the strength for heavier weight bearing loads.
Lumber is commonly grows with stains by a dark microscopic fungus, which causes a blue, black, brown or gray discoloration in the tree. Blue pine describes this appearance. It may also appear as more of an orange, yellow or red stain throughout the wood. The blue stain has no effect on the strength or performance of the wood and it is useful anywhere that southern yellow pine is used. The only drawback is that when you apply stain to blue pine the lumber will retain its color and may not cover with your stain so that the colored markings will still be evident.
Eastern White Pine
This type of pine lumber is mostly in use for cabinetry, furniture and crafts, though it serves construction purposes of two by fours as well. It is almost as soft as clear pine and lends itself well to cutting into small pieces for craftwork. The light color is throughout the wood and it takes well to stain because you are starting with a white canvas.
It is important that you keep in mind the strengths of pine lumber that you are purchasing in relation to the project you are building. For instance, a softer pine lumber as the clear pine will not be sufficient to use in framing a house or addition to your house. Also, keep in mind that when applying a stain to yellow pine it will be darker due to its pigmentation that if the same stain is applied to eastern white pine.
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