Asked by: Walker Svartz
hobbies and interests woodworking

What type of wood is Douglas fir?

Last Updated: 23rd March, 2020

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Douglas Fir, in fact, is a special wood species found mostly in Pacific Northwest. It is widely known as a fir but resembles a pine tree. It is the most popular and commonly found wood species of softwood available in North America.

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Consequently, is Douglas fir hard or soft wood?

Pines, firs, cedars—these are gymnosperms, or softwood trees. Douglas fir falls in the gymnosperm, or softwood category. However, if what you're really asking is whether or not Douglas fir is a tough, strong building material, the answer is yes—it's widely known as a very durable wood.

is Douglas fir better than pine? Fir has tight, close grain lines. Pine has broad grain lines that wander, making it far weaker than fir. The soft wood between the grain lines shrinks and expands, making the wood cup or twist. For stability and strength, fir is much less prone to warping or twisting, and much stronger than pine.

Regarding this, what is Douglas fir wood good for?

Structurally, it is used in the form of lumber, timbers, pilings and plywood. Douglas-fir is also used to produce a wide variety of products including general millwork, flooring, furniture, cabinets and veneer. This species has excellent strength properties and is well known for its workability.

How Long Will Douglas fir last outside?

10-15 years

Related Question Answers

Jagoba Blau

Professional

Is Douglas fir wood expensive?

If wood strength and hardness matter to you, choose Douglas-fir wood over whitewood. Fir is harder and stronger than pine, spruce or hemlock, and it's less likely to have knots or other blemishes. It may be more expensive but probably not as expensive as a hardwood like oak unless it's clear fir.

Jerson Kaio

Professional

Is Douglas fir toxic?

Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Douglas-Fir has been reported to cause skin irritation, nausea, giddiness, runny nose, along with an increased likelihood of splinters getting infected. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Arvilla Ciborro

Explainer

How well does Douglas fir stain?

Douglas fir is light-amber in color with a somewhat benign character if not properly stained to bring out the minimal grain patterns. Douglas fir can be beautiful in the right hands using the right stain. Part of the key is to open pores with sandpaper to allow stain penetration.

Sumisa Siepenkort

Explainer

Is fir wood durable?

Stability and Durability
Douglas fir is unusual among softwoods in that it retains its size and shape as it seasons. It dries straight and true. It also seasons relatively quickly. A very durable wood, the heartwood is especially resistant to decay.

Es Brendlein

Explainer

Is Douglas fir better than cedar?

Douglas fir, though, is more resistant to decay, which makes it much better outdoors. Douglas fir is more expensive than ordinary pine, but is usually fairly comparable to cedar.

Añes Proctor

Pundit

Is Fir good for wood stove?

Douglas fir does great in a wood stove because it is a higher density softwood which means it will usually burn slower and put out more radiant heat over a longer time. High density hardwoods like Oak or Hickory will give you the best heat for home heating.

Lingli Feldbusch

Pundit

Is Douglas fir good for dining table?

In comparison to its weight, Douglas fir ranks as the strongest of all American woods. It is also stiff, stable, and relatively decay resistant. Douglas fir's coarse texture can't easily be worked with hand tools. Flatsawed, Douglas fir makes attractive, serviceable cabinets and paintable furniture.

Junyan Itarte

Pundit

What is the best finish for Douglas fir?

Dye-based stains are ideal for very fine or close-grained woods like CVG Douglas fir. Pigment-based stains tend to hide the natural grain because they sit on the surface, but they do leave your wood with an impressive color effect. They work best on less dense woods.

Akil Lacal

Pundit

Does Douglas fir weather well?

Fir is known for its strength and dimensional stability as well as its natural resistance to rot and pests. As with any wood, fir is susceptible to changes in humidity and cannot be made truly waterproof without being chemically treated, or coated with a waterproof coating.

Temeka Schaffler

Pundit

Is Douglas fir stronger than cedar?

Douglas Fir, when compared to Cedar, is almost twice as hard per square inch. It is primarily a softwood, though it contains hard fibers that are sandwiched within. If deck sealing or staining is not performed regularly, the soft fibers will wear away, leaving a scaly surface prone to splintering.

Indhara Biron

Teacher

How hard is Douglas fir wood?

Douglas fir has a Janka score of 660, meaning it takes 660 pounds of force to do this. Clearly, unless you're shooting at your floor regularly, this is an adequate level of hardness. Douglas fir makes up for its comparatively low Janka rating in other ways though.

Deloise Lang

Teacher

Which is the strongest wood?

The strongest commercially available wood is the Australian Buloke. This wood is so strong it has been used in the construction and furniture manufacture industry for many years. It has a Janka hardness rating of 5060 lbf.

Borjas Antiñolo

Teacher

Is Douglas fir good for decking?

Turns out Douglas fir is more than just a good-looking wood. Its durability and resistance to rot and insects make it a favorite choice for outdoor projects like porch decking as well. In fact, vertical-grain Douglas fir has been a traditional choice for porches on historic homes for more than 100 years.

Page Olasagasti

Teacher

What is fir wood used for?

Fir. Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it. Fir is most often used for building; however, it's inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well.

Major Vagd

Reviewer

What is the best wood for outdoor use?

9 Wood Species Best for Outdoor Projects
  • Acacia. Acacia is a thick, strong hardwood with high oil content.
  • Black Locust. Black Locust is one of the strongest and stiffest domestic woods.
  • Cedar. Cedar is soft, light, and easy to work with.
  • Cypress. Cypress wood is rot and insect resistant attributable to its natural oils.
  • Douglas-Fir.
  • Ipe.
  • Redwood.
  • Teak.

Tsira Wuertz

Reviewer

What kind of wood doesn't rot?

Naturally resistant woods that are commercially available include black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), teak (Tectona grandis), ipe (Tabebuia spp.), California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). These have the highest resistance to rot over time.

Abdessamad Zumborn

Reviewer

How can you tell the difference between pine and Douglas fir?

Pine tends to have broad grain lines that wander, and if not properly prepared and dried the soft wood between those grain lines may expand and contract, causing cupping and twisting. Douglas Fir on the other hand, features a tight, flowing grain pattern that resists warping and twisting.

Chistopher Dinkgrave

Reviewer

Is a Douglas fir a true fir?

Douglas-fir is the name of an entire genus of trees that contains six species--two native to North America and four native to eastern Asia. The hyphen in the common name lets us know that Douglas-fir is not a "true" fir--that it's not a member of the Abies genus.

Baptiste Franzoso

Supporter

What is the weight of Douglas fir lumber?

The wood weighs 31 pounds per cubic foot and specific gravity is 0.44 at 12 percent moisture content. Pound for pound, Douglas Fir is one of the strongest of the softwoods.