I am in complete agreement with you that the pine you used (Woodsmith No. FJigh-teen), short leaf yellow, is not a cabinet wood. It has all the faults you mentioned plus the fact that no matter how much you work on finishing it, you still end up with a wild pine grain. About the only thing you can do with it is to paint it.
However, most Early American furniture was made of eastern white pine or "punkin pine". It is easy to work with, has little grain, and is easily finished.
For the projects that we build with pine, we use ponderosa pine from the western U.S. Although ponderosa pine is easier to work with than short leaf yellow pine, it still presents problems in finishing (especially staining) when compared to hardwoods.
Unfortunately, the northern white pine (sometimes called eastern white pine) that was used in Early American furniture is only available in limited supply. Once consisting of stands equal to several hundred billion board feet, most of the trees that are standing now are second growth timber and equal only a fraction of the original board footage. When it can be obtained, it's usually knotty and small.
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