Knotty pine cabinets. Can it be done?

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Old 09-10-04, 02:19 PM
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Question Knotty pine cabinets. Can it be done?

I have made a dozen cabinets from poplar, mdf, veneer plywood and hardwood, but, can I make a cabinet from knotty pine? If so, where is it? Does is machine well? What happens to the knots when you hit them with a router and a planner? Is it the cheap pine boards you get at home depot? I learned long ago that pine is not a cabinet grade material. Yet, I have seen knotty pine wall paneling. A friend wants a knotty pine armoire (arm-wa) (ya know, closet thingy). I have never worked with pine cabinets. I could use some advice, especially where and what to buy? Also, I think this friend wants to use the economy grade pine from home depot. In fact, I'm sure of it cause he don't want special order expensive lumber. Personally, I don't think it can be done, but now I must ask how is it that there is knotty pine funiture out there on the market? I have basic issues like; common pine is loose grain and tear out is significant, knots fly out via planning, etc. Is knotty pine an exception to this? Any knotty pine experts out there?
P.S. The cabinet is to be clear finished, not painted.
 
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Old 09-10-04, 06:10 PM
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Knotty pine makes beautiful furniture (our 25 yr old bedroom set is knotty pine) but you don't get the wood at the local home center. As with any furniture quality wood, you need kiln dried material. You'll also have to buy extra so you can avoid having knots in your cut lines.

I've used the armoire in our set since it was new and I'm not exactly gentle but it looks just fine.
 
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Old 09-11-04, 06:00 AM
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Thanks Dave. You brought up a good point about joining the wood to avoid knots on the cut lines. That makes sense. I would like to make raised panel doors for it. There is sure to be at least one knot on the raised panel cutter layout. I wonder if I can carefully route those. Or should I just make extra panels and discard them as I ruin them with the raised panel bit, lol.
 
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Old 09-11-04, 04:42 PM
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A friend of mine built an awesome gun cabinet out of knotty pine T&G cutoffs and leftovers from a log house. It looked great when he was done, but i am not sure what tricks he used to get the T&G trued up for that. He trimmed it out with some dark cherry.
 
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Old 09-12-04, 06:55 AM
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Lugnut-

If you'll send your email address, I'll send you some pictures of the bathroom vanity I made for our master bathroom. I used #2 common pine which I let dry for a couple of weeks before milling. It's been in for about eight years and still looks fine.
 
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Old 09-13-04, 04:13 PM
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Be sure to use clean, sharp, carbide tools on the knotty pine to keep tearout to a minimum.

In my experience, the cost of poor quality wood is too great to justify using it. Firsts and seconds from a vendor of kiln dried wood is what you need for furniture. It takes more square footage of poor wood and way too much time and effort to make a worthwhile product.

When you speak of cost, take a look at the cost of clear pine versus mahogany or cherry.

Besides, knotty pine is not just pine. It would be worthwhile to consider using knotty pine plywood for the case to keep the overall work to a manageable level.

Hope this helps.
 
 

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