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The wood picker

Use the Wood Picker to identify between woods, enter your criteria to find the most suitable wood.

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BBC Bitesize

Revise more about timbers at the BBC bitesize site.

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Softwoods DT Materials


Softwoods come from coniferous trees which have needles instead of leaves. Softwoods grow faster than hardwoods and so are cheaper they are also easier to work with as they are softer than hardwoods. These are supplied in standard sections sawn and planned smooth. Softwood sizes are confusing because they are smaller once they are planned.
Softwood scots pine
Scots Pine
Pine needles
Pine needles

Softwood properties:

• Softwoods come from coniferous trees.
• Softwoods are special because they don’t lose their needles.
• Softwoods have needles instead of leaves.
• Softwoods grow faster than hardwoods so are cheaper.
• Often used as building material.
• T
rees grow tall and straight which makes it easier for the manufacturer
   to cut long straight planks of wood.

Softwood types Grain image Softwood uses Example product

Scots pine - A straight-grained softwood but knotty. Light in colour. Fairly strong but easy to work with. Cheap and readily available. A softwood.
Scots pine
Used for DIY and cheap quality furniture. Mainly used for constructional work and simple joinery.
cheap quality furniture

Parana pine - Hard and straight-grained. Almost knot free. Fairly strong and durable. Expensive. Pale yellow in colour with red/brown streaks. A softwood.
Parana pine
Used for good quality knot free pine red / brown furniture such as doors and staircases.

Spruce - Creamy-white softwood with small hard knots. Not very durable. A softwood.
Used for general indoor work, whitewood furniture used in bedrooms and kitchens.
Yellow cedar - A pale yellow-coloured softwood with a fine even texture. Light in weight but stiff and stable. Yellow cedar
Used for furniture, boat building, veneers, and model making.
Boat building

European redwood - Quite strong, Lots of knots, durable when preserved. cheap
European redwood
Used for general woodwork, cupboards, shelves, roofs.

Memory tip: Remember Pincers!

P - Pine
I - Indicates
N - Needles
C - Cedar
E- Evergreen
R -Redwood
S- Softwood

Design and technology question time
Mr DT says 'Read the text above and then answer these questions below'. Write your answers on a sheet of paper, don't forget to write your name on the sheet!:-

1). Note down the softwoods properties in your own words?
2). What trees do softwoods come from?
3). What is special about evergreen trees?
4). Why is softwood cheaper than hardwood?
5). What types of leaves do softwood trees have?
6). What wood is used to make good quality pine furniture?
7). What wood is used to make cheap quality pine furniture?
8). What is the benefit of pine trees growing straight and long to a manufacturer?

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