Cedar logs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by joshtank posted 12-19-2011 07:30 PM 2792 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View joshtank's profile


224 posts in 3214 days

12-19-2011 07:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resawing cedar

My parents have a good sized piece of land with plenty of trees they have planted, apparently one was shading the garden too much, so it got taken out. So my dad and I made it into boards best we could with my craftsman 12” bandsaw and a chainsaw.

These are pics from the third session of sawing, in total I have a pile about 3x the size picture. some of the sawing wasn’t so straight, getting that first face down reference edge to run on the bandsaw table was tough even with who people. that’s what you do when the log is it’s largest – and heavy.


I painted the ends with latex paint – a few coats. I occasionally run a fan on that in the shop ( i mean plus when I’m in there etc), and sometimes i run my dehumidifier. anything else I should be doing to make sure they dry well and all is good?

and.. what’s the best was to square them up when the drying is all said and done. I was thinking handplaning one side ( I only have a very small jointer), so i can run through my planer.. and for the edges, a router and straightedge? maybe bandsaw or circ saw they straight as i can then router for final edge?

-- Josh - Jacksonville, FL -

12 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5149 posts in 4201 days

#1 posted 12-19-2011 07:58 PM

What’s the moisture content? Gotta dry if they’re wet, and that gonna take some time (as in a couple years).
I wouldn’t try dimensioning until the wood is down to about 8%.


View joshtank's profile


224 posts in 3214 days

#2 posted 12-19-2011 08:02 PM

oh yeah wasn’t planning on that. they have been laying outside at least 4 or 5 months. still wet inside when cut. i just painted ends of let em sit. thinking running dehumidifier a lot is good, or will it make them dry too fast and warp a lot / crack?

-- Josh - Jacksonville, FL -

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2596 days

#3 posted 12-19-2011 08:11 PM

8-12% per AWI standards.

However, knock the bark off the edges it intruduces the chance for the wood to wrot.

Now to the original questions, Hand planing the edges is certainly an option, it’s not a really dense wood, so it wouldn’t be too hard, except where the knots are.

If your band saw is big enough, you can build a straight lining jig to rough the wood closer to a straight edge, then hand plane it, or even take it to a tablesaw. Honestly there are a number of ways to flatten boards though, I know if I explained some of them it’d raise some peoples eyebrows really quick though.

You can also occaisionally add blowing a heater on the wood (like a space heater) from a small distance so as to not set things on fire.

P.S as a log it can take several years, some woods may only take several months when resawn. Invest in a moisture meter, they are relatively inexpensive and worth it.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19050 posts in 2808 days

#4 posted 12-19-2011 09:32 PM

figure and inch per year to dry, as a general rule.

I have an alaskian mill so I do this quit a bit. My last project was built from self sawn oak. Here is what I do, Clamp it to my bench with the edge overhanging, snap a line and get it close with a skill saw. Joint it (I use my jointer, but hand plane would be fine) and square the other side with the table saw.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View HerbC's profile


1792 posts in 3100 days

#5 posted 12-20-2011 05:13 AM

Aromatic Eastern Red Cedar is very forgiving regarding drying. It tends to dry quickly and if stacked and stickered properly with adequate natural air flow it will air dry enough to work with in months, not years. Of course the thinner pieces will dry quicker than the thicker pieces.

It’s beautiful wood and in many ways a pleasure to work.

Good Luck and

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2717 days

#6 posted 12-20-2011 05:22 AM

Eastern redcedar dries very fast. 4/4 lumber in your climate will air dry to 12 – 14% in 60 days. The thicker pieces will take about 2 – 3 times longer. I would run the pieces through a thickness planer to create a relatively flat reference face and then plane the pieces. A spiral head planer would do the job.

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

View jterry's profile


23 posts in 3068 days

#7 posted 12-20-2011 05:37 AM

1 year per inch is right for the first 2 inches, but even kiln dried wood greater that 2 is not guaranteed. Takes longer and may never reach uniform dryness.
I find in the humid south it is best to put a fan on the stack for the first 4 to 6 weeks to prevent mold. Learned by sad experience.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2688 posts in 3163 days

#8 posted 12-22-2011 05:30 AM

”.......Aromatic Eastern Red Cedar is very forgiving regarding drying. It tends to dry quickly …....” Very true! The saw mill where I buy my red cedar here in Texas tells me it takes just a few days for 1” thick boards to air dry. I find this to be true here in this dry part of Texas. I buy about 35 boards 1”x 8” x 8’ at a time all eastern red cedar that grew in Georgia. All plenty dry to use for me.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2717 days

#9 posted 12-23-2011 08:45 AM

Yes, 60 days for drying 4/4 cedar is probably conservative.

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

View terrilynne's profile


836 posts in 3134 days

#10 posted 12-29-2011 10:14 PM

These would make great natural edge benches and tables!

-- Terri, Rocky Mountain High Colorado!

View Sman's profile


30 posts in 2899 days

#11 posted 12-29-2011 10:47 PM

Isn’t cedar the coolest wood, beautiful colors, great smell.

You could always sell it too, I would buy a bowl blank of that for my lathe!

View Will Merrit's profile

Will Merrit

87 posts in 1134 days

#12 posted 01-11-2016 04:42 PM

I recently used my chainsaw mill to mill up some red cedar 8/4 here in Louisiana and am now wanting to make some 1/4” veneer out of it to cover some drawer faces. The wood is still relativley wet. If I were to cut off the cedar some veneer being 7”x25”x1/4” and glued it straight to the drawer face would that make a mess once it started drying out??

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics