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Working with redwood?

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Forum topic by groy87 posted 559 days ago 1732 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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groy87

126 posts in 1437 days


559 days ago

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

1276 posts in 2334 days


#1 posted 559 days ago

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 1357 days


#2 posted 558 days ago

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 (online now)

Loren

7229 posts in 2245 days


#3 posted 558 days ago

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

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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sixstring

296 posts in 840 days


#4 posted 558 days ago

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..."

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Dallas

2854 posts in 1084 days


#5 posted 558 days ago

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!

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sixstring

296 posts in 840 days


#6 posted 554 days ago

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

1273 posts in 780 days


#7 posted 554 days ago

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."

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runswithscissors

894 posts in 622 days


#8 posted 554 days ago

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.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2854 posts in 1084 days


#9 posted 554 days ago

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

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

View Harry Montana's profile

Harry Montana

46 posts in 592 days


#10 posted 551 days ago

“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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