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Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii

TALL TREE WITH DISTINCTIVE GRAIN
Famous in Europe for being one of the largest trees, Douglas fir is valued for its straight grain and stability. It is distinguished by tight rings, quite similar to those of western red cedar, but paler in color and not as fibrous. Of course it is not really a fir (Abies genus), and its name derives from its similarities to hemlock (Tsuga genus). The growth rings are particularly conspicuous, producing attractive wavy lines, but the grain does not present as many problems as you might expect.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS
Type Temperate softwood
Other names Oregon pine Alternatives Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)
Sources Grows from British Columbia down the western coast of the United States to Mexico
Color Pale yellowy beige contrasting with brighter reddish orange latewood lines
Texture Neither fine nor coarse, but uniform and relatively easy to work
Grain Straight, with some wavy grain
Hardness Harder than might be expected for its weight
Weight Medium (33 lb./cu. ft.) (530 kg/cu. m)
Strength Surprisingly strong, especially lumber from the Pacific coast regions.
Seasoning and stability Good; Douglas fir can be dried quickly and there is little movement once it is dry. Wastage Medium; there may be some loose knots, but not much sapwood.
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Moderate

VARIATIONS
Quartersawn sides have very tight growth rings, with some speckling from what look like resin ducts.

SUSTAINABILITY
Not listed as in any danger, but certified supplies are available.

AVAILABILITY AND COST
Easy to buy, at moderate cost.




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Updated: 10/2017   copyright 2011 Rowecraft