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Rough sawn cedar is a PITA

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Forum topic by toddbeaulieu posted 07-23-2015 08:29 PM 1108 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


07-23-2015 08:29 PM

I’ve bought rough sawn red and white cedar from a a few local sources for decent prices, but boy do I find it difficult to locate stretches of good lumber in it. Knots and cracks are in no shortage. Even making birdhouses is difficult if I want enough wood for consistent appearance on all pieces. Then, if I want thinner material for, say a smaller house, I’m throwing away half of the lumber milling it down. For the first time in years the other day I was actually considering going to home depot to see what they have 1x cedar. On the flip side I bought GORGEOUS 4s cedar from a local yard a few years back w/o knowing the price. After handing my card over I gently put it into inventory and haven’t dared touch it since.

Not sure what the point of this post is. Just curious about other thoughts about the struggles versus benefits of milling lumber down – a step that I swear can be half the effort of a new project some times.


14 replies so far

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ChuckV

2880 posts in 2986 days


#1 posted 07-23-2015 11:22 PM

Todd,

“Then, if I want thinner material for, say a smaller house, I’m throwing away half of the lumber milling it down.”
Do you have a bandsaw that you can use to resaw the rough boards to get the thinner boards you need? I make some smaller pieces such as boxes. If I could not resaw, I would be producing more sawdust and wood chips than anything else.

I really enjoy the initial part of a project in which I try to solve the puzzle of getting the pieces that I need from the rough boards that I have available to me with the least waste and the best grain matching in the final build.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#2 posted 07-23-2015 11:33 PM

Yes, I do resaw. To go to half inch from a full inch isn’t possible if I want to joint, resaw and plane. There’s just no working room. I’d need an inch and an eight minimum. It always seems to me that rough sawn is either too thick or not thick enough for a given project as far as being able to resaw versus plane the heck out of it.

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ChuckV

2880 posts in 2986 days


#3 posted 07-23-2015 11:45 PM



Yes, I do resaw. To go to half inch from a full inch isn t possible if I want to joint, resaw and plane. There s just no working room. I d need an inch and an eight minimum. It always seems to me that rough sawn is either too thick or not thick enough for a given project as far as being able to resaw versus plane the heck out of it.

- toddbeaulieu


I know what you mean. In that case, I would still resaw and save the 3/8” or so pieces for later use. Luckily, I have lots of room for storage. Otherwise, I would still resaw and consider the thinner stuff kindling.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#4 posted 07-23-2015 11:48 PM

Well! That’s an interesting comment! Do you know, and I really hate to admit this publicly, it never once occurred to me to resaw for different widths. Wow, do I feel stupid.

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ChuckV

2880 posts in 2986 days


#5 posted 07-23-2015 11:55 PM

I am glad I could help you.

You have some great projects posted. I really like the Cherry Makeup Vanity.

- Chuck

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#6 posted 07-24-2015 01:49 AM

I fill knot holes and imperfections with cedear sawdust infused epoxy. You can save board sections that way. It is a kind of gnarly wood, great for appropriate projects.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#7 posted 07-24-2015 10:25 AM

Another interesting idea that hadn’t occurred to me. What type of epoxy do you use?

It’s so easy to feel dumb around here … ;)

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#8 posted 07-24-2015 11:16 AM

I don’t know where you’re located but in my area (SE US) our native cedar is the southern red cedar, aka red cedar (but actually eastern red cedar is a diff species).

Heres an example a tree I had cut off my property: Is this what you’re dealing with?

HD carries western red cedar and it will be clear but its a pretty drab looking wood to me.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#9 posted 07-24-2015 11:28 AM

The board in the foreground, some sort of white cedar? (no expert on varieties) is basically useless to me with the split down the middle that stops just in time for the cavity around the branch.

I’m curious if epoxy would save the day here.

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WDHLT15

1571 posts in 1935 days


#10 posted 07-24-2015 11:44 AM

No, not white cedar. It is eastern red cedar with a lot of sapwood. The split is a bark inclusion, which is very common in ERC.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2408 posts in 2381 days


#11 posted 07-24-2015 12:16 PM

I buy eastern red cedar by the pick-up truck full. All rough and measure about 1 1/8” x 6” or 8”. I resaw it in half to produce 3/8” finished wood after planing. I make small boxes with it so it is easy to work around knot holes or flaws. I sometimes fill voids with a finishing resin called “Z-Poxy” I get at our local hobby shop.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#12 posted 07-24-2015 12:50 PM

I’m feeling pretty dumb finishing this week . . .

I just use standard 5 minute epoxy, mix in the sawdust, and then overfill it slightly, sand down when done. If it is a dark knothole, I will either leave the epoxy as is or but some black tint in it.


Another interesting idea that hadn t occurred to me. What type of epoxy do you use?

It s so easy to feel dumb around here … ;)

- toddbeaulieu


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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toddbeaulieu

780 posts in 2463 days


#13 posted 07-24-2015 02:08 PM

Well I wasn’t expecting this outcome when I posted, but I’m pretty excited now. I’m ordering some epoxy. Depending on the project I suspect that I might not even care if it’s clear.

Thanks for the ideas all!

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#14 posted 07-24-2015 09:42 PM


No, not white cedar. It is eastern red cedar with a lot of sapwood. The split is a bark inclusion, which is very common in ERC.

- WDHLT15

EXACTLY RIGHT!!

I wouldn’t waste my time trying to save it because it won’t last for something like a birdhouse.
Sapwood rots very quickly.

Cedar is pretty cheap just git you some good wood!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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