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Thread: White Wood

  1. #1
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    Feb 2003
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    Question White Wood

    I was looking for some cheap 1x4 today at the orange borg. I ran across what I wanted, cheap and s4s, it was called "white wood" on the label on the rack and on the UPC sticker. Now I have seen a lot of wood that is painted white, but I can't say that I have run across a species called white. I suspect that it is soft pine, and that HD is peeing on my shoes and telling me it is raining.

    Any other guesses on what it is?
    Best Regards, Ken

  2. #2
    Aspen is also white, often clear of defects, good stablity, Great for drawer sides. Usualy used as a secondary wood.

    Perhaps "white wood" is any of several species so the wood corporation can subsitute for whatever "white" wood they have.

    Thanks
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  3. #3
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    Ken, I've asked several guys there and no one seems to know the species. What I have bought seems as soft as white pine and similar in looks. I have gotten some interesting answers like "it's American made, therefore white". I suspect they call it that to keep the channel "open" like "s/p/f" does.

    David

  4. #4
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    Chappell Hill, Texas
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    It's either Idaho Pine (aka, northern white pine), western white pine, (Oregon), Canadian, or European pine. How's that for a definative answer? They lump it all into "WW" (white wood) designation. It could be ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, sugar pine, tamrack, hemlock, what have you.

    There are (at least @ the HD's in the Houston area), two distinct varieties of pine. There is a larger dark knot pine with orangeish/yellowish wood that I'm pretty sure is domestic. Then there is a VERY white and lightweight pine with the tiny light-brown tight knots. The latter, I hate, at least from HD, as it REALLY twists & warps when ripped, and I don't consider it prudent or safe to cut. I think they call this SPF, for spruce/pine/fir.

    I had an independant lumber salesman call on me a few weeks ago with a sample of European pine, at my request. It was about $465 for 1Mbf. Not a bad deal I thought. When he showed up, it was the same SPF that Home Depot carries. I said no thanks and he left. A week or so later, I needed a scrap piece or wood, and sought out the sample he left. I ripped it with VERY CAREFUL attention to movement, and it didn't move a bit at all. No tension, no compression. It was a joy to machine. And, the salesman had said that his drying schedules were watched very closely. I believe him now!!

    On another note, as far as HD goes, is how they grade their #2 pine (I got this from HD themselves a couple years ago). Around here is called the Houston Distribution Center, or the "Houston Market." HD has their pine suppliers cull all the #2 into a high-end #2 and a low-end #2. The Houston area gets all the crap on the low end of the #2 scale. Dallas, for instance, is a market that gets the high-end #2.

    Todd
    Last edited by Todd Burch; 09-15-2003 at 10:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    It can be a whole bunch of things, depending on what was priced right when they bought it and the phase of the moon. Most that I have seen has been some form of softwood, both domestic and imported. Since it's general use is for utility purposes, that's probably not an issue.
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  6. #6
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    My local hardware store and lumber yard has two types of softwood 1x and 2 x lumber, Southern yellow pine and spruce.

    The spruce has little tiny knots and is white and is identical ( to my untrained eye) as the white wood I bought from HD. The knots seem to remind me of a tree that is simialr to a xmas tree lots of little branches.

    So maybe its spruce.
    Hate to hijack the thread but what would be the differnces is uses of the two types mentioned. Would they be similar enougth bot to care which one you purchased. Other than knots and color.

  7. #7

    My local Borg!

    When I asked the same thing of a guy working in the local Big Orange Store, he said it was White Pine, Their computer won't accept "White Pine Wood" so they just call it "White Wood" so the bean counters can tell it is wood. They call the Red Oak "Oak Wood" and Maple is "Maple Wood" so his explanation may make some sense.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the comments, Gents.

    After all the smoke cleared, I had what I wanted, cheap 1x4

    You all have confirmed my suspicions that it is a form of pine. The reason I need it is that I have to run my compressed air tubing across the floor of my shop attic, and I want to put a 1x4 strip of wood on each side so that I don't step on the copper tubing and crush it. I don't mind tripping over the screwed down boards, but I don't want to trip over the bare copper tubing and experience the attendant problems that follow.

    Lee, I like your explanation too, the bean counters need simple names.

    Thanks....
    Best Regards, Ken

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