Machining Mouldings from Southern Yellow Pine

      The stock may be cheaper, but what about the quality of the product? December 31, 2013

Most of our custom moldings are to be painted, so we use poplar. We use this in many high end homes. But in many medium end homes, the builders use cheap finger jointed radiata pine moldings. They are usually very thin, low grade moldings, but are one of our biggest competitors. Especially with the high prices of poplar now, we can't compete with their prices. Most of the contractors we sell to would rather use our product because of the service and quality, but the lower cost of finger jointed is an issue.

But we have a unique situation. We also have a 20,000 bf dry kiln that we are not using. And a local mill that cuts southern yellow pine, which is very low priced now.

Even after kiln drying, the SYP would be less than half the cost of poplar. What are the disadvantages of using SYP for moldings? I know SYP is prone to being crooked…

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor B

Click to View Member Profile Member Contact Info Project Gallery Shop Built Equipment Gallery Categories

I've used SY pine a number of times over the years and never had any issues. I even laminated up some leftover 12' tread material for a matching hand rail. It machined cleanly and has been stable over time.

From contributor A:
As with most softwoods, it will be more susceptible to dings, dents and gouges. In particular this will apply to bases and cases where people vacuum, walk by, etc.

From contributor B

Click to View Member Profile Member Contact Info Project Gallery Shop Built Equipment Gallery Categories

Actually SY pine is pretty similar to poplar in hardness. To the best of my knowledge it's the hardest of the pines. It will indeed be more susceptible to dings and dents than species like oak and maple, but not nearly as much so as Eastern white pine, for example.

From contributor J:
Seen many companies trying to produce trim from SYP... Most problems related to more knots and correct moisture content (many southern mills only dry their pine down to ~25%, or high-temp dry which builds stress). If it is dried correctly and tools kept sharp, then southern pine can machine beautifully.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork: Stock Manufacturer

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: General

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2020 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article