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Author Topic: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....  (Read 7820 times)

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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2015, 07:52:31 AM »
Regarding the nailing issue...So Ole was putting up a shed and when his buddy Sven came and asked how it was going, Ole said that about half the nails had the heads on the wrong end, so he was throwing about half the nails away.  Sven said that was dumb and that those wrong nails were for the other side of the shed.

Seriously...Blunting the sharp end of a nail makes the nail tear the wood fibers instead of acting like a wedge and splitting the wood.

Spruce, pine and fir are combined into SPF species group and this group is widely sold in the eastern and central U.S. for framing lumber...estimates are that over 80% of the framing lumber sold in GA is SPF, even though southern yellow pine is dominant in the forest..  That is, GA is the #1 forested state in the South, but the framing lumber is SPF from Canada.  SPF lumber is almost all from Canada.  It is also true that SPF is not allowed or used for longer spans for floors and roofs because it is not as stiff as SYP and most other common species.  But, SPF is also lighter weight and nails easily.

Eastern hemlock in the past was widely harvested for the bark (as previously mentioned) and then the debarked tree was left in the forest.  There was so much shake and low grade wood that it was not profitably sawn in many cases.  Pulp markets were more profitable than sawing...true, even today.  This species does not treat well unless it is incised, so RR tie use was and is restricted.  Today, the butt logs are often not profitable to saw due to low quality...shake, wetwood, etc.  Overall, eastern hemlock lumber is not widely found in the marketplace due to its low profitability.
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Offline wfcjr

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2015, 01:45:10 PM »

Spruce, pine and fir are combined into SPF species group and this group is widely sold in the eastern and central U.S. for framing lumber...estimates are that over 80% of the framing lumber sold in GA is SPF, even though southern yellow pine is dominant in the forest..    It is also true that SPF is not allowed or used for longer spans for floors and roofs because it is not as stiff as SYP and most other common species.  But, SPF is also lighter weight and nails easily.


If SPF is not allowed for longer spans for floors & roofs, what species are?  Reason I am asking is that we are going to build a new barn and would like to use as much lumber as we can from our property.   Predominant species in the softwood stands are red spruce.   I am pretty sure that we can use that for the shiplap siding.  But am wondering about its use in floor joists, roof rafters/joists and for the larger timbers that frame the structure. 

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2015, 03:28:26 PM »
You can span floors and roofs with SPF do it all the time .
Look  for a span chart .
In roof and floor trusses  syp is used on some cords top/ bottom for longer spans .
A floor can be framed 16 inch or 12 inch for more strength .
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2015, 03:36:20 PM »
Grade you wood or cull it.
Lumber yards send us junk lumber all the time.
I send it back it passes grade .
Junk framing lumber junk spruce fir syp or hemlock .
Good wood has few knots smaller the better no shake little wane .
Jim/ Bruno
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Offline Billbob

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2015, 06:27:15 PM »
Up in this neck of the woods spruce is the lumber of choice for framing.  Has been for as long as I can remember.  To my knowledge pine is not often used for framing.  Some of the local commercial mills do not like to take red pine as it does not have the strength that spruce has.  Pine is mostly used for furniture making, cabinet making, etc.
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Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2015, 07:13:01 PM »
Regarding the nailing issue...So Ole was putting up a shed and when his buddy Sven came and asked how it was going, Ole said that about half the nails had the heads on the wrong end, so he was throwing about half the nails away.  Sven said that was dumb and that those wrong nails were for the other side of the shed.

I knew Ole he built a tree house 60' up connecting 14 trees together ;D
County disagreed with his definition of a SPF "stud" apparently they could not still be living :P

At the production "Stud mill" our main stud product was Hem-fir (white firs) followed by Doug fir, WRC, and Incence cedar. They purchased the Wooly sale in Western Washington it was a large tract of land that was predomatly Spruce. The spruce was all over sized and shipped in by rail. The lathe in the veneer plant would round them down to 42". Large knotts (5"-6") made for lower recovery and what made it thru the mill was lower grade. It was heavy and was hard on the equipment but we set high production rates on all shifts.

Using your own logs lets you select the trees that will yeild higher grade lumber and over size for longer spans. ;)
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Offline Oliver05262

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2015, 09:40:51 PM »
  FarmingSawyer, thanks for teaching me something today. I knew about blunting the tip of a nail to reduce splitting, but I didn't know about the "starting divot" trick with framing nails.
  Cut nails work best, but are ungodly spendy.
  Railroad spikes work because they cut the grain, not split it.
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Offline Remle

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2015, 12:18:35 PM »
wfcjr
In short Yes you can use the red pine.
Load carrying ability of SYP and SPF are determined by their species physical attributes and size. In timber of equal size the SYP will carry more weight, but, although you cannot change it's physical properties you can change the width and height of SPF to carry the same load as the SYP. Whether conventional or timber framing you should design the members for the necessary load carrying ability. Don P's Calcs, in the Tool Box under Extras at the top of the page will be a great aid in determining timber size. I also recommend reading the  Timber Framing  section of this forum and asking questions their.

Offline FarmingSawyer

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2015, 06:48:08 PM »
  FarmingSawyer, thanks for teaching me something today. I knew about blunting the tip of a nail to reduce splitting, but I didn't know about the "starting divot" trick with framing nails.
  Cut nails work best, but are ungodly spendy.
  Railroad spikes work because they cut the grain, not split it.

Your welcome! I've found cut nails to be a bear unless you nail them parallel to the grain. And forget about trying to nail green hemlock with them well......they'll split the board, end, middle or center.......
Thomas 8020, Stihl 039, Stihl 036, Homelite Super EZ, Case 385, Team of Drafts

Offline Brucer

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2015, 08:23:57 PM »
As Gene said, blunting the nail will cause it to tear some of the wood fibres instead of wedging them apart. It's frequently enough to stop a board from splitting near the end.

On the other hand, the reason nails don't come with blunted ends is that you won't get enough wedging action. That's what holds the nail in place.

So, do you want to keep your boards from splitting, or do you want them to be held more securely?  ;D

You get the best of both worlds if you can tear the wood in the board you are nailing to something, but wedge it in the wood that's doing the holding. One way is to drill a pilot hole through the top board (say 1/2 the diameter of the nail). Another way is to blunt a nail and drive it part way through the top board, then pull it out and put in a sharp nail (or use the edge of the nail head ;D).
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Offline FarmingSawyer

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Re: Pine vs Spruce....Discuss.....
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2015, 04:48:23 AM »
Back in the day, every hardware store carried a tool called a "Nail Spinner". You could chuck it in your drill and it has a ball bearing catch that accepted a range of finishing nail sizes. You stuck a nail in there and used the nail to drill into the wood. Pull the drill off the nail and finish hammering it home being careful not to leave "Charlie Olsen's" signature....

I haven't been able to find a nail spinner for some years except for a lot of money in specialty catalogs. You can also clip the head from a nail, chuck it in a drill and use it to drill, but it isn't as fast, and nails used this way wear out quickly. It doesn't work in all woods, but it saves blunting the end of every nail and gives a good tight fit for the nail size your using. Especially if you don't have a drill bit handy.
Thomas 8020, Stihl 039, Stihl 036, Homelite Super EZ, Case 385, Team of Drafts


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