Your Best Eastern White Pine Projects of Spring 2021

What can you build with Eastern White Pine? All kinds of things – as you can see in our latest roundup of #easternwhitepine projects featured on Instagram! Sheds, coops, grand houses, log cabins, doors, window frames, organizers… the only limit is your creativity.

Via @woodenware4u, “Finished up the Garden Shed project for my client today. Nice to have a project close to home.”

Via @blueberrywoodsmaine, “Ready for some fun facts? ???? ⤵️The white pine used at @blueberrywoodsmaine was responsibly harvested approximately within 70 miles the land. ???? This makes me incredibly happy. The distance from the lumberyard to the land is considerably even less than that. Talkin’ local here. White pine is 100% recyclable, organic, non-toxic, and biodegradable. We won’t be recycling my new dance floor though.”

Via @rockheartcabin, an awesome porch made with Eastern White Pine. “Hello beautiful day! This porch wraps entirely around our house and adds so much space and enjoyment. I’ll be very happy when it has railings on it.”

Via @softwoodexportcouncil, “Two architectural designers have modernized the classic rural New Hampshire home, building their own residence from wood cut down on their own property and locally sourced Eastern White Pine. Working on a tight budget with sustainability and a chic industrial-rustic hybrid aesthetic as their goal, the couple built nearly everything from hand, including the kitchen cabinetry, and achieved Energy Star certification. The interior of the home is lined with Eastern White Pine finished with Monocoat white oil, from the wide-open living room with its wood stove focal point to the spa-like bathroom with all of its built-in storage.”

Via @lulpinewoodandforge, “Built a these lovely little diamond sash today! The old ones were beyond repair, but this locally milled eastern white pine should last another few hundred years!”

@tfgheartwoodschool, a timber framing school in the Berkshires, is working on a studio and poultry house made of Eastern White Pine. Looks amazing so far!

Check out these gorgeous eastern white pine floors posted by New Hampshire’s Main Street Homes Gotta love that wide plank!

Woodworker @wornro presents his latest project, a footstool made of Eastern White Pine. 

Via @builtbybrosco, this cabin in Falls Village, Connecticut features Eastern White Pine tongue and groove boards harvested onsite. 

Via @ediblelandscapes, “Who doesn’t love a good ‘before and after?’ What were a bunch of rotting beds that the bunnies were making their salad bar, are now these beefy 2’ tall raised beds! We are quite happy with how they came out! All local(ish) Eastern White Pine, rough cut. Ain’t no bunnies getting into these beds!”

@pennsylvaniasawmillcompany gives us a close-up look at some heavy structural Eastern White Pine timbers that’ll be going into an industrial-style building in Virginia. 

More of @pennsylvaniasawmillcompany’s Eastern White Pine decorative trusses, these ones in a new church in State College, Pennsylvania.

Here’s a great example of using Eastern White Pine for smaller projects. @nkwoodwerx says, “Fully stocked and ready for grab and go sanding! I designed the cabinet around 1/3 sized sheets to reduce how far it sticks out from the wall, but also I find 1/3 sheet sizes to be the most useful in my work whether I’m hand sanding or using various sanding blocks.”

Japanese Designers Reimagine the Iconic Windsor Chair

One of the most ubiquitous and elegant objects ever made of Eastern White Pine is the Windsor Chair, a design refined by early American woodworkers in the 18th century. Inspired by a style that likely originated in Buckinghamshire, England in the 16th century, this American classic features chair spindles resembling the spokes of a wheel, and features a comfortable, deep-saddled seat. 

We’ve seen artists and craftspeople create their own unique takes on the Windsor chair before, including a fun collection by designer Normal Kelley. Now we get a fun Japanese spin on the design in a collaboration called “The Windsor Department.” Created by three groups of designers (Taiji Fujimori, Inoda+Sveje and Drill Design), the collection is currently on display at ATELIER MUJI GINZA in Tokyo.

The designers first came together ten years ago to explore their fascination with Windsor chairs, which they describe as nostalgic and full of “mysterious charm.” To celebrate the anniversary of the collaboration, they’ve each produced their own modern forms of the chair, redesigning them for the present and future without losing what makes them so special and iconic.

“Nowadays, design tends to be understood as an activity to create something completely new,” say the designers. “The method of ‘The Windsor Department’ is to evolve the ‘original form’ of the chair with designers’ thoughts and experiments. It may allow us to think out of the box of conventional design, and guide us toward a more sustainable direction.”

Each of the ten participating designers has created their own chair. In most of them, the inspiration is overt; the classic Windsor spindles remain an integral part of the design. One stretches out the silhouette to grant it a longer back and lower profile. Another adds a single armrest. A third design leaves the top off the back of the chair, giving it a spiky appearance. Other reinterpretations simplify the basic shapes that go into the chair, making it a little bit more in line with minimal Japanese style. 

The collection is a fun way to see how different artists can take a single piece of inspiration and turn it into something unique, and to explore how an old favorite can remain relevant for centuries to come.

Eastern White Pine Tips for New Woodworkers

Pine is pine, right? Not quite. Different species of pine trees can produce very different qualities in lumber, so they’re not all suitable for the same uses. Southern yellow pine, for instance, has a high load-bearing capacity, but it can be difficult to work with, and if you want to stain it, results can be unpredictable. Deal pine, which is often imported from Europe, has very pronounced grain and rings.

Eastern white pine (pinus strobus), on the other hand, has a more delicate grain, excellent strength for its weight and a fine texture ideal for detailed woodworking. It’s used for both structural and secondary purposes, from timber frame houses and barns to fine millwork and cabinetry.

A lightweight softwood, Eastern White Pine dries very quickly with little risk of warp or checking. The sapwood, which makes up most of the tree, is a lovely pale yellow-white that darkens naturally with exposure to sunlight, but also takes stain nicely. Affordable and readily available, it’s used extensively in all facets of woodworking and carpentry. If you’re new to woodworking and want to give it a shot, here are some tips to get the best results possible.

Source your Eastern White Pine straight from lumberyards, if you can, where it has been professionally dried and stored, and look for clean, straight stock. It’s best if you give your lumber some time to acclimate to your shop environment after purchase, which will make it stronger, drier and more stable when you’re ready to use it. Keep your work surface free of debris to avoid unwanted dents, but if you do have a dent or two, just position a damp cloth over the spot and heat it with an iron for a few seconds to allow the fibers to swell back into place.

Eastern White Pine absorbs stain easily, which is a great quality, but you’ll want to finely sand the end grain to keep its color even with the rest of the wood. Use good quality stains and consider using a pre-stain conditioner for the most even results. If you’re worried about resin, you can buy small pieces of pine from craft suppliers that are already cut and milled to size, but the sap wipes up with a dab of “Simple Green” or commercial pitch and resin remover. 

“When people are learning to use hand tools, I often recommend that they start with Eastern white pine, and here is why,” says Vic Tesolin of Fine Woodworking.

“Pine is soft. Because of this this softness, you need an extremely sharp blade to cut it well. A dull chisel will mash its way through pine but only a keen edge will slice through it, leaving a clean, crisp surface. Having sharp chisels for any woodworking task is critical and the best way to ensure that your sharpening game is up to snuff is to trying paring pine. If you can flawlessly pare pine, you can pare anything and should get clean surfaces.”

Check out some amazing examples of intricately carved Eastern White Pine by Mendota Mantels.

More tips for working with Eastern White Pine:

Show Off Your Latest #EasternWhitePine Projects

eastern white pine projects main

What has everyone been up to using #EasternWhitePine? We found some cool new projects to share on Instagram, check them out! And we always love to throw in a few appreciation posts for the magnificent tree itself.

Check out this awesome modern Eastern White Pine lodge in Falls Village, Connecticut by @Studioc_nyc! It features a timber frame, a screened porch and “layers and layers” of Eastern White Pine.

Of this carriage house door project, @hoaglandrestoration says, “We were lucky enough to have connections with a sawyer who has been sawing Western Red Cedar out of poles previously used for power lines. This coinsided with a client who was looking to convert an empty dirt floor bay of his carriage house into a parking spot for the modern carriage (a honda cr-v). Therefore we but the two together and hung joists in the bay and decked with 2″ planks at 3/8″ spacing with a ramp to match. We then reused the strap hinges and pintles from the previous door and built a new set of Eastern White Pine doors with historically correct trim schedule. We then installed the “Franklin Autoswing” as a remote opener. Wiring should make it operational shortly. “

Via @michaelgrafarchitect: “Sometimes in the shop we do traditional pieces too! This one @danielhchouinard meticulously crafted for an antique cape in Durham. The wide pine top came from a tree that my grandfather harvested over 50 years ago.”

@stoneleighgarden says, “The twisting needles of Pinus strobus ‘Vercurve’ add a touch of whimsy to the winter garden.”

Craftsman @woodenware4u says of this post and beam eastern white pine garden shed project, “Finished up the Garden Shed project for my client today. Nice to have a project close to home.”

@missanniemac22: “My new winter hobby…wood burning! Can’t wait to hang this on the big Eastern White Pine with the swings @fo_fdrpark????What do you think is the safest and most stable way to affix the label without damaging the tree?”

@sc_lumbersupply_greer: “‘Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways’. Oscar Wilde – Is creamy white speaking to your soul right now? Need a nice light unspoiled neutral to add to your space, our white pine is perfect for you. The center bead pattern can help you create a classic look for walls and ceilings alike or flip the board over and use the v-pattern to really open up your space. Perfect for rooms with natural lighting or for porch ceilings that you want to stand out! Feel free to stop by or give me a call today, I am always happy to answer your questions!”

@labradorlumber is in the process of building a gorgeous post and beam cabin using Eastern White Pine, showing off the entrance here. 

@Shawn.cox321 is in the process of building a telecaster guitar out of Eastern White Pine – the progress is looking amazing!

@pathsandpeaks captured this gorgeous image of Eastern White Pine canopies in winter on a Vermont stroll. 

@macdavisflooring gives us a peek at wide plank Eastern White Pine floors with a gray-toned stain for a contemporary look.

Up in Ottawa, @corywoodwork is working on a footstool made of Eastern White Pine for his father. Looks great!

Of this handmade Eastern White Pine photo frame, @shokajmo says, “Just finished this picture frame for a map of B’town. I didn’t want to mess around with miters so i did this impractical dovetail. Finished with Minwax tung oil finish.”

@railroadbridge says of this Eastern White Pine Windsor chair in progress, “There we go! Ready for glue up and the upper assembly. No bandsaw access right now so lots of block plane and drawknife to fair the curves.”

How to Identify an Eastern White Pine Tree in the Landscape

The noble Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a historic tree, providing the basis for countless timber-frame structures and Colonial homes throughout New England and the world over the past few centuries. It’s also a beloved Christmas tree and feature in the landscape. Here in Maine, it often grows up to 130 feet tall and four feet in diameter, and can be found virtually anywhere you look. But if you aren’t an Eastern White Pine aficionado, you might not know how to tell it apart from other pines.

Whether sprouting up in the wild or growing in commercial timberlands, the Eastern White Pine tree stands tall and proud with an extraordinarily long, straight trunk. Taller trees often have branches that reach above the forest canopy, the highest ones swept upward. In fact, many older Eastern White Pines are asymmetrical due to their exposure to the wind.

Eastern White Pine needles via Adirondack Nature

From afar, the bluish-green needles on its horizontal, parallel branches often have a feathery appearance. Get in close and you’ll see that these long, thin needles grow five to a cluster, each one three to five inches long. Touch them and they’ll be soft and flexible. In contrast, Red Pine and Jack Pine needles come in bundles of two, and Pitch Pine in bundles of three. White pines also lose all but the current year’s needles each year in fall.

Eastern White Pine cones

Want to determine the approximate age of an Eastern White Pine in the landscape? For each year the tree is alive, it grows a single whorl of branches from its trunk, just below the terminal bud at the very top. Count them and you’ll get an idea, looking for signs of lower branches that have been shaded out and fallen off over time. 

Eastern White Pine bark

The bark on a young Eastern White Pine tree looks smooth and greenish-gray, while mature trees begin to develop a reddish brown tone and layers of scales forming ridges that are broken into irregular shapes. The pine cones are longer and thinner than those of other pines that grow in this region. They gradually taper, and their scales aren’t sharp and prickly. 

The parts of the Eastern White Pine tree have many uses, starting, of course, with lumber. The United States lumber industry was founded on this special tree, which is prized for its lightness, workability, straightness and the fact that it shrinks and swells very little. Its needles are high in vitamin C, so they’re often steeped like tea. New shoots can be peeled and candied, and the sap is naturally antibacterial. Peel the nuts out of the pine cone for a crunchy snack high in fat and protein. You can even make flour from the bark. Check out more info in the articles below!

How the Eastern White Pine Became Michigan’s State Tree

Hartwick Pines State Park in Michigan, via Grayling Visitor’s Bureau

Across the United States, many people are bringing home Eastern White Pines to light up and decorate for Christmas. In the cases of both Maine and Michigan, they’re also paying homage to the history of their state, whether they realize it or not. We’ve talked a lot here about the Eastern White Pine’s storied New England history, including its role in the Revolutionary War, but it has an interesting history deeper inland as well. 

Michigan Radio explores that story in a recent NPR feature. The tree’s role in the state began during an era of logging during the late 19th century. As you might know, early colonists in New England didn’t exactly have sustainability in mind as they cleared land to make way for their farms, and they wiped out vast tracts of forest between the1600s and 1800s. It wasn’t long before logging companies had to start moving toward the Midwest to find mature stands of Eastern White Pine, which thrive in the sandy soils of both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

The state became the national leader in lumber production from about 1870 to 1900, bringing $4 billion to their economy. Eastern White Pines became so economically significant that squabbles over the right to cut them down led to the 1837 treaty also called “the White Pine Treaty” in which Ojibwe leaders ceded a large area of land to the U.S. government while maintaining their rights to gather, hunt and fish there.

From the piece, which consults with (appropriately named) local historian Hillary Pine:

The logging era’s impact in Michigan is lasting. Pine says that’s partly why, in 1955, a group of schoolchildren in Saginaw wrote to their local state representative, Holly E. Hubbell, about the importance of the logging era to Michigan’s economy and population. Hubbell then introduced a bill naming the White Pine Michigan’s state tree, a title that became official on October 14 of that year, she says. The White Pine is also Maine’s state tree.

“You can also see mature White Pines at Hartwick Pines, which hosts a stand of old-growth White Pine trees, some of which are up to about 165 feet tall, she says.

“As you walk the trail, you’re literally encased in this canopy of old-growth trees towering above you. You can see quite a distance into the forest because there’s not much growing on the forest floor, and in the winter, especially, it makes for just a beautiful sight,” Pine said.

You can listen to this NPR segment in full at

Check out more about the history of the Eastern White Pine tree in the U.S.: