4

I have purchased this plan to make a friend's child a rocking horse chair.

chair

The photo appears to show the project made from pine. Although I do like the appearance in the photo, I'm worried that pine is too soft for this type of project. In your experience does pine hold up well for something like this?

3

The photo appears to show the project made from pine.

I'd say you're correct.

I'm worried that pine is too soft for this type of project. In your experience does pine hold up well for something like this?

While pine is soft, it's pretty well suited for projects that infants/toddlers use. These types of projects will see a lot of abuse just because they're used by little humans who have no concept of their own strength or of the value of things and have little spatial awareness. If they bash it around, no big deal, it's just pine.

If you use 2x pine stock, it should hold up just fine. You might have to make a few running repairs occasionally, but that would be expected in just about any toy made for a small child, regardless of the material.

Also, if your friend has wood floors (usually a hardwood like oak), pine won't scratch them as easily since it's much softer.

3

Pine is fine. As a piece of furniture for a young child, it will actually not get too much wear and tear. Pine will show wear from dents and scratches more often, but in general should endure for years. We have a pine dresser that was used by our children for decades and has held up pretty well. The wood has never split or splintered. Any surface imperfections accrued over the years seem to add to its dignity. On the other hand, such a fine design as this will easily become a family heirloom and a combination of attractive hardwoods might enhance its appearance.

Two suggestions to consider: First, the rockers and tail extend out without any support. Match the wood grain direction shown in the photo and keep the boards as wide/thick as possible to reduce the chance they could be snapped off. Second, if you do choose a hardwood check its toxicity online. Although most woods are safe they can be minor irritants for very sensitive people and some may have other risks. Also choose your finish carefully, little teeth may taste it. Look for a food safe finish.

  • +1 for the point about the kid trying to eat the finish. – grfrazee Mar 16 '16 at 14:41
  • Re. the possibility of the child chewing on the finish, people disagree on this — a lot LOL — but all cured finishes can be considered safe to ingest in very small quantities as once fully cured they are quite inert. One of the best assurances of this is what the FDA pass for direct food contact (food-preparation surfaces) which includes basically any wood finish worth noting. – Graphus Mar 16 '16 at 15:12
  • I forgot to mention that if you shop for the widest available pine boards (2x10 or 2x12) at the home store you will find that the wood is often very clear. With a little careful selection It is possible to build the entire thing without any knots. – Ashlar Mar 16 '16 at 17:07
  • 1
    I grew up with lead-painted window sills and it didn't affect me none! affect me none. affect me none. affect me none... twitch :) – FreeMan Mar 17 '16 at 13:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.