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#3198947 - 11/26/13 05:33 PM Wood shelves - oak?
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34239
Loc: New Jersey
We are putting in two shelves that are around 56" each. Bought collets, good to go, just need the shelf. I bought a big piece of premium pine from HD, cut it to length, had it in my house and now it's way bent.

It has curved and twisted, so it's not flat - it was flat to the floor when I tested it in the store.

So, wondering if the mistake was getting pine... Should I have used oak?

The shelf will be painted.

Thanks!

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#3198972 - 11/26/13 06:11 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21723
Loc: NY
I'd bring it back. Pine is a PITA for the reason you mentioned. Oak is very expensive but a lot more stable. You could also see if they have a damaged piece of 3/4" plywood, finish grade if you plan on painting it. Cut your shelves from there.

Did you finish the ceiling project?
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#3198979 - 11/26/13 06:21 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
Eddie Offline


Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 6849
Loc: Florida, Cape Coral
Lots of wood these days are not properly kilned dried. As moisture leaves the wood it warps. Take it back.
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#3198989 - 11/26/13 06:46 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
larryinnewyork Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 293
Loc: N.Y.
A piece of wood can warp, bow, or twist.

I stopped buying pine and use Poplar.
For some reason, it's alot easier to paint and nicer to work with.


Sometimes I seal the end grain if I'm not going to nail it down right away.
Sealing the end grain slows down the moisture leaving the wood.
Lumber mills will use paint or wax.

I have never returned wood because of warping. But I would not hestitate to.
Sometimes I see wood at Home Depot that could never be sold (unless you were building a boat).

I would try Poplar, then oak, then plywood (11 plys)
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#3198997 - 11/26/13 06:56 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
cashmoney Offline


Registered: 03/23/13
Posts: 213
Loc: TX
Solid oak is fairly stable dimensionally in most indoor environments. For built ins that will be stained a lot of carpenters are going to use cabinet or furniture grade plywood that is finished in oak or some other nice wood on outside. Then they put a piece of solid wood trim in front to hide the cut edges. This method is cheaper in terms of materials and the cabinet grade plywood is very stable. If th ebuilt ins will be painted most folks use Masonite trimmed with solid wood in front to build shelves and other built in style furniture.


Edited by cashmoney (11/26/13 06:58 PM)

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#3199005 - 11/26/13 07:04 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21723
Loc: NY
As Larry mentioned Poplar is actually a good choice too. Prime it with the oil primer you have left over from the ceiling project, give it a sanding after the primer dries, dust it off and it will be ready for a finish coat of paint. If you plan on putting books, or glass items on the shelves oil is a better choice for a finish coat, with one caveat, some pastel colors will yellow, white will definitely yellow. If you plan on using latex semi gloss paint stay away from BM Aquaglo, you'll thank me later. They make great paints but their latex semi gloss sucks.
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#3199006 - 11/26/13 07:07 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
spasm3 Online   content


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 4183
Loc: out there
Oak or poplar. The only way to have good flat pine, is to buy it thick (perferably heart pine), let it stay in your house a month to dry to that humidity and then plane it and then run it on a jointer. Poplar and oak are much tighter grained and more dimensionally stable.

If you want the distressed look, beat the pine with a chain, then a bit of sealer and stain it dark.


Edited by spasm3 (11/26/13 07:11 PM)
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#3199011 - 11/26/13 07:11 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
tom slick Online   sleepy


Registered: 05/26/03
Posts: 8632
Loc: Central Coast, Calif.
Poplar or plywood with an edge band if paint grade.
Plywood with veneer and edge band, both of the carcass wood, if stain grade.

I don't use pine for anything anymore. It splinters and warps.
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#3199096 - 11/26/13 08:43 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5803
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The species of wood is less important than the grain structure and orientation in the board. Typically softwood shrinks less than hardwoods when drying making it more stable. But plantation pine with 1/2" growth rings can do some wacky stuff.
If you sort through pile of which ever species you want, look for a piece that's near quarter sawn, it should be the most stable. Also odds are the hardwoods at a big box store have been dried properly. Avoid any piece that feels damp or heavier as well as it still has excess water in it.
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#3199172 - 11/26/13 09:46 PM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
larryinnewyork Offline


Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 293
Loc: N.Y.
A piece of wood can warp, bow, or twist

My comment above is incorrect.

Should have been:
A warped piece of wood can be warped 3 different ways.
1) Bowed
2) Cupped
3) Twisted

Interesting reading: Dendrochronology - the study of tree rings.
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#3199347 - 11/27/13 05:57 AM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: larryinnewyork]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21723
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: larryinnewyork
A piece of wood can warp, bow, or twist

My comment above is incorrect.

Should have been:
A warped piece of wood can be warped 3 different ways.
1) Bowed
2) Cupped
3) Twisted

Interesting reading: Dendrochronology - the study of tree rings.


All at the same time sometimes. When it comes to pine, what you buy in the store today is wood from young immature trees. Just about all of the the old pine has been harvested and replanted in this country, more than once in most cases. In order to keep up with the demand young trees are harvested, and the quality of the wood isn't as good as the wood that came from the older trees. That is the number one reason for a lot of the complaints people have with it. Then there's short cutting the drying process which adds to the problems.
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#3199353 - 11/27/13 06:02 AM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
Pop_Rivit Offline


Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 3740
Loc: Midwest
Your house has entirely different temperature and humidity dynamics, which is why it twisted. Softwoods like pine is more susceptible to the changes, but once you've cut the lumber it's not returnable.

My personal preference is either cherry or mahogany. Both are fairly stable, and both hold up well. Cherry is easy to work with, mahogany takes a bit more skill. If I were doing something that I wanted to last, I'd go to a real woodworking store and buy the material, not a Home Depot or Lowes.

I personally don't care for painted shelves-I'd stain and varnish them to bring out the real beauty of the wood.

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#3199430 - 11/27/13 07:52 AM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34239
Loc: New Jersey
We have real stained and shellacked chestnut everywhere in the house on all the trim and the doors, and interior French doors. Between that, an antique piano, all the furniture, the kitchen cabinets, front sunroom ceiling, etc., there is so much exposed wood everywhere that its awesome.

I would tend to agree and would have stained, but my wife wanted to try this so that the shelves didnt stand out as much. We're replacing a hutch with a buffet and the shelves as an experiment. If we don't like it, no big deal, just a learning experience. The worst I'm out is some time and money.

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#3199500 - 11/27/13 09:19 AM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: Pop_Rivit]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 21723
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Your house has entirely different temperature and humidity dynamics, which is why it twisted. Softwoods like pine is more susceptible to the changes, but once you've cut the lumber it's not returnable.


For the record I have returned twisted and warped wood to HD. Once they turned me over the manager of the department, and I asked him if he'd be happy with wood that twisted a day after it was taken home and cut. He understood my point and took it back.
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#3199599 - 11/27/13 11:07 AM Re: Wood shelves - oak? [Re: demarpaint]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34239
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: demarpaint
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Your house has entirely different temperature and humidity dynamics, which is why it twisted. Softwoods like pine is more susceptible to the changes, but once you've cut the lumber it's not returnable.


For the record I have returned twisted and warped wood to HD. Once they turned me over the manager of the department, and I asked him if he'd be happy with wood that twisted a day after it was taken home and cut. He understood my point and took it back.


Home Depot returned it without much of an issue. I explained that it was shoddy low-quality products and not buyers remorse or user error. It had been severely within 24 hours of getting home. They understood entirely and gave me a refund. I understand why cut wire and cut wood is technically not returnable, but when I spent $25 for a pine plank that then is unacceptable for use, and it has only been a day, I guess they take customer satisfaction as the more important parameter. I wouldn't have ate it if need be, since it was indeed cut. But I guess that's another reason why I prefer Home Depot over Lowes where Pop seems to prefer to shop.

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