Most of the time, local lumber yard stores various dimensions and sizes of SPF Lumber. These can range from 2x4 to 2x12 planks that are mostly utilized in construction work to one-by material like 1x2 to 1x12 sizes which are collected from multiple softwoods to create the SPF Lumber class.

There are four different grades ranging from A through D when it comes to variety of softwoods. In addition, these softwoods also vary in terms of quality, choice, construction, standard and utility. Normally, the higher-end materials are being sold to particular customers, and rest of the grades are best for structural uses that usually end up in the lumberyard.

These softwoods are mostly gathered from farm trees, where various tall, consecutively lined species are bred quickly. These are the major source of softwoods that contain fewer knots and that feature growth rings that are spaced fairly far apart when compared to forest trees.

Harvesting Wood Makes SPF Lumber

SPF stands for spruces, pines, and fir softwood trees that are harvested in a manner that makes they typically suited for lumber. The trees are knocked down, the upper branches are severed, and the trunks are separated into different grades prior to loading and transporting to the mill.

Once at the mill, these logs are given shape according to the tree grades, sizes and requirement of the mill contracts. The scraps are used in other processes to manufacture wood products like MDS, particle board, plywood etc.

Making of SPF Lumber

As these woods are grown and milled in their raw form, i.e. "wet", and aren’t given time to dry and shrink, the sizes of the cut wood are larger than the final size of the lumber. To bring such woods to a usable form, they are put into large dryers for a period of "kiln-drying" to reduce moisture levels. Drying naturally in the air does not give the desired strength and consistency which can be achieved through the kiln-drying procedure. In addition, the weight of the wood is also reduced when it is kiln-dried for final use, which in turn cuts down the cost of shipping of the material to market.

How to Use SPF in Fine Woodworking

Using SPF lumber in fine woodworking projects is possible, although you may have many more options and better choices, especially when you wish to stain your woodworking assignment.

Why would you elect to use SPF lumber when doing fine woodworking, considering it is quite cheap and there are likely better options?

Buy SPF from one Stack

If you do elect to use SPF, you should be aware of a few things. To begin with, you wouldn’t be able to ensure which variety of SPF you have purchased, as SPF is the combination of spruce, pine and fir.  Under these circumstances, if you intend to complete your woodworking project out of SPF lumber and also expect to stain it, it is preferable to rely on a single vendor and buy your supply from one stack in the yard. It will improve the chances of getting all the lumber of the same variety, thereby increasing the chances that the staining will also be uniform.

Does obtaining the SPF from the same stack actually matter? Yes, as every variety has its own way of staining, meaning that utilizing wood from different stacks could produce an uneven look once staining is performed.

Opt for Straight Boards

A second goal to strive for is to utilize as many straight boards with at least two knots as possible so as to make the warping, twisting, cupping and bowing processes easier.

Yet another tip for selecting the best board is to look for end grains of the wood. Opt for those materials that have tight grain patterns, with the grain lines intersecting the narrow sides of the boards.

One additional tip for a great woodworking is to buy excess material, say for instance, almost 20% more material than required to building your project. Also, try to place the wood in your shop and let it adapt to the surroundings. The time that these woods take to reach a state of equilibrium with the local ambiance may differ with the type of species. This will help you get your project completed in a more focused and efficient manner, as the material would become more stable in the atmosphere of your shop.

Finally, do you know that SPF lumber, especially the types of boards found in home centers, might have pockets or pitch in the fibers that may be harmful to your blades? When you allow the wood to acclimate to the atmosphere, it will reduce these pockets.

We hope this has helped illustrate how you can use SPF lumber when woodworking. Although it may not be ideally suited for that use, if you choose to buy SPF lumber in Miami, visit Florida Lumber to help ensure the success of your woodworking project.