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Western red cedar versus Whitewood pine, which one is the lightest?

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Forum topic by Blackie_ posted 04-29-2013 12:40 PM 2489 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackie_

3581 posts in 1230 days


04-29-2013 12:40 PM

The lumber that homedepot carries western cedar and whitewood pine, I’d like to know which between the two would be the lightest per board foot?

The reason I ask this question is that awhile back, I had built a couple portable shelving units out of hardwood one from Alder and one from Maple the Alder is 5 pounds lighter then the maple but I’m still finding them a bit heavy to move in and out of my truck when it comes to shows plus they are taking a beating so I’m wanting to lighten the load even more if by building two more out of either pine or cedar which of the two would be the best candidate and lightest? As for as weather goes I’m not to much worried about that as they won’t be out in it very much plus with a finish.

Thanks so much for the viewing and answers.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs


13 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2681 posts in 1069 days


#1 posted 04-29-2013 01:46 PM

According to the Engineering Tool Box website. The density of western red cedar is 23 lbs/ft³ and white pine varies 22-31 lbs/ft³. Not a great deal of difference. The thing to remember is that whitewood pine at the BORG could be any number of species, like lodgepole pine ponderosa pine and I’ve even seen grand fir or spruce thrown in there as well. The cedar is not going to have anything mixed in there and it runs a little lighter so that would be your best bet.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Blackie_

3581 posts in 1230 days


#2 posted 04-29-2013 02:37 PM

Bondo

Thanks for that info.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1574 posts in 990 days


#3 posted 04-29-2013 03:18 PM

Randy,

Here’s a ‘link’ for future referrence that covers most technical questions, with the exception of ‘rot resistance’.

Have you concidered loading ramps and casters to make your displays a little more user friendly?

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5218 posts in 1560 days


#4 posted 04-29-2013 04:38 PM

Randy,

I have way too much pine. LOL! cleaning up my shop I found that I have hundreds of board feet. What you get from the box store varies in density as it may not be pine? The issue with the pine is it checks and cracks and twists as it ages. Maybe a factor to consider when spending the money for lighter materials?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 901 days


#5 posted 04-29-2013 04:53 PM

Western Red Cedar is very light, but dents when you look at it sideways. If you’re setting up and breaking down the shelves regularly, loading them in a truck, etc., you might have to put up with a heavier, harder wood that will wear better.

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

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3581 posts in 1230 days


#6 posted 04-29-2013 05:04 PM

Well ok looks like either way could be set for failure, Shampeon what if I put a few coats of poly would that make the cedar anymore durable?

Thanks

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3581 posts in 1230 days


#7 posted 04-29-2013 05:12 PM

I think I will just let the price decide for me and just go that route.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Loren's profile

Loren

7808 posts in 2366 days


#8 posted 04-29-2013 05:16 PM

No on the poly making cedar tougher.

Red cedar is also more prone to splitting under stress
than spruce.

Common red cedar and spruce are both used in
acoustic guitar tops. Cedar is way more delicate
but it sounds “fuller” when the guitar is new so
its use helps sell guitars.

Other “cedars” (Alaskan yellow, spanish) don’t have
the same delicacy.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5218 posts in 1560 days


#9 posted 04-29-2013 06:04 PM

Just watching Charles Neil video. discusses white wood from the box store. Hemlock has small knots. Make sure there is no resin on the board. No knot in the center of the grain. Look at the knots to see if there is a chance of them falling out.

good luck with the crap shoot. LOL.

Hey, consider making a collapsible four wheel ( large wheels for going over the ground) wagon? Can bolt it together to transport the shelving over a distance then take it apart?

I now use my wheel barrow to transport my tool boxes , and power tools from shop to the truck or to the project on the property.

Just a thought.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11970 posts in 1823 days


#10 posted 04-29-2013 11:06 PM

I’d bet on the cedar to be lighter, but there is also poplar that is pretty light!.
Randy, don’t put any poly on the cedar!!!!! It will peel right off. Cedar has a oil in it that resist finishes. The best I found to put on it was teak oil…......
.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Roger's profile

Roger

15039 posts in 1522 days


#11 posted 04-29-2013 11:23 PM

I don’t know, but, this seems very interesting.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3581 posts in 1230 days


#12 posted 04-30-2013 12:18 AM

Actually Jim, you might be onto something, popular and pine seem to hold the same Density according to the chart that Bondo posted and it’s even lighter then Alder as well.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View khalsey's profile

khalsey

18 posts in 1047 days


#13 posted 04-30-2013 11:44 AM

You could use a sealer and then a spar vanish to increase the durability of the wood. A few coats of spar varnish can really take a beating. Just a thought.

-- khalsey, NC

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