Pine (Sugar) Softwood

Pine (Sugar)

Sugar Pine, also known by its botanical name Pinus lambertiana, is a versatile timber with a wide range of uses. The heartwood ranges from a pale brown to a light red-brown, while the sapwood varies from near-white to pale yellowish-white. It is characterised by a straight and even grain, a fairly coarse and uniform texture, and dark brown resin canals which are easily separable. Sugar Pine is an ideal choice for doors, joinery, shingles and much more. If available from sustainable and legal sources, it can make a great addition to any project.

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Also Called:
Big Pine, Gigantic Pine, California Sugar Pine, Great Sugar Pine, Shade Pine

Durability Notes:
Pine (Sugar) wood is non durable. It is perishable and should only be considered for internal use.

The drying and seasoning of Pine (Sugar) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. As an overview; Pine (Sugar) - dries readily without difficulty, with only minor checking and warping. There can be problems with brown stains in we wood. Sugar Pine has high dimensional stability in service. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.

Sugar Pine is light and soft, with low strength overall, low stiffness and crushing strength and low resistance to shock loads. Sugar Pine works really well with both hand and machine tools and has only a slight blunting affect on tools. The wood mould, turns, nails and sands well and is excellent for gluing, mortising, screwing and planing. Staining, paining and polishing are acceptable, though resin in the wood can react with some finishes, reducing the level that can be achieved.

Typical Uses:
furniture, cabinetry, flooring, moulding, doors, paneling, plywood, veneer, boatbuilding, crates, pallets.

Moisture Content:
Guide - 10-18% for KD (+/- 2%)

Commonly asked questions about Sugar Pine Wood

Is Sugar Pine a hardwood or a softwood? Sugar Pine is a softwood. It is the same for; is Sugar Pine hardwood or softwood? - Sugar Pine is a softwood.

Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Pine family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.

What colour is Sugar Pine? Sugar Pine can be described as light brown, white/cream (very light brown), yellow/brown, orange

Is Sugar Pine good for outdoor use? or is Sugar Pine good for exterior use? Sugar Pine is most suited for interior/interior use. Sugar Pine can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).

Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood

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