Cedar? Redwood? Other?

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Blog entry by Don "Dances with Wood" Butler posted 09-11-2010 10:18 PM 1270 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a new project that will stand outside with no shelter at all. Exposed to wind, rain and direct sun.
I’d like to hear from you LJs what you think is the best wood for this job.
It will be a carved sign.
I tried to find some lumber yards open today, but the few I could find in on Saturday afternoon didn’t carry either cedar or redwood.
Years ago I made a short but very wide carved sign from cedar and it has never checked or shown any major problems at all. I don’t know which flavor of cedar it was because I didn’t buy it, but it didn’t have an aromatic scent when I cut it.
I also found some hemlock, but I have no clue about its properties.
Well, what do you think?

-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

8 comments so far

View jcontract's profile


84 posts in 2088 days

#1 posted 09-11-2010 11:53 PM

Don. I just built Adirondak chairs out of Sepele Mohagany. If you’re not looking for the sign to weather naturally, you could use a good spar varnish, like they use on wooden boats. McKlosky’s Man O War is what I used and it has UV blockers in it. Granted, you might need to varnish it every few years, but it’s just an option. You could also let the Mahogany patina as well.

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2395 days

#2 posted 09-12-2010 01:25 AM

Oh,I left that part out.
It’a going to be painted with outdoor sign paint. The wood will never show.
It’s just to be carved and then painted over.



-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1888 days

#3 posted 09-12-2010 03:58 AM

I did a couple of lawn chairs out of western red cedar back in ‘83 and they’ve been outside in Winnipeg winters 12 months of the year ever since and they’re still in decent shape 27 years later.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2395 days

#4 posted 09-12-2010 01:44 PM

Yeah, Tiny, I think I’ve settled on Cedar.
Now to find some in this hardwood forsaken part of the world.
With all the forests we have in this region you’d think we’d have more hardwood merchants!

-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

View hatman's profile


3 posts in 1904 days

#5 posted 09-12-2010 06:28 PM

Don, If not painting. Alaska yellew cedar (clear) weathers to a beautiful gray. Built a large deck in 60’s out of it. Would you believe I paid $198.00 a thousand for it & thought it was highway robbery. Times change

View tinnman65's profile


1235 posts in 2414 days

#6 posted 09-13-2010 02:23 AM

Don I saw Cedar at our local Lowes right next to the pine in the same isle as the oak. I don’t know the cost or the type of cedar but I know it wasn’t red cedar because that was what I was looking for at the time. If I remember correct it really wasn’t to badly priced. You could stop in or give them a call.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2270 days

#7 posted 09-13-2010 02:38 AM

If you are going to paint over it you could also use exterior plywood, or some of that new plastic wood they are using for decks. I was thinking Ipe or Teak before you said paint….but they are rather expensive woods to paint over. I use alot of redwood for my outdoor stuff (I mostly varnish because I really like the color and grain of redwood) but I have painted some for folks that want a color finish instead of natural. Redwood can probably last forever if coated with paint and refreshed every couple of years.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Don "Dances with Wood" Butler's profile

Don "Dances with Wood" Butler

1051 posts in 2395 days

#8 posted 09-13-2010 01:26 PM

Paul, Lowes was the second place I called. They said they don’t carry it!

-- Will trade wife's yarn for wood.

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