Drying Cedar Post?

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Forum topic by SCOTTLUMBER posted 02-13-2012 04:52 AM 12992 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2291 days

02-13-2012 04:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar question rustic

Hello everyone, I am new to this site and really look forward to chatting with everyone and learning. I am hopefully making a log bed. this will be my first big project on my own (of course with some help from family). I am looking to make a king size bed and looking for some help. I have seen post from the past on here about drying various species of wood. I am aware Cedar is a soft wood. After reading some post on here and “google” it seems cedar generally does not take a long time to air dry. It is my understanding the time of year and also the humidity plays a huge factor in this process. As a general rule how long does it take for cedar logs 8”-10” WITHOUT BARK take to dry in order to start working with? My next question is will cedar be strong and durable enough for an everyday bed? Some people have questioned me if log beds will hold up on the joints and the everyday use of the bed itself, also being a King Size bed. Any suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated.

5 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2954 days

#1 posted 02-13-2012 11:26 PM

There are plenty of variables, but let me assume you are going to put it in a nice environment, say the garage that is nearly as comfy as your home is inside… you could figure on using it without big problems in a couple years. Keeping in mind that the logs will shrink in thickness, not length, you may be able to work with then sooner than that, it depends on what the wood wants to do as it dries. You may put a line straight along the logs then recheck the line to make sure it stays straight in 6 months or so; if it’s straight you have some good wood. If it starts spiriling (exaggerated term, you know what I mean right?) then you will want to let it set for a while longer. As far as strength, if you have a couple of 600 lb lovers on that bed then you may need to beef up the construction, but the average couple should be just fine. Best to see how other people construct such projects, check out a book or three on that type of woodwork and see what works.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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4 posts in 2291 days

#2 posted 02-14-2012 01:03 AM

Nomad, thank you for your help on this. Some people were saying as early as a couple of months on the logs if they are stored inside a controlled environment. I knew that was way too early but didn’t know what others thoughts and experiences were. I will continue to research on this project. I have seen some “factory sold” log beds with checking and cracking and it looks to happen regularily.

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4 posts in 2291 days

#3 posted 02-14-2012 11:34 PM

Does anyone else have any experience with this? Or does anyone else have any opinions regarding cedar post or on my project in general?

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2472 days

#4 posted 02-15-2012 04:03 AM

In Georgia, eastern red cedar dries fast. It naturally has a lower moisture content than most woods anyway. However, I am not sure what type of cedar you are referring to. Northern white cedar? Atlantic white cedar?Eastern Red cedar? Western red cedar? Alaska yellow cedar?

If you left them outside under cover for say 4 months, and then brought them into a climate controlled room for say four months, I bet that you could use them for the bed by the Fall, depending on your climate. In Georgia, we get a lot of low humidity days in the winter, so air drying still occurs at this time of the year. That may not be the case in your environment.

It will work fine for a bed.

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

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4 posts in 2291 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 02:21 AM

Sorry to keep asking all the questions as I am sure someone on here has asked before. anyone have recommendations for the size of tenion I should cut for the side rails and headboard? I figured for the load bearing pieces these should be 1 1/2” or 2” and the non load bearing logs in the head and footboard should be 1”. Am I headed in the right direction or am I way off in thinking this? Thank you for the comments and feedback, very much appreciated!!!!!!

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