Lighter Pine

My brother gave me some chunks of lighter pine!

Lighter Pine

Lighter Pine

It is a fascinating wood, unique in it’s own way. Really heavy, since it is completely filled with resin.

I have no clue what to do with it. I am going to make a few handles out of a chunk just to see how it turns out. I wish I knew of a classic use apart from burning it.


4 comments to Lighter Pine

  • Skip J.

    A very interesting chunk of pine you have there Bob! Looking beneath the straightedge I see many very tightly wound year/growth rings where you see a lot of resin sap. That was a very old pine tree to be so small a trunk. That is not a loblolly grown quickly in s/e Texas. More than likely it is a shortleaf pine – Pinus echinata – growing very slow on a dry bit of ground. Maybe sandy and/or gravelly ground? Do you think it is a longleaf pine?????

    I know,I know; you were really tailking about the chunks of pine, not the little tree trunk; just couldn’t help myself.


  • This is Central Florida, longleaf pine. Pinus palustris, Lighter Pine. The stuff that survives forest fires, and does not survive without forest fires. In old areas of Florida, these stumps are around and about in odd places.

    Here is my guess as to this hunk of woods history.

    This tree may have first sprouted when Cortez first explored Florida. It may have been a sprout when Andrew Jackson was rampaging through Florida. Hard to guess how long this has been a stump in pre-amber stage.

    I suspect that this one grew up in the shade of other pines and held on despite competition for light. Because of it’s lopsided quality, I suspect that it was blown over somewhat in a storm, while it was maybe 50 years old, and still small for it’s age. Then it had worse competition for light, and the stress of the angle reinforced it’s growth pattern. Finally it was blown down entirely and the stress made it mass produce sap. At somewhere around 100 years old, it died. The sap pooled in the lower stump side as the tree died and rotted. As the roots decayed and the stump lowered into the sand, the rest of the tree rotted away, leaving this section of stump in amber. There is sat floating like a iceberg mostly submerged in sand, sinking when the sand was dry and floating when the sand was wet. Like a resinous floating stone.

    Indeterminate years later my brother encountered it while bird watching among the trees and palmetto scrub. He pulled it out of the sand, figuring it would bemuse, puzzle and delight me. He was correct.

    If you are reading this, thank you Steven!

    A lot of supposition for a small hunk of wood. You should see what I can do with one oyster!


  • Skip J.

    Sooo…. it’s a Florida pine, hmmm…. of course there is no Texas longleaf around anymore to compare to…. Robert A. Vines says longleaf grows on deep sandy soils, but on marshy, deep, sandy soils. Around here shortleaf takes the high ground and loblolly takes the middle to low ground. I have known that longleaf grew here on wetter ground than shortleaf historically, but not as wet as loblolly.

    Consequently, according to Vines longleaf grows on deep sandy wet ground; meaning it dries out as soon as the water table falls each year until the next flooding season. Just a quick rain that does not flood the water table will dry out again in a few days. Loblolly will grow on silty wet ground that stays wet much longer after the flood season before drying out. I note that the National Plant List assigns longleaf the same overall wetness rating as loblolly without splitting hairs.

    Congrats on the gift… that is one fine and very rare gift!!!!! You should make something very unusual from it if you can!


  • Design Dude

    tis the artists’ dilemma. I’m afraid its up to you to determine what to create. “Classic Uses” is an interesting thought and I myself will ponder the idea also. Recently I band-sawed some of it into thin planks and they await the same dilemma. Had to use mineral spirits to easily clean tools afterward. Often, a material already has its destined form and use inside it, but the artist must find what that is. It helps to analyze the particular qualities and what it is best suited for.
    Ya, the free and easily obtained answers are usually worth what you paid for them. I’ve also learned to throw away the initial ideas, fill the mind, and let the big aha come in its own time.

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