Pinewood: A Popular Softwood Used for Home Furniture!
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Wood is an exceptionally versatile material, which is commonly used to build houses, shelters and boats. Wood was a prominent building material, before the invention of cement. In this modern era of concrete construction, wood is extensively used in furniture and home decor industry.
There are many types of wood available in nature. Broadly wood is classified as hardwood and softwood. Hardwood comes from deciduous tree that have broad leaves, produce fruit or nut, and are generally inactive in the winter. Softwood comes from the coniferous trees. These trees are also known as evergreen trees and leaves of trees do not fall till the new one is grown. One of the popular available softwood is pinewood. Here we have given brief information on pinewood, its properties and its advantages and disadvantages, which homeowner should know before purchasing pinewood furniture.
Also Read: Types of Wood and Their Uses
Pinewood is a coniferous wood which can be found in a various locations across Northern Hemisphere. It is a softwood which comes in over 170 different species. It is found in Europe, America, Canada, Mexico, Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, etc. After Spruce, pine accounts for the highest proportion of wooded area in Germany. In India, there are six common species of pinewood found, of which four are in the Himalayan ranges (H. Panda, 2008). Pine trees grow faster as compared to hardwoods and hence pinewood is available in abundance. The popular species of pinewood are as follows:
- Scotch Pine
- Yellow Pine
- Eastern White Pine
- Mountain Pine
- Sugar Pine
- Black Pine
- Chir Pine
- Caribbean Pine
- Blue Pine
- Deal Pine or Red Pine
Properties of Pinewood
- Pinewood has light colour, generally creamy white colour. Although it has shades varying from very white to yellowish. Pinewood has unique grain with knots darker than the colour of wood.
- According to United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service (2010), Eastern white pinewood has Janka hardness of 1300 Newtons, while yellow pinewood has Janka hardness of 870 Newtons. Yellow pinewood is comparatively stiff and is comparable to hardwood like red oak, which has Janka harness of 4700 Newtons. Janka hardness test gives the resistance of a wood sample towards denting and wear. You can know more information regarding Janka Hardness test in ASTM D143 – 94.
03. Rot Resistance
- Pinewood has low resistance to rot, but can be treated with chemicals to make it more resistant.
04. Termite Resistance
- Pinewood has low resistance towards termite attack. Thus, for interior furniture, it works well, but for exterior work, pinewood has to be treated.
- Pinewood is very easy to work with, and finishes well with hand carved and machine tools. It is good for furniture with bends, and glues very easily. Due to its soft surface, pinewood takes nails and screws very well, which is sometimes difficult when working with other types of wood.
06. Dimensional Stability
- Pinewood is dimensionally stable unlike other types of wood. Pinewood has resistance towards shrinking and swelling when in dry or in humid atmosphere.
- Pinewood is widely available and grows rapidly and hence is less expensive as compared to other types of wood, like teak.
Advantages of Pinewood
- Pinewood is an inexpensive softwood. Due to its availability, it has less price.
02. Lighter Weight
- Pinewood is light in weight as compared to the hardwoods. This offers advantage while moving furniture or rearranging the overall furniture layout of the house.
03. Compatible with Rustic and Traditional Style
- Pinewood is stiff and hence it is durable as furniture. Although it has less stiffness than hardwoods like oak, it offers durability among the softwoods.
05. Good Workability
- Pinewood has good workability which is an important property for carpenters. It can be easily worked on with machines or hand. Due to its soft surface, it can be carved easily to produce artifacts or to give artistic features to the furniture.
06. Shock Resistant
- Pinewood has good resistance towards shock and hence does not get damaged by impact.
07. Dimensionally Stable
- As pinewood has resistance towards shrinkage and swelling, it is dimensionally stable. The wood logs would not expand in moist environment and would not contract in dry environment. Hence, the joints in decks, flooring or furniture can be provided accurately.
08. Takes Surface Finishes Well
- Pinewood takes finishes very well. According to the owner’s requirements, it can be stained, painted or varnished. One can select its natural light colour or stain it to change its colour.
Also Read: Various Types of Wood Finishes
Disadvantages of Pinewood
01. Not Compatible With Modern Style
02. Has to be Treated
- Pinewood has to be treated by chemicals to make it rot-resistant and termite resistant, which can increase its cost.
03. Less Resistance to Wear
- Pinewood has less resistance towards wear even though it has good stiffness. Pinewood can be dent and scratched easily.
- Pinewood has tendency to get scratched and hence, it has to be refurbished to maintain its original look.
05. Excessive Knots
- Sometimes pinewood may contain excessive knots. Knots can make the furniture weaker, and hence the pinewood surface must be carefully examined before making the furniture.
Uses of Pinewood
- Pinewood finds its application in making doors, windows, partitions, decks, railings, paneling, wall cladding, interior trims, moulds, etc.
- Any species of pinewood can be used for making furniture.
- Paper is usually made from pulp of pinewood.
- Pinewood is also used in production of wood veneers and plywood.
In conclusion, although pinewood is a softwood, it is widely used due to its durability and price. It is not as durable as a hardwood, but is a good compromise for budget cautions people. The ability to stain pinewood to get the desired colour has made it more attractive. With proper maintenance pinewood furniture can last long.