Home centers and lumberyards carry longleaf pine boards (called Southern pine) in common grades (Nos. 1, 2, etc.), but not always the clearer finish grades (C, C&Btr.). These may have to be special-ordered. Better grades run about $1 per board foot. Longleaf pines are large trees, which means that you can buy thick, wide boards and timbers greater than 5X5". Finish-grade boards, generally clear except for a few tight knots, are your best bet for natural-finish projects. Otherwise, No. 1 Common and Better will yield about 66 2/3 percent clear cuttings. Because longleaf pine has primarily been delivered to the construction industry, even kiln-dried wood can have a moisture content of from 15-19 percent. The drier boards carry a stamp that reads either "KD15" or "MC15"-averaging about 12 percent. Even this wood you'll want to store for a few weeks in your shop and let it acclimate to the relative humidity. When you're ready to work it, heed the following guidelines.
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