Why Woodworkers Love the Southern Yellow Pine

Southern yellow pine is a popular wood working lumber, but it is not a single species. The name is given to a whole variety of southeastern pine trees that grow in the United States. The most widely known of this type includes the longleaf, loblolly, slash, and shortleaf pine varieties. Because the trees are so abundant, you can find the wood at the lumber yard throughout America and across many parts of the world. It is a hard pine wood, which makes it popular among wood workers, and it costs up to 40 percent less than Douglas fir. Here are some facts you may not know about the special southern yellow pine.


Both hand and machine wood workers love using the southern yellow pine for projects because of the wood’s harness, durability, and low cost. The high resin content does cause problems with sandpaper and saw blades, but preparation can prevent issues. The wood does shrink, so it needs to be dry before working with boards. The beauty of the stained grains makes the planks a perfect choice for flooring. Another positive aspect of the wood is that it accepts varnish, stain, and paint with ease.


The Janka scale measures the hardness of wood by forcing a steel ball into the timber. Of all the pine boards found in the lumber yard, the southern yellow pine may be the hardest. The longleaf variety is rated on the Janka hardness scale at 870, which compares to the hardest of woods, the black walnut, at a Janka rating of 1010. The white pine is a poor 420 Janka.


If you want a wood that is easy to use for pressure treating, choose the southern yellow pine. The unique cell structure allows the deep penetration of preservatives. Since the chemicals can move so deeply into the wood, it keeps fungi, mold, and insects out with ease.

Not only is the southern yellow pine in your lumber yard a great buy, but it can also become a beautiful addition to your home. From flooring to furniture, the golden color and distinctive grain can take your breath away.