Cedar vs. Redwood

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Forum topic by coletrain posted 08-02-2008 06:23 PM 19281 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3598 days

08-02-2008 06:23 PM

Hi Everyone,
I am building a glider bench for my girlfriend and I have the plans and hardware now thanks to yalls recommendations. Now for the material. I was going to go with cedar but the man at the lumber warehouse said that cedar is not very good for outdoor furniture because it doesn’t have the strength that redwood has. I like the look of cedar more than redwood but if the bench wont hold screws very well I will have to go with the redwood. The bench is for her family and i sure don’t want it falling apart. The redwood is a little more expensive but not much. Also the bench will be outside in the elements.

So will the cedar not hold up as well as redwood??


Lubbock, Tx

18 replies so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3871 days

#1 posted 08-02-2008 06:31 PM

I’ve had a cedar bench in my back yard for about 10 years. It seems to be holding up just fine. I stain it about every other year.

View coletrain's profile


20 posts in 3598 days

#2 posted 08-02-2008 07:06 PM

Ten years, not bad. The joint are holding fine I guess?

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3871 days

#3 posted 08-02-2008 08:34 PM

The joint are holding fine I guess?

Yes. I drilled four 3/4” holes – one in each foot of the bench – to locate and anchor it on the patio using birch dowels. The dowels have rotted and have been replaced, the cedar is fine.

View aaronmolloy's profile


123 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 08-02-2008 09:02 PM

redwood has been used allot in ireland on apartment buildings and it seems to discolour after soom time but thats the irish weather for you if you are making this for a warm climate area it should its colour but something still tells me that cedar is a good option or you could also use oak for outdoor furniture after time oak will devolep a silver flek in the grain of the wood from the weather

-- A. Molloy

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 3697 days

#5 posted 08-03-2008 02:16 AM

Redwood will last for a long time outside, but it discolors and gets pretty ugly. Dont know about cedar, but cypress is an excellent wood for exterior projects.

-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View coletrain's profile


20 posts in 3598 days

#6 posted 08-03-2008 02:22 AM

I would love Cypress but it is not very common in my area and its a little bit expensive.

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 3959 days

#7 posted 08-03-2008 07:44 AM

I have not used Redwood. Cedar does last a long time. It is soft, gouges easily. Lightweight so the chairs I built can be moved easily.

-- Berta in NC

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4065 days

#8 posted 08-03-2008 08:07 AM

That’s what you get for listening to a big box store. Cedar is one of the first woods I think (imagine others) of when thinking outdoors. It’s able to contact water naturally. It will fade faster if not sealed, but I often prefer the weathered look of woods like cedar or teak.

Redwood is the same. It’s less available, costs more, and is heavier. Heavy can be a good thing, though. Cedar splits very easily. I’m not sure about splitting with redwood.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3979 days

#9 posted 08-03-2008 01:34 PM

What USCJeff said :)

I love cedar but can’t find any here in NE PA that is not priced like gold (by the oz). And cypress seems to be priced by the gram. I am no “green guy” or tree hugger but can’t seem to bring myself to use RedWood anymore after visiting the old forests in CA.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View mski's profile


439 posts in 3977 days

#10 posted 08-03-2008 03:16 PM

What glider are you building, I have plans for an Apple Glider, I can find Redwood here in So CA but not Cedar, I think Cedar would look better. so I have it on hold untill I find some, thought about White Oak.
Snowdog don’t worry we have plenty of Redwood out here, The bigger old forests are protected.


View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3795 days

#11 posted 08-03-2008 03:29 PM

the answer is simple. Cedar is prettier but a bot softer… Redwood can change colors more and is a bit more durable… Flip a coin and check your pocketbook to see which you should use. By the way, if you can get cypress… this is the best choice

-- making sawdust....

View John's profile


190 posts in 3580 days

#12 posted 08-03-2008 05:37 PM

You might wish to consider either Meranti (south american mahagony) or Ipe which is a Brazilian hardwood. I just completed 8 deck chairs and 5 tables with meranti with a teak oil finish. I would have preferred Ipe but it was not a stock item at my supplier. They are all popular decking materials here in NY

-- John, Long Island, NY

View coletrain's profile


20 posts in 3598 days

#13 posted 08-03-2008 07:12 PM

Hey Mski,
The plans i got were from the Van Dyke website and they just arrived the other day. The plans look excellent.

i sure appreciate all the replies and am leaning torward the cedar now. Yall have been very helpful.

View mski's profile


439 posts in 3977 days

#14 posted 08-04-2008 12:40 AM

Looks nice coletrain, Here is the plans I got

John good choices but $$$$$$$$


View coletrain's profile


20 posts in 3598 days

#15 posted 08-07-2008 01:37 AM

Got the cedar yesterday. Gonna use screws along with Tightbond for all the connections and maybe a few oak pins on the main structural joints. Wish me luck

Lubbock Tx

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