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Longleaf Pine

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Machining methods

Machining methods

  • Although botanically classified as a softwood, you'll find longleaf pine to be quite a hard wood. So use power, not hand tools.
  • Because this species of pine is a resinous one, the pitch or gum tends to collect on saw blades and other cutting edges. To avoid the burning and blade wander that comes from gum buildup during ripping, stop occasionally to wipe the saw teeth with acetone or oven cleaner. Or, switch to a Teflon-coated blade. Remember the pitch when routing, too.
  • Much like Douglas fir, longleaf pine has a tendency to chip and splinter on cuts across the grain. Use a backing board.
  • Drill this wood at faster drill press speeds than hardwood, but make it a practice to back the bit out of deep holes to remove cuttings that might burn.
  • Although resin can cause problems in sawing and cutting, it doesn't hinder adhesives, unless there,s an obvious sap pocket in the joint.
  • Before painting, seal any knots or pockets in the wood with shellac to prevent bleed-through.
  • Longleaf pine accepts stains nicely if you first prepare the wood with a thinned washcoat of shellac or wood conditioner to get even stain penetration.
  • All pines, but especially long-leaf, tend to darken with age, so select your stain color or clear finish with that in mind.

Continued on page 6:  Carving comments


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