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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Certified Source
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Kiln Schedules
Luster
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Abrasion
Resistance to Impregnation
Resistance to Splitting
Response to Hand Tools
Routing & Recessing
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Synonyms
Texture
Toxicity
Trade Name
Tree Identification
Tree Size
Turning
Varnishing
Veneering Qualities
Weathering

Scientific Name
Pseudotsuga menziesii

Trade Name
Douglas-fir

Family Name
Pinaceae

Synonyms
Pseudotsuga taxifolia


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Common Names
Blue Douglas-fir, British Columbia pine, British Columbian pine, Coast Douglas-fir, Colorado Douglas-fir, Colorado pino real, Colorado real, Columbian Pine, Douglas fir, Douglas spruce, Douglas-fir, Douglas-fir (Coast), Inland Douglas-fir, Interior Douglas-fir, Oregon Douglas-fir, Oregon pine, Puget Sound pine, Red fir, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir, Yellow fir

Regions of Distribution
Central America, North America

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Canada, Mexico, United States

Common Uses
Agricultural implements, Beams, Boat building (general), Boat building: decking, Boat building: framing, Boat building: masts, Boxes and crates, Bridge construction, Building construction, Building materials, Cabin construction, Cabinetmaking, Casks, Concrete formwork, Construction, Cooperages, Core Stock, Decorative veneer, Domestic flooring, Factory construction, Factory flooring, Figured veneer, Flooring, Form work, Foundation posts, Framing, Furniture, Heavy construction, Interior construction, Interior trim, Joinery (external): ground contact, Joinery, Joists, Ladders, Light construction, Lock gates, Marine construction, Millwork, Mine timbers, Packing cases, Paneling, Parquet flooring, Pile-driver cushions, Piling, Plain veneer, Plywood, Poles, Porch columns, Posts, Pulp/Paper products, Railroad cars, Railroad ties, Rough construction, Sporting Goods, Structural plywood, Structural work, Studs, Sub-flooring, Utility crossarms, Utility plywood, Vats, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Warehouse construction, Wharf construction

Environmental Profile
Vulnerable
Abundant/Secure
Widespread, abundant, and globally secure
Rare in some parts of its range, particularly at the periphery
Data source is World Conservation Monitoring Center


Distribution Overview
The growth range of Douglas fir includes Alberta, British Columbia, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Coast Douglas-fir occurs in pure stands of vast forests on moist, well drained soils. Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir may occur in pure stands or mixed coniferous forests, and thrive mainly on rocky soils of mountain slopes. Douglas-fir has also been introduced to other regions in the world, including Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia as a source of timber.

Heartwood Color
Red
Brown
Pink
Yellow
Black
Orange
Purple
Yellow to golden-yellow to orange
Reddish brown
Red
Pale red to pink
Brown
Yellow
White to cream
Light red
Large color variation
Dark brown

There is typically a clean-cut division between the hard, red-brown summerwood bands and the paler, softer, pinkish-yellow springwood

Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Brown
Green/Grey
Pink
Paler than heartwood
White to yellow
Well defined
Reddish white
Pinkish


Grain
Figure
Straight
Distinct (figure)
Wavy
Irregular
Crossed
Even
Closed

Straight
Distinct figure
Wavy
Distinct and very fine figure
Occasionally wavy
Irregular
Irregular or uneven grain occasionally
Grain shows flame-shaped outlines
Figure shows spiral

Tendency towards curly or wavy characteristics sometimes.

Texture
Coarse
Medium
Fine
Medium to coarse
Coarse
Uniform
Uneven
Medium
Fine to medium

Wood with narrow growth rings are quite uniform in texture while those with wider rings are very often uneven textured

Luster
Medium
High


Natural Growth Defects
Latex or other ducts
Spongy heart may be present.
Gum/resin streaks
Gum/resin exudation


Natural Durability
Very durable
Durable
Resistant to termites
Susceptible to insect attack
Resistant to powder post beetles
Non-resistant to powder post beetles
Non-resistant to marine borers
Non-resistant to termites
Resistant to marine borers
Moderately durable
Durable
Susceptible to attack from termites (Isoptera)
Susceptible to marine borer attack
Resistant to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles
Non durable
Very little natural resistance
Resistant to attack from pinworms (ambrosia beetles)
Pinworms (ambrosia beetles) are commonly present
Needs chemical protection in high decay conditions
Moderately resistant to termite (Isoptera) attack


Weathering
Excellent


Odor
Has an odor
No distinctive taste
Green wood has resinous odor


Toxicity
Some toxic effects
Respiratory effects
Dermatitic effects


Kiln Schedules
Drying (speed) is fast
UK=K US=T13C4S/T11D3S
UK=H US=T10D4S/T8D3S Fr=7
T11 - A4 (4/4) US
T10 - A3 (8/4) US
Schedule K (4/4) United Kingdom


Drying Defects
Splitting
Checking
Slight surface checking
Slight twist/warp
Slight end splitting
No surface checking
Slight cupping
No twisting or warping
No cupping, generally
Expect slight degrade due to knots, splits, and loosening
Expect moderate degrade due to knots, splits, and loosening
Slight collapse and honeycomb
Ring failure
Red-Brown chemical stains, and gray sapwood stains are common


Ease of Drying
Fairly Easy
Slowly
Rapidly
Variable
Reconditioning Treatement
Little degrade
Easy
Moderate
Heartwood has low moisture content
Dries rapidly


Kiln Drying Rate
Very slow
Naturally dries at a moderate speed
Naturally dries slowly
Naturally dries quickly
Drying rate is slow


Tree Identification
Bole/stem form is straight


Tree Size
Sapwood width is 10-15 cm
Sapwood width is 15-20 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m
Sapwood width is 20-25 cm
Bole length is 10-20 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Trunk diameter is 150-200 cm
Sapwood width is 5-10 cm
Tree height is 20-30 m
Tree height is 40-50 m
Bole length is 20-30 m
Tree height is 50-60 m
Bole length is 30-40 m
Sapwood width is 0-5 cm


Resinous exudates from any cut on the living tree is reported to leave a coating of yellow rosin as a protection against insect or fungal attack, after the turpentine evaporates

Product Sources
Supplies of Douglas-fir are adequate since the species grows rapidly, and its growth range extends over a wide area in North America. It is usually priced in the medium to lower range. Remarkably knot-free, strong, and light, Douglas-fir is considered to be one of the best known softwood timbers.

Certified Source
Certified Source


Substitutes
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

Comments
Douglas-Fir is reported to produce the most, in total volume, of timber, lumber, and plywood for veneer

General finishing qualities are rated as good

Generally stron and hard

Lumber from old trees is valuable because it is free of knots

Blunting Effect
Moderate
High to severe
Blunting effect on machining is moderate
Harder late wood can blunt edges
Blunting effect on machining is slight


Boring
Fairly easy to very easy
Fair to good results
Very good results


Carving
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Cutting Resistance
Easy to saw
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Level of difficulty depends on percentage of latewood
Difficult to saw


Gluing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Easy to glue
Moderate gluing properties
Very good properties


Mortising
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Moderately easy to mortise
Excellent mortising properties


Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Moulding ease is moderate
Excellent moulding properties


Movement in Service
Excellent Stability - Small Movement
Small
Medium


Nailing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Pre-Boring Recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Poor to Very Poor Results
Holds satisfactorily
Easy to nail
Difficult to nail
Nailing hold is generally excellent
Excellent resistance to splitting in nailing operations


Planing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Ease of planing is moderate
Planes to a satisfactory finish
Excellent planing qualities
Easy to plane


Resistance to Abrasion
Peel and slice easily because they are typically well-formed and not very hard
Highly resistant to wear


Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Resistant sapwood
Permeable heartwood
Permeable sapwood
Heartwood is resistant
Heartwood is highly resistant
Heartwood is moderately resistant
Sapwood is resistant
Sapwood is permeable
Sapwood is modertely permeable
Sapwood is extremely resistant


Resistance to Splitting
Poor
Satisfactory


Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Easy to machine
Moderate working qualities
Difficult to machine
Variable qualities
Sharp cutting edges prevent tearing
Latewood is difficult to work


Routing & Recessing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Sanding
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Screwing
Fair to Good Results
Pre-boring recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Easy to screw
Satisfactory results
Screws hold very well
Screwing yields good results
Excellent screwing properties
Difficult to screw


Turning
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Very good


Veneering Qualities
Suitable for slicing
Veneers easily
Veneers moderately easy
Suitable for peeling
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
Suitable for peeling
No drying degrade. Dries flat without splitting
Moderately easy to veneer

Pronounced color differences in earlywood and latewood are reported to result in a distinctive grain pattern when logs are rotary peeled into veneers.

Steam Bending
Moderate


Painting
Satisfactory results
Poor results
Good results


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Satisfactory results
Good results


Staining
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Very Good to Excellent Results
Finish is generally satisfactory
Finish is generally good
Satisfactory staining properties

Some stock may develop a slight pinkish to salmon color when finished with some products. Care should be taken to avoid overstaining when refinishing old floors, beacuse of potential color change. Rotary cut veneers are reported to display such strong natural color that staining is sometimes unnecessary.

Varnishing
Satisfactory
Good results


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Hardness (side grain) = very soft
Bending strength (MOR) = low
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = medium
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = very low
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Max. crushing strength (stiffness) = very low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = very low
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = medium
Toughness (total work) = low
Shrinkage, Tangential = very small
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = high
Max. crushing strength = low
Density (dry weight) = 15-22 lbs/cu. ft.
Weight = moderate
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact Strength) = high
Toughness (total work) = very low
Toughness (total work) = medium
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Max. crushing strength = high
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = high
Bending strength (MOR) = very low
Bending strength (MOR) = high

Max. crushing strength = very high

Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength755812238psi
Crushing Strength446872psi
Density33lbs/ft3
Hardness616lbs
Impact Strength2536inches
Maximum Crushing Strength39066951psi
Shearing Strength1172psi
Static Bending45728428psi
Stiffness155419171000 psi
Toughness170inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load69inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.430.47
Weight3331lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%
Volumetric Shrinkage12%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength531860kg/cm2
Crushing Strength3161kg/cm2
Density528kg/m3
Hardness279kg
Impact Strength6391cm
Maximum Crushing Strength274488kg/cm2
Shearing Strength82kg/cm2
Static Bending321592kg/cm2
Stiffness1091341000 kg/cm2
Toughness195cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load0.420.63cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.430.47
Weight528496kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage4%
Tangential Shrinkage7%

References
Alston, A.S.,1966,Natural Heartwood Durability,Fiji Forestry Department, Suva. Fiji timbers and their uses No. 2

Banks, C.H. and J.P. Schoeman. 1963. Railway Sleeper and Crossing Timbers. Bulletin No. 41, Republic of South Africa. The Government Printer, Pretoria, South Africa.

Betts, H.S.,1960,American Woods - Douglas Fir,USDA, Forest Service American Woods

Bolza, E.,1976,Timber and Health,Div. Building Res. C.S.I.R.O. Australia

Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois and E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Woods: Temperate and Tropical. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57, Madison, Wisconsin.

Brooks, R.L., et al,1941,Durability tests on Untreated Timbers in Trinidad,Caribbean Forester,2(3,pp101-119

Brown, H.P. and Panshin, A.J.,1940,Commercial Timbers of the United States Their structure, identification,,properties and uses,McGraw-Hill, London

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World: - No.7 North America,TRADA

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World, No. 6 Europe,TRADA, Red Booklet Series

Budgen, B.,1981,Shrinkage and density of some Australian and South-East Asian Timbers,C.S.I.R.O. Div. building Res. Tech Paper(2nd Series) No.38

Canadian Forestry Service. 1981. Canadian Woods - Their Properties and Uses. Third Edition. E.J. Mullins and T.S. McKnight, Editors. Published by University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.

CAOBA. 1993. Personal Communication.

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Dallimore, W. and Jackson, A. Bruce,1966,A Handbook of Coniferae and Ginkgoaceae Fourth Ed. Revised by S.G.,Harrison,Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd. London

Edlin, H.L. 1969. What Wood is That?: A Manual of Wood Identification. A Studio Book, The Viking Press, New York.

Findlay, W.P.K.,1975,Timber: Properties and Uses,Crosby Lockwood Staples London,224PP

Forest Products Research Laboratory U.K.,1957,A Handbook of Softwoods,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1937,A Handbook of Home-Grown Timbers,HMSO

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1945,A Handbook of Empire Timbers,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1957,Timbers for Flooring,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Bulletin, No.40

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1967,The Steam Bending Properties of various timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Leaflet,No.45

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1969,The Movement of Timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough Technical Note,No.38

Harrar, E.S.,1942,Some Physical Properties of Modern Cabinet Woods 3. Directional and Volume,Shrinkage,Tropical Woods,9(71, pp26-32

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kline, M. 1977. Pseudotsuga menziesii - Douglas-fir. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World. Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Page 293-294.

Kloot, N.H., Bolza, E.,1961,Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia,C.S.I.R.O. Forest Products Division Technological Paper,No.12

Lavers, G.M.,1983,The Strength Properties of Timber (3rd ed. revised Moore G.L.,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Report (formerly Bulletin No.50)

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees - Western Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Markwardt, L.J., Wilson, T.R.C.,1935,Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin,No.479

Mullins, E.J. and McKnight, T.S.,1981,Canadian Woods Their Properties and Uses,University of Toronto Press 3rd Edition

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Oliver, A.C.,1974,Timber for Marine and Freshwater Construction,TRADA, London

Panshin, A.J. and C. deZeeuw. 1980. Textbook of Wood Technology, 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

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Skolmen, R.G.,1963,Robusta Eucalyptus Wood: Its Properties and Uses,US. Forest Service Research Paper, No. PSW-9, Pacific Southwest Forest,Range Experimental Station

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T.R.A.D.A.,1942,Home-grown timber trees - their characteristics, cultivation and Uses,TRADA

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