Cedar Thickness

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Forum topic by BigEsch posted 07-23-2014 05:45 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2435 days

07-23-2014 05:45 PM

I was recently given a pile of cedar that belonged to my wife’s grandfather who milled a couple of trees that fell in his yard. The majority of the lumber is right around 5/4 rough sawn with some 3/4 rough sawn as well.

After jointing and planing the lumber the 5/4 turned to 4/4. I am planning on using it to build a garden bench and would like to know if 4/4 is strong enough to be used as the legs or if I should laminate two pieces together to get 8/4. I would prefer to not laminate so as to keep more of the cedar for future projects. But I don’t want my wife to end up in the dirt either!

Thanks for the help.

1 reply so far

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979 posts in 938 days

#1 posted 07-23-2014 06:41 PM

Esch, I’d say it depends on the width of the legs and the condition of the cedar, such as if there are troubkesome knots or other defects which may further degrade its structural integrity. ..Also the size of the bench (how much weight will it have to bear ?). Unless the legs are pretty wide, I’d say it’s questionable.

A way to conserve your stash of cedar yet build up the strength of the legs may be a compromise. Maybe you could cut 1/4” deep X 3/4” (or more) wide dados the length of the insides of the legs and attach a 1” ~ 1-1/2” wide piece of piece of a different species, say yellow pine or spruce. This would give the leg structural enhancement and a contrasting look. Also, if you intended to sculp the feet, the brace piece could be sculpted the same way. It could even be on the outside for another look if that appeals to you. If you don’t care for the contrast you could use a piece of cedar for the inside brace and you would still conserve some cedar.

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