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Working with redwood?

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Forum topic by groy87 posted 01-11-2013 05:58 AM 2151 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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groy87

132 posts in 1583 days


01-11-2013 05:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource lumber redwood

What is it like working with redwood? I’ve seen many pictures of beautiful natural edge tables made from the stiff and was curious about its properties? Also does anyone know a good source in so cal or online (aside from ebay) to get smaller live edge slabs? (Cutting board/serving tray sizes) I’m looking to try to get my hands on some new stock in the near future so any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.


10 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1281 posts in 2481 days


#1 posted 01-11-2013 06:46 AM

I have worked many thousands of board feet of Redwood through the years. It is very soft but easy to work. You should wear a dust mask to avoid the fine dust as it is irritating. Most live edge or larger slabs tend to come from the Medocino & Humbolt county regions as well as other NorCal counties. I don’t know of any sources in SoCal where you might acquire some good quality redwood.

One more thing. Make sure you remove any splinter quickly. They tend to fester and can hurt a bit if you don’t get them out fast.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Steve Esterby's profile

Steve Esterby

285 posts in 1504 days


#2 posted 01-11-2013 05:04 PM

emphasis on the mask! It’s not just irritating , it’s really bad for your lungs. I use a lot of it.

-- steve...e-mail-themantelshop@hotmail.com........remember,the best teacher is repetition.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7821 posts in 2392 days


#3 posted 01-11-2013 05:18 PM

The sawdust is annoying. Redwood can be hand planed
to a very nice surface without sanding though.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 987 days


#4 posted 01-11-2013 08:59 PM

Irritating to say the least… I had a funky allergic reaction working with the stuff. It wasnt until I started sanding it down so like the rest have said, protect your lungs and skin. My experience was with reclaimed fence boards and barn wood.

Here in NorCal, there are Craigslist posts everyday for new and old growth redwood slabs. Some of it gets pretty pricey (upwards of $8+/bf) but man I’ve seen some super tight grain material that would make for some nice furniture pieces.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3167 posts in 1231 days


#5 posted 01-11-2013 09:13 PM

Not to burst any prospective bubble, but I’m not sure I would use a softwood like Redwood. Like any deciduous tree it is resinous and that means lots of pitch.

Cutting boards are made with close grained hardwood, not fir, pine or other softwood trees.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 987 days


#6 posted 01-15-2013 11:37 PM

If making fine furniture, i think using old growth, properly dried material can be very nice. Lots of old craftsman and victorian homes I’ve been inside have tons of amazing redwood. Everything from mantles, stair rails, and furniture. The same is true for old growth doug fir.

But certainly, and most definitely not a good choice for cutting boards or any food prep surface.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 927 days


#7 posted 01-16-2013 03:37 AM

Like any deciduous tree it is resinous and that means lots of pitch.

Pretty sure you meant “conifer” or “evergreen.” I haven’t noticed pitch, so much. It’s not a sappy wood like pine or douglas fir. It is extremely soft, though. Coughing on it will dent it.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1228 posts in 769 days


#8 posted 01-16-2013 08:27 AM

One thing about really soft woods that is often overlooked: your edged tools need to be super sharp. Dull tools will crush it rather than cut it.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3167 posts in 1231 days


#9 posted 01-16-2013 10:02 AM

Yup Ian, you are right. A slip of the keyboard.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Harry Montana's profile

Harry Montana

46 posts in 739 days


#10 posted 01-18-2013 09:00 PM

“redwood” is a pretty generic term, there is so many different kinds of redwood, we for example handle Brazilian Redwood” and you need some serious tools to get a nice finish. But if you do so, you have some quality “redwood”


brazilian redwood – massaranduba milling


fnished installed brazilian redwood flooring

-- With regards from Harry Montana http://www.hardydeck.com

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