Wooden Window

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Vertical Grain Douglas Fir

July 12, 2017
doug fir hero 2

Common Name(s): Douglas Fir;  Scientific Name: Pseudotsuga menziesii

  • Specific Gravity: (Basic, 12% MC): .45, .51
  • Average Volumetric Shrinkage: Radial: 4.5%, Tangential: 7.3%, Volumetric: 11.6%, T/R Ratio: 1.6
  • Modulus of Rupture: 12,500 lbf/in2 (86.2 MPa)
  • Janka Hardness: 620 lbf (2,760 N)


Western North America


Can vary in color based on age and location of the tree. Usually a light brown color with a hint of red and/or yellow, with darker growth rings. In quartersawn pieces, the grain is typically straight and plain. In flatsawn pieces, (typically seen in rotary-sliced veneers), the wood can exhibit wild grain patterns.* (see note at bottom of page)

Working Properties

Typically machines well, but has a moderate blunting effect on cutters. Accepts stains, glues, and finishes well.* (see note at bottom of page)


Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Douglas-Fir has been reported to cause skin irritation, nausea, giddiness, runny nose, along with an increased likelihood of splinters getting infected. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.


Should be widely available as construction lumber for a modest price. Old growth or reclaimed boards can be much more expensive.

Main Uses

Veneer, plywood, and structural/construction lumber.

*Doug fir is a soft wood and can have tiny pitch pockets deep in the wood, even when kiln dried to a specific moisture content. When doug fir is milled down into narrow  pieces and then alternately heats and cools in an exterior environment, those pitch pockets begin to expand and contract and sometimes break through the surface, oozing pitch. This can happen in about 10-15% of installations and is the reason why we no longer routinely build with this material. Occasionally a client wants stain-grade doug fir to match other woodwork in their home, and in these cases we build with fir but point out the possibility of cracking.



“Western Red Cedar | The Wood Database – Lumber Identification (Softwood)”. 2017. Wood-Database.Com. http://www.wood-database.com/douglas-fir/.

Accessed July 12 2017.

Western Red Cedar It’s Only Proper, San Francisco, California
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It’s Only Proper, San Francisco, California

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Since 1980, Wooden Window has been constructing and restoring fine and custom-made wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California. Whether a homeowner or building pro, you’ll appreciate our decades of experience and unique mix of craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.


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Since 1980, Wooden Window has been restoring and constructing fine wooden doors and windows for residences and commercial buildings throughout California.

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