NEW! Faster Search Option


Home Depot Green Douglas fir ???

71Atlas's picture

I need some good straight pine 2x6"s for a project. I want to rip some 2x6's and laminate them to make a bench top.

Home Depot sells a lot of 2x's that are listed as 2x-x-'s #2/BTR Green Douglas Fir!

What is this stuff? Is going to warp, shrink or what when I get home and it goes from Green to dry? The clerk at the store was no help.

Maybe I should go to a good lumber yard and pay to price for KD lumber and forget about the savings. $6.10 vs $3.98 each.


billgiblin's picture

(post #75059, reply #1 of 14)

I would think if its green it will twist and warp when it dries. The green in the name seems to imply that it is not dried. I have used douglas fir that I got at Lowes (4X4 posts that I sawed into table legs) and they were fine. Just get something that is dried.

Its possible to save money and use cheaper materials on your projects, but as I get into this hobby more (2.5 years now), I am learning that it might take as long to build the jigs for your project as it does to build the project. But think of how long you're going to be looking at that project, wishing you had done a better job and not tried to cut corners. Use good wood, take the time and effort to do things right. You'll be happier 10 years down the road.

mike4244's picture

(post #75059, reply #2 of 14)

Green Douglas Fir is dried to 19%. By the time HD gets it in the stores it is a little less. If you can store it stickered for a couple of months in the shop, it will be dry enough to use. Expect some cup or warp,just as in any framing lumber.

If you have a hardwood yard near you may be able to buy kiln dried hardwoods for a reasonable price.



WillGeorge's picture

(post #75059, reply #3 of 14)

Home Depot .. I shop there ALOT! But their wood stinks!

Have a great day.. Life is wonderful even if you are having a bad day!

BarryO's picture

(post #75059, reply #4 of 14)

Around here, the lumber at the local HD is actually very good.  They even stock kiln-dried 2x4 and 2x6 studs.  The selection isn't as good as at the local big lumberyard, and since they allow you to pick your own, you sometimes need to pick through a big pile of other people's rejects, but I can't fault the quality of the lumber itself.

Maybe it has to do with being in Oregon; the mill stamps are from local companies.

I've had the experience with the big local lumberyards that if you're not one of their big regular contractor customers, you don't get treated the best:  they send out the most inexperienced drivers to drop the load (which gets damaged and has to be sent back); you should have seen the awful termite-infested load of 2x6's they sent me once.  If I need to order from these guys, I ask a contractor buddy to do it for me.

TB2's picture

(post #75059, reply #5 of 14)

Home Depot has alot of stuff and I use them regularly, but in the wood department I have found it better and cheaper in the long run to deal with the local lumber yard.  Their wood looks good on the stack, but you get it home and it warps itself out of the shop. 

dgerhart's picture

(post #75059, reply #6 of 14)

"green" is a relative term that usually means that the wood has not been kiln dried or stacked and air dried.  If you've ever been around a sawmill that does Douglas fir you will have seen that the logs they have in their pile are under constant water sprinklers to keep them wet.  This is because DF gets harder than hell when it gets dry.  If you've ever done any remodeling you'll appreciate the difficulty of trying to drive a nail in an old 2 x 4.  New construction likes green DF since it drives easily and doesn't split as easy.  You can usually tell how dry a piece is by hefting it.  The more wet, the heaver.  Granted it takes some experience for this.

The main issue here is that using this lumber for a project other than for framing is to be aware of the shrinkage/expansion of it as the relative humidity varies.  Wood will eventually reach an equlibrium with the relative humidity whether it starts green, air dried or kiln dried.  You mention that you want to laminate it to make a bench top.  If by this you mean to edge glue a number of pieces together, I'd recommend against it.  If you do you will have a top that varies quite a bit in width over the seasons and will have gaps when dry.

I have made quite a few bench tops using DF 2 x 6's for garages over the years.  Here's what I do.  I fasten the 2 x 6's perpendicular to a 2 x 4 on edge spaced about every 2 foot using deck screws.  Position the screws in about 1 inch from each edge, this will keep them from warping.  Then cover the whole thing with 3/4 inch AC plywood, fastening with yellow screws.

If this is going to be a bench top for other than a garage and you want it to look better you'll have to use a better wood.


Mistakes are but an opportunity for fresh design!
Dave45's picture

(post #75059, reply #7 of 14)

That sounds like framing lumber and I would be very reluctant to use it for your job.  I've seen KD (kiln dried) lumber at HD and any decent lumber yard should have it.

Jamie_Buxton's picture

(post #75059, reply #8 of 14)

In construction lumber, you can buy either green or kiln-dried.   Green is just that -- undried in any way.  Kiln-dried is typically dried to 19% water content.   This is just low enough that molds and bugs tend to not eat it, which is why the construction industry likes it.   However, in your house it will continue to dry down to the 8%-10% range.   As it dries to that level, it will shrink and warp.  It won't shrink and move quite as much as the green lumber, but it still will move.

In lumber intended for furniture or trim, the mill typically kiln-dries down to something near that 8%-10% which the lumber will achieve if it sits in your house for a long time.   That's the stuff you should be using if you'd like less movement.  

71Atlas's picture

(post #75059, reply #9 of 14)

Thank you all for your helpful insight. I,ll be going to my local lumber yard for this project.


dhenderson's picture

(post #75059, reply #10 of 14)

Green?  What shade of green?  Today I bought three (3) cedar 4x4x8' posts-  The tab was $73.00-  And I saved a couple bucks by calling around-  That green is money green-  Honest to God, where money is the motive, there is no consciense-  Sorry I got off the Doug fir subject a little-  I guess my .02 would be, if you're gunna pay too much anyway, might as well get the good stuff-

HowardAcheson's picture

(post #75059, reply #11 of 14)

Don't use the "green" lumber.  It has only been dried to about 19% and will dry much more as it sets in an area of lower relative humidity.  It will shrink considerably and is likely to warp. 

Look for "2x" lumber that has a stamp indicating "KD".  If it has no number after it (ie: KD15), you can assume that it is dried to about 12%.  My local Home Depot sells only KD lumber.  The local building codes require it for any new construction.

Nothing wrong with fir.  It's a very strong wood and will hold together under pounding.  It's a soft wood so it must be covered with a harder surface if you don't want to see a lot of dings and bangs.

BarryO's picture

(post #75059, reply #12 of 14)

My local Home Depot sells only KD lumber.  The local building codes require it for any new construction.

Really?  Where are you located?

HowardAcheson's picture

(post #75059, reply #13 of 14)

Coastal North Carolina.  Most of the construction lumber is imported from Germany and Austria.

In Wilmington the major export is wood pulp and the major import is construction lumber.

Troys's picture

(post #75059, reply #14 of 14)

If your a glutton for punishment go to a salvage yard or talk to a contractor who remodels old homes. I used some old roof rafters for the wood for my bench top. They were old growth doug fir and a 2x4 weighed more than a new 2x6. Once I pulled the nails out and jointed and thicknesses the wood it maid a very nice top. The old growth fir is a lot harder than what you get at HD.
Good luck