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Red Pine

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Machining methods

Machining methods

  • Red pine may be strong and stiff, but as a softwood, it's not hard. So you can work it with either hand or power tools.
  • If you have worked white pine, expect more pitch in red. This means that to avoid burning and blade wander caused by pitch buildup during ripping or routing, you'll have to occasionally clean cutting edges with acetone or other solvent. A Teflon-coated blade or cutter also works well.
  • This wood will also chip and splinter on cross-grain cuts-always use a backing board.
  • Because of the pitch, drilling can also cause burning. Drill this wood at a faster speed than hardwood, but be sure to back the bit out of the hole every so often.
  • Only sap pockets in a joint will hinder adhesives. If you can't avoid it, wipe the pocket or knot with acetone before gluing.
  • Seal all knotholes or sap pockets with shellac before painting.
  • To reduce chances of blotchy staining, first seal the wood with a washcoat of thinned shellac, use wood conditioner, or rely on gel stains for even coloring.
  • Under a clear finish, red pine will darken and yellow with age.

Continued on page 6:  Carving comments


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