Hemlock is used for raised garden beds. By contrast, pine and hemlock’s softwood qualities mean that it can be sanded down so that splinters disappear. We saw locally harvested Eastern Hemlock and Pine in our mill. Both types of pine you would find on the consumer market, Eastern and Western White Pine, are softer than hemlock, both in the 380 to 420 lbf range. They tend to be 4 feet long to allow for nearly all stair widths and they have a bullnose on one side that forms the leading edge of the tread. It is similar in color to hemlock – a pale yellow with occasional reddish streaks. Hemlock, Pine, or Oak for Stairs: Best Choice for Railing, Treads, and Risers? Decay Resistance--Hemlock The basic source of knowledge about wood comes from the WOOD HANDBOOK, published by the US Forest Products Lab. It has a good straight grain, can be easily stained, planes well, and is a great wood for hand hewing. On a pure board-lumber cost basis: 1 in. We will primarily be discussing Douglas fir vs. yellow pine, as it is one of the most commonly available and popular wood types with woodworkers. The heartwood of eastern hemlock is pale brown with a reddish hue. Once dry, hemlock is very difficult to work. It is light weight, moderately soft, moderately weak, not stiff, and low in shock resistance. The sapwood is not distinctly different in coloration, but may appear lighter. Because oak is harder than hemlock and pine, it will last longer under foot traffic on staircases. Janka ratings, though, only measure the impact of a ball bearing when fired a test samples of wood. See the blog “What’s the big deal with reclaimed?” to find out how original Canadian forest wood is a lot different from new wood you see at the lumber store. Cost: Cost can be an issue when it comes to stair treads and risers because you need to buy so many of them to construct an entire staircase. Because it is less expensive than Douglas fir, it is often used for residential timber frames. It is used as cribbing (jacking timbers) and in situations requiring high strength. People often request one or the other, as is their preference. There is enough of a price difference between the hemlock and cedar or fir, that it is locally preferred wood for general outdoor and farm use. Hemlock is locally widely used for raised garden beds, fencing, and barn construction and repair. It has medium strength values and takes fasteners well. Mahogany (Sapele) Mahogany (Sapele) is a very strong and durable Hardwood, red/brown in colour, Mahogany (Sapele) is often used when a darker finish is required. The wood is coarse and uneven in texture. There is no guarantee as to how long the wood will last in the ground, but in the right conditions, some people report that it lasts 5 to 7 years. Please call or email us for details. Tread board is a slightly different matter because they are not milled boards with 90 degree angle edges. It has a relative hardness of 290 when green, and 380 when dry. Because oak is harder than hemlock and pine, it will last longer under foot traffic on staircases. Pine is not as strong as hemlock or fir, so it is not a good wood when long spans are required or when smaller … We are able to custom saw to your specifications. Red Oak Treads:  $6.42 per linear foot for 11-1/2 x 48 in. A little stronger than Pine, Hemlock is a creamy grey coloured timber which is ideal for painting, varnishing or polishing. We describe Hemlock as, basically, pine with very few Knots if any. Decay Resistance--Hemlock The basic source of knowledge about wood comes from the WOOD HANDBOOK, published by the US Forest Products Lab. Choose for Me: Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Flooring? Pros: It's low-cost, and it takes paint well, so it's great for kids' furniture. Durability: Hemlock and pine are softwoods; oak is a hardwood. When finished with a clear varnish, it can give a home a rustic feel. The wood grips screws and accepts all glues without a problem. The easiest way to visualize this difference is with the Janka scale. The difference between reclaimed to new Pine or Hemlock is substantial. You can work hemlock easily with hand or power tools. A little stronger than Pine, Hemlock is a creamy grey coloured timber which is ideal for painting, varnishing or polishing. It is considered to be moderately stiff, moderately low in strength, and moderately hard, with a relative hardness rating of 500 when dry, or 400 when green. Hemlock is listed as little or no natural decay resistance. I often tell my customers who are familiar with wood to “forget what they know about Pine or Hemlock” when it comes to reclaimed. As well as being durable and knot-free, wood from this coniferous North American tree of the pine family is ideal for use inside saunas because it doesn’t warp and it radiates heat evenly. Red Oak Stair Tread (total cost $25.70), Pine Treads:  $2.66 per linear foot ($10.63 total cost). Between hemlock, pine, and oak, which one is best to use? It is unsuitable for interior applications such as furnituremaking. x 6 ft. Hemlock Board costs $19.21 ($3.20 per linear foot) and 1 in. This is rough, unseasoned, untreated green lumber. (The same holds true for birch and poplar.) Pine treads will always be less expensive than red oak treads. Pine VS Hemlock. In crosscutting, however, expect some tearout. Green hemlock is very heavy but is easily worked with tools. It is suitable for exterior use as detailed below. As the popularity of home saunas has increased, many manufacturers have opted to use cheaper woods such as poplar, hemlock and pine, in order to keep production costs down. Use the link for per piece pricing for the most requested dimensions: ROUGH LUMBER PRICELIST. In sharp contrast, red oak comes in at 1,290 lbf, making it about 2.5  to 3 times stronger than hemlock and pine when impacted. Hemlock is listed as little or no natural decay resistance. Thanksgiving Hours Wed Nov 25 8-2 Closed Thu Nov 26 Fri Nov 27 9-5 Sat Nov 28 9-1. Home improvement stores present you with only a few choices of stair materials for railing, treads, and risers. The sapwood is white, tinged with yellow. Splintering: Red oak can give off needle-sharp splinters that are hard to sand out. It has a uniform texture, is easily worked with tools, shrinks little and is straight grained. Camo Deck Fastening System: Easy Way to Install Cheap Decking, Stair Treads (Carpeted):  Pine or hemlock, Risers:  Any kind of wood of the right size. Durability: Hemlock and pine are softwoods; oak is a hardwood. Pine is an inexpensive, lightweight wood that can be yellowish or whitish with brown knots. The wood of western hemlock weighs more (about 29 pounds per cubic foot, dry) than that of its eastern relative. The wood actually dries out pretty quick and it's not as sappy and messy as a pine tree making the wood nicer to handle because your hands are not covered in sap after a day of cutting. The heartwood of Eastern white pine is a light brown, sometimes with a reddish tinge, turning darker on exposure.