Why no pine?

After much reading in this forum I understand that pine (the typical shelf board available at HD or Lowe’s) is not a popular substrate for CNCing. Seems to me, however, it would be a good test carve material (that and MDF) to see how things would play out before risking a more expensive board (and a good material for new CNCers like me to learn with). Maybe I am wrong with that assumption, which isn’t really the topic of this thread but it does drive my question though - why isn’t that shelf board pine available in Easel’s list of materials? If it is there it is named different than I expect. If it is not there, what should I be selecting when using pine? Thanks.


That is a good question. I am not sure, and have asked that myself. I just use soft maple (setting) when I carve pine.

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I use pine and poplar for just about everything yes you have do some sanding but it does work great

What material do you select?

Birch plywood

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I do a lot of testing in pine as well. It is the easiest/cheapest thing for me to get locally.


…and what material do you select?

I can see pine leaving a lot of pitch on the bit.

I don’t use easel, but after checking the choices, I would use soft maple.

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Have not thought of that. I would probably test with MDF over pine anyway. Thanks.

Too much sawdust with MDF


I have no issues with any residue from cutting pine.


I’ve carved a few of these in pine, I think the occasional knot works for this design:


I agree. I would love to see a how-to.


I actually love round stock of pine in HD ! I dig trough their stock often for interesting pieces.

They perfect for my v-carving experiments…

One I did other day:


I agree, I have had no problems.

I’ll see if I can do it again. I was inspired by another carver who did it with other tools, then I figured out how to do it with free tools. I used Gimp to generate a grayscale random cloud, then I used a Fusion 360 plugin to create a 3D mesh from that cloud image, then used that mesh to split a rectangular body. Then it was a simple matter of extruding up the letters and the border.

There were a few tricks in dealing with importing/converting the mesh in Fusion, it would be a good exercise to do that again and make sure I have good notes.


I never even change the material; just the custom settings.

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Wow amazing sign wish I could figure something similar out!

Also back on topic. I pretty much only use pine. All my signs are pine. I’m not sure if it is just me but it seems like any other wood in my town seems to be pretty expensive and most of my customers want things as cheap as possible.

I’d pay for a tutorial haha