A very popular exterior millwork wood species. And rightfully so. It is extremely strong, heavy, machines well, is exceptionally beautiful, and holds up very well to years of weather in all climates. Add that to the fact that it is one of the more cost efficient woods available and you have a sure winner for your porch!
Douglas Fir Appearance Characteristics and grades
For versatility and beauty, few woods in the world match the magnificence of Douglas Fir. Its light rosy color is set off by its remarkably straight and handsome grain pattern. It will “redden” over time when exposed to light. Its tough fiber it difficult to work with hand tools. However, it responds admirably to sharp power tools and machines to a smooth surface. It paints easily and can hold all types of stains and finishes.
Moisture content levels are carefully controlled in the highest grades to ensure these premium products will meet the strict dimensional stability requirements of finish carpenters, furniture manufacturers and cabinet makers. When dry, it retains its shape and size and won’t check or show a raised grain. Additionally, Douglas Fir has an excellent performance record when used in exposed applications for exterior millwork without ground contact.
Many designers and consumers agree the aesthetic appeal of clear, light, straight, vertical-grain Douglas Fir is unsurpassed among the world’s softwood species. The select grades are less abundant and considerably more expensive than lesser grades.
Designers appreciate the rich visual quality of Douglas Fir texture and grain as well as its beautiful response to fine craftsmanship and finishing. A favorite wood for custom cabinets, furniture and millwork, it works easily and resists wear. When sawn to expose vertical grain, Douglas Fir is particularly handsome. When acclimated prior to installation, Douglas Fir retains its shape and size without shrinking, swelling, cupping, warping, bowing or twisting. The uniform grain and tough fiber holds stain well and keeps fasteners firmly in place.
Douglas Fir Structural Characteristics and Attributes
When architects and engineers look for the best in structural lumber, their first choice repeatedly is Douglas Fir. It is dimensionally stable and universally recognized for its superior strength-to-weight ratio. Its high specific gravity provides excellent nail and plate-holding ability. The species also enjoys a documented superior performance against strong forces resulting from natural phenomena such as winds, storms and earthquakes. It is truly the ideal structural and general purpose wood for framing lumber in residential, light commercial, multistory and industrial construction.
These physical working properties, as well as to the moderate durability of its heartwood and its excellent dimensional stability, provide the reasons many builders use Douglas Fir as the standard against which all other framing lumber is judged. It is also tight knotted and close-grained, adding the bonus of beauty to its structural capabilities.