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A: I have heard it referred to as Monterey pine. It mostly comes from Central and South America. It is straight grained, knot-free and is easily worked with hand and power tools. In the past, I used it as a lower priced alternative for poplar, but now they are virtually the same price.
A: The edges are square. You can just rip them and make a frame
A: The boards are pretty square. They are most likely not jointed, but are sawn and sanded. If you are making butt joints, they will probably be fine. Just make sure you look thru the bin and select the squarest boards. If you have a tablesaw, you can get a "Glue-line Rip" blade that makes a glue-ready edge. Also, you could look in the moulding section for wood pieces that are run through a shaper (example: 11/32 in. x 2-1/4 in. x 84 in. Hardwood Mullion Casing Moulding). They have very square sides and are suitable for miter joints. Good luck.
A: Cause it looks better.
A: Rest assured, Home Depot will not sell you Oak for Pine prices. When you get to the store, you will see that the pine has pine grain, the oak has oak grain, the poplar is poplar and the cedar is knotty.
A: No, it is very smooth, and ready to paint or stain.
A: Yes but only lightly. You want to slightly reduce the sharp edges
A: These boards do not require sanding if you are painting them.