Reply by LesB

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Posted on Cedar from the big box stores

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1869 posts in 3648 days

#1 posted 12-02-2009 09:03 AM

Cedar fence posts is a bit soft for good turning and as already mentioned usually not dry. Fence post grade cedar could be from either Western Red Cedar or Incense Cedar. The latter is particularly soft and often referred to as “pencil wood” because it is literally used to make pencils. They are often sold just as “red cedar” with out distinction.
You will need sharp tools and good technique to get a smooth finish and the softness may make it difficult to mount securly. If you try to sand it to a good finish you will end up with a wavy surface because the soft growth rings will sand out faster than the hard ones.
Check local tree service business in your area for suitable hard wood from trees they remove or trim. You can get some great “free” or inexpensive chunks from them.
Regarding “wet” wood. Look up microwave drying techniques to speed things up.

-- Les B, Oregon

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