Douglas Fir & White Fir Wood
Information on the fir woods, douglas fir and white fur wood, and how to treat them.
¶ Douglas Fir (Oregon Pine). This wood is cut from giant trees which furnish lumber for many purposes such as common boards, sheathing, framing timbers, finishing lumber, flooring, etc. The grain figure of fir is interesting and some of it in the veneer form is selected and matched to make very fine appearances. The color of the wood is a pinkish yellow or brownish red and it may be distinguished from Southern pine which has a decided yellow color. The grain figure of the straight or plain-sawed fir is very similar to Southern yellow pine but a bit more angular and sharp.
¶ Fir is a light weight, strong, soft and close-grain wood. Its absorption of oil and stain is rather uniform and it makes an excellent foundation for paint and enamel finishes. It seasons well, resists weather excellently and shrinks moderately.
¶ Fir should be finished as soon after erection as possible because ordinary moisture in the air will raise the grain of the wood into ridges which cannot be cut down level again by sanding. For this reason water and chemical stains should not be used on fir except for the novel effects which are sometimes wanted when the wood is sponged with water to raise the ridge as much as possible before the application of acid solutions as toners or special fillers, etc. Oil and spirit stains, especially the former, are best for coloring fir.
¶ White Fir. This is a very light colored, grayish white wood of light weight. It has a close grain and a moderately soft, uniform texture. The grain figure is much subdued like white pine. It is strong lumber as is indicated by the fact that it is classed by forestry experts with Sitka spruce which is the official airplane construction lumber of many governments. White fir is used for cutting into common boards, sheathing, framing timbers, heavy timbers, finishing lumber and many other purposes. It takes paint and enamel finishes wonderfully well because of its uniform structure as to density and absorbing quality. Its grain figure is rather too much subdued to hold a great deal of interest, but it can be stained effectively like soft and white pine.
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