Solid wood is classified as softwood and hardwood. Softwood output is more extensive than hardwood. So softwood price is lower.
But hardwood is more stable, durable, and beautiful and performs better. So in the furniture industry, we will find hardwoods are used more.
There is a large amount of softwood. But very few are suitable for furniture. Only 5% of furniture and 8% of bed slats are made of pinus sylvestris.
1. What are the largest and most commonly used types of pine in china furniture factories?
- Pine sylvestris(Northeast pine, Mongolian Scotch Pine, or Siberian pine);
- Radiata pine(Monterey pine, New Zealand pine, or Chilean pine )
- Finnish pine.
More than half of the pine furniture on the market is made of these three types.
1.1. Pinus sylvestris
It is also known as Northeast pine, Mongolian Scotch Pine, or Siberian pine.
It is not allowed to be chopped in China in recent years. All the sylvestris pines on the market are from Russia.
1.2. Radiata pine(Monterey pine, New Zealand pine, Chilean pine)
It is an artificially cultivated pine species. Its prototype is a pine tree on the island of California, USA. It was neither tall nor straight.
The reason why it is named “radiate pine” is that it grows radially.
But it grew better and became the leading commercial tree after introducing to New Zealand.
It grows well in New Zealand and is called New Zealand pine.
Chile has a large amount of planting after the introduction. So it is also called Chilean pine.
1.3. Finnish pine
It is also named European spruce.
2. What is the difference between Pinus sylvestris, Pinus radiata, and Finnish pine furniture?
Pinus sylvestris ≥ Radiata pine > Finnish pine
The sawn wood lumber made into furniture should have at least one face without knots. Thus the furniture surface will be clean and beautiful.
The single-sided knotless sylvestris pine sawn lumber is about CNY2500/M3, and radiata pine is CNY2400/M3.
The price for the knotted Finnish pine is CNY2000/M3.
The Finnish pine tree trunk is not big enough to make knotless lumber. So there is no single-sided or double-sided knotless Finnish pine lumber.
This is also the characteristic of Nordic pine.
Also, there are few thick Finnish pine lumbers because the pine trees are chopped before they can grow big.
The price for knotted Pinus sylvestris lumber is about CNY2100/M3.
So regarding appearance, Finnish pine is the worst if you don’t like knots. But anyway, it is natural.
On the other hand, if you are looking for fewer knots, you can choose sylvestris pine or radiata pine.
Regarding colour, Finnish pine is whiter, while pinus sylvestris and radiata pine are yellower.
It is easier to do colour painting on Finnish pine.
Yet Pinus sylvestris and Pinus radiata have oil secretion. So we usually varnish them instead of painting colour.
Finnish pine and pinus sylvestris have finer textures and narrower annual rings because they grow slowly.
Radiata pine is a fast-growing economic tree. It has wider annual rings and more obvious wood grain.
Radiata pine grows quicker than Finnish pine and pinus sylvestris. So it is less dense and softer.
The air-dry density of the three pine wood is between 0.4-0.5g/cm3.
Furniture made of softwood has a short lifespan and is likelier to break.
China’s imports of radiata pine(New Zealand pine) have been declining in recent years. Because New Zealand only exports logs, and the logs need to be processed into sawn timber in China.
Yet China’s processing is not so good. The moisture content of the processed sawn lumber is unstable, and the size is not standard. All these increase the difficulty and cost of furniture production.
So Chinese factories prefer standard-sawn lumber with stable quality.
Finnish pine has been doing well in terms of sawn timber grading. Although there are many defects in appearance, Finnish pine moisture content and size are also very standard.
Russia used to export mainly pinus sylvestris logs at a proportion of more than 50%.
In the past ten years, to make more money, Russia began to increase exports of sawn lumber and restrict exports of logs. It bans and grows export taxes on logs.
Semi-finished products have driven quality improvement on the sawn lumber.
With the Belt and Road railway reaching various provinces, the market share of Russian pinus sylvestris in China has soared in the past two years. Thus the pinus sylvestris has become the mainstream.
So many small furniture factories change to buy pinus sylvestris.
Therefore, the pine furniture in the market is mainly made of pine sylvestris or Finnish pine.
The most criticized point of pine wood is the smell.
The oil content of Finnish pine and radiata pine is less than pine sylvestris.
The oil will continue to secrete if the treatment is not in place, especially in the sun.
But if the treatment is in place, the grease problem can be solved.
The smell of pinus sylvestris is less than before. And some well-treated ones can be painted with colour.
But anyway, the pine smell is harmless.
So if you want to buy solid wood with less money, you can look no further than pine furniture.
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of pine wood furniture?
- Eco-friendly and beautiful
- Simple maintenance
- Pine smell
- Highly cost-effective
3.1.1. Eco-friendly and beautiful
Pine furniture is generally processed with water-based paint without containing formaldehyde. So it is more eco-friendly than oil-based painted furniture.
The water-based paint can retain the natural wood grain, so it is beautiful.
3.1.2. Simple maintenance
It is much easier to maintain pine wood furniture than other wood.
We only need to wipe along the wood texture with a soft and damp cloth.
And we should keep the space ventilated.
3.1.3. Pine smell
Pine furniture will emit a unique smell which is harmless to human health. But some people may not be used to it.
3.1.4. highly cost-effective
The last and most crucial point is that pine wood furniture is cheap.
- Easy to change colour
- Many natural defects
- Poor wear resistance
- Easy to warp
3.2.1. Easy to change colour
Pine contains a lot of resin and other substances. If the furniture is exposed to the air for a long time, the content will react with the air. It will make the furniture colour darker. It is not a quality problem and will not affect regular use.
The density of pine wood is between 0.35 and 0.51. It is not hard enough to have a high performance of nail gripping and weight loading.
So during production, the pine parts can’t be with precise dimensions and pleasing shapes. There will easily be gaps or loosening on the joints.
Therefore, it is best not to make load-bearing furniture such as bookcases.
3.2.3. Many natural defects
Natural defects such as knots and resin capsules affect not only its quality but also its appearance.
The pine wood has a smell. Although it is harmless to human health, the long-lasting fragrance may make some people uncomfortable.
3.2.4. Poor wear resistance.
Pine is soft, and its surface is easy to wear. So it is not suitable for furniture.
Surface finishing is one of the methods to improve wear resistance. But pine contains a certain amount of resin. Thus the finishing will be affected.
3.2.5. Easy to warp
Pine wood is loose, easy to absorb moisture, and has a high dry shrinkage and wet expansion coefficient.
This will affect the stability of the size and shape of the pine furniture. It will even lead to cracking and warping.
In addition, during the drying process, the moisture content of each layer is often uneven. The drying shrinkage of the inner and outer layers is uneven. All these will cause stress deformation.
4. How to clean pine furniture
- Alkaline washing
4.1. Alkaline washing
We can use 8%-10% sodium carbonate water or 4%-6% caustic soda solution to clean a small amount of pine oil. It can achieve the ideal cleaning effect. Oil and alkali become soap and glycerin through neutralization. Then use a sponge or brush dipped in hot water to scrub and rinse.
We can remove the overflowing pine oil with tools.
Dissolve 20 grams of bleaching powder in 0.5 kg of warm water. Brush the parts with pine oil with this solution until the parts turn white. Then rinse with water and apply a layer of shellac varnish.
We can use the dissolution to clean pine furniture, especially for stubborn stains.
Dissolve 25% aqueous acetone solution and wipe the stained parts with a soft cloth.
Except for this, we can also brush with a mixture of 20% aqueous acetone solution and a small amount of alkali.
We can also paint on pine furniture for maintenance.
It is necessary to keep the pine furniture clean and tidy from time to time, especially on the edges and corners. Regular waxing can also be used for maintenance and cleaning.
5. How to maintain the pine furniture
- Put it in a dry place.
- Clean every day
- Regular maintenance
- Do not move casually.
- Prevent bumps
- Correct wiping
- Avoid soup spilling out on the table
5.1. The essential thing for pine furniture is to prevent moisture. So we should put them in a dry place.
5.2. We should wipe the pine furniture with a clean rag daily to keep it clean.
5.3. Use a special pine furniture protection oil for regular maintenance. You can buy the oil in the furniture shops at a low price. A small bottle of oil can last for a long time.
5.4. Try not to move the pine furniture casually to avoid damage because it is cumbersome.
5.5. Prevent bumps on the pine furniture because it is hard to repair, even with professional lacquer.
5.6. We should use a soft cloth with some cleaning agent to wipe the furniture along with the wood texture.
5.7. We should use thick pads on the pine wood table in case the soup spills out to damage the tabletop.
6. Pine Furniture Restoration
- Scratches: Repair with a cotton cloth dipped in wax solution
- Burn marks: apply wax with a chopstick head wrapped with a fine-grained stiff cloth
- Scalding spots: Apply iodine or Vaseline first, then wipe with a soft cloth two days later
6.1. Scratches: Repair with a cotton cloth dipped in wax solution
If the paint coating is scratched instead of the wood underneath, we can apply molten wax with a cotton cloth a few times. Thus the scratches will not be noticeable.
6.2. Burn marks: apply wax with a chopstick head wrapped with a fine-grained stiff cloth
If cigarettes or matches burn the paint coating instead of the wood underneath,
we can apply wax with a chopstick head wrapped with a fine-grained stiff cloth. Thus the scorch marks can be removed.
6.3. Scalding marks: Apply iodine or Vaseline first, then wipe with a soft cloth two days later
A white-circle scar will be left if a utensil containing hot water is placed directly on the pine furniture surface. Usually, it can be removed as long as it is wiped in time.
But if the scalding marks are deep, we can smear them with ordinary iodine or Vaseline. After two days, wipe with a soft cloth to remove the burning marks.
We can also remove the marks using a soft cloth dipped in alcohol, perfume or kerosene.
After removing the marks, we should wipe with a soft cloth dipped in water and apply a light wax layer.
7. Taboos for pine furniture maintenance
- Do not wash pine furniture with soapy water or clean water
- Do not use coarse cloth or old clothes as rags
- Do not wipe the pine furniture with a dry cloth
- Avoid improper use of wax products
7.1. Do not wash pine furniture with soapy water or clean water
Soapy or clean water can’t effectively remove the dust on the pine furniture and the fine sand particles before polishing. It will only make the furniture dull. If the water penetrates the furniture, the service life of the furniture will be shortened.
7.2. Do not use coarse cloth or old clothes as rags
We should use a towel, cotton cloth or flannel to wipe the pine furniture. We should avoid using a coarse cloth or cloth with thread ends, snaps, stitches, and buttons because they will scratch the furniture.
7.3. Do not wipe the pine furniture with a dry cloth
The dust is composed of fibres, sand, etc. If we use a dry cloth to wipe it, the dust will make minor scratches on the furniture.
7.4. Avoid improper use of wax products
To make the pine furniture look shiny, some people improperly apply wax products on the furniture.
It will make the pine furniture look foggy and speckled.
We should wipe with a cloth dipped in cleaning wax to avoid scratches and maintain the original brightness.