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Pine Wood Durability

Started by Berenvonbaggins, Jan 06, 2023, 04:30 pm

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As I've been researching for my build, I've been contemplating the durability of pine lumber for my build. It is among the cheaper woods that aren't plywood or OSB, which I'm trying to steer away from for fear of wood expansion from outdoor conditions.
Does anyone have experience building a TARDIS from pine lumber? Are there any major disadvantages?

- Beren
"Do hurry up. A hamster with a blunt penknife would do it quicker."
- 4th Doctor, Androids of Tara


Update: Just read the header topic and it does say that most builders use pine. However, I am still curious on the advantages and disadvantages of pine, if anyone has any insight on the matter.
"Do hurry up. A hamster with a blunt penknife would do it quicker."
- 4th Doctor, Androids of Tara


Pine is relatively cheap.  It is relatively ugly, but if you're painting it, that isn't an issue.  It cuts easily, compared to oak or other hardwoods.  It is also more prone to warping, however.  It dents and mars more easily than a hardwood.  In a perfect world, we'd build TARDISes out of teak.  That's what they made the wood parts of police boxes of.  And battleship decks.  And patio furniture and other things that are exposed to the elements.  Or at least cedar.  But Teak is expensive and hard to come by.  Cedar not as bad, but still more expensive and scarce than pine. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Its cheaper, that's probably the main advantage; however you do need to preserve it if your box is going outdoors...


I made my box out of a mixture of scrap wood and I'd say the number one factor regarding preservation is how well and how regularly you weatherproof your box once she's been built.

Good luck.



I agree with the others, regular weatherproofing is essential. Cheaper pine made my build affordable and as Volpone said the wood is easy to cut. I'm now replacing damaged parts with waterproof MDF (Medite Tricoya) but I couldn't have afforded to use that for everything. Surprisingly, the walls, doors, three corner posts, roof frame and two sign boxes are the original, built with pine in 2005/6 and she's lived outside the whole time.


Thank you all for the insight! I do plan for this to be an outdoor build, but I also plan to weatherproof it immensely, so hopefully that will provide enough protection for the pine. I may even reinforce some places with harder wood to make sure it stays intact, depending on my budget.
"Do hurry up. A hamster with a blunt penknife would do it quicker."
- 4th Doctor, Androids of Tara


You only have to look at my build thread over the last few years to see how bad things can get if you don't weatherproof properly.

And if I had one piece of advice to give, that would be make sure you space the box off the floor!