Sauna Lumber: Finish White Pine (Spruce)
Finish White Pine or White Spruce is a coniferous tree that grows mostly in the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The white spruce’s height when fully grown is medium range. From the conical crown to the ground the measure averages from 400 meters. It’s trunk can be as wide as 1 meter in diameter. White spruce has a distinctive smell. Initially when the tree is still in its early years the scent is not pleasant. But as it matures the smell transforms for the better. Based on records a White spruce’s life span is up to 300 years.
White Spruce is a popular soft wood timber used for constructing residential and commercial saunas. It is very abundant and a cost effective option. Its properties and appearance makes the white spruce recommendable for wood paneling. The tongue and groove of white spruce wood panels is often in V-groove style. it is commonly installed vertically to achieve a seamless look and less waste. Horizontal installation is also possible but one could expect some lumber being wasted. For cost effectiveness vertical wood paneling is more advised than the horizontal type.
White Spruce Lumber Properties:
White Spruce is very durable and flexible. In terms of long length, relative weight and straightness this timber is ideal for construction projects like cladding, flooring, general carpentry and joinery. It is very easy to work with hand or power tools. Knots could be an issue but it can be sawn cleanly and shaped easily.
White spruce is soft but very firm. It is one of the wood types that has a high strength to weight ratio. It holds very well when screwed and nailed. It has high resistance to wood splitting. In terms of wood gluing, it is also moderately easy to do. Spruce dries fast and is not severely affected by high temperatures. It also does not easily bend and is very versatile.
The grains of white spruce is usually straight with a fine even texture. The growth rings are highly visible, making the age of the wood distinguishable. Small knots either intergrown or encased could be present but not a problem.
This wood type has a creamy white sapwood and the heartwood is yellowish to brownish white. The color of the sapwood and heartwood is hard to differentiate.
White spruce has a density of 450 kg/m3 . It is a good number compared to other soft woods that measures 300 kg/m3. This is an indication that the strength of this lumber is high.
Resistance to Decay
The heartwood of white spruce has moderate to low rating in this category. It helps to apply the correct chemical preservatives and waterproofing to increase further its life span.
Thermal and Insulating Properties
White spruce does not overheat when exposed to high temperatures. The sauna steam produced can be soaked up satisfyingly by white spruce lumber. The atmosphere will be hot, but when skin makes contact with the wood it will not cause injury. This heat absorption property makes this material last for long time without rotting or warping.