LumberJocks

Cedar- More than just for rustic projects?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by Joshua Oehler posted 08-12-2014 07:20 PM 884 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Joshua Oehler's profile

Joshua Oehler

169 posts in 1151 days


08-12-2014 07:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

In the very near future I am going to be embarking on a fairly long journey, at least for a hobbyist. I am going to start making all new furniture for my house. Entertainment center, Coffee Table, Foyer Table, Office then possibly moving on to a full bedroom suite and then hopefully a dining set. I have an open floor plan in the main part of my house meaning that the Foyer, Living Room, Kitchen & Dining Room have no walls or doors between them. My kitchen is solid cherry cabinetry and I have laminated cherry floors throughout the whole house. We also have dark brown leather furniture in the living room. I am trying to find a way to
1. Keep the cost down
2. Tie all the open rooms together without dominating the whole house in cherry.
3. Build something I am going to be proud of have it last for a long time.
4. And under the wife’s orders..do not make the house look like a hunting lodge. I have to keep the furniture to having a modern flair to them….she won’t let me do live edge either (she is afraid it will snag her perty clothes, and my response of “well don’t run into the furniture then” didn’t get me very far!)

I have been trying to decide what wood I am going to build everything out of. The main 3 pieces I am starting with are the entertainment center, coffee table and entry/foyer table. I have kicked around the idea of combining cherry, maple & walnut on the pieces but then of course my artist side started coming out while designing..I can’t just use boring, clear cabinet grade wood..I must have some character in it….oh I can use curly wood for the raised panels & drawer front, I guess that means I have to match that on the sides of the casework..crotch walnut?? oh that would be awesome to incorporate. we are painting a wall red?? I can using some bloodwood or paduak for some accents! What do you mean the wood bill just shot up to $1000 for just the entertainment center??

While I was visiting my in-laws out in Oklahoma, my father in law and I went out to a small town, family owned saw mill. He mostly had cedar. It was beautiful old growth cedar with colors ranging from cream to deep red to purple to dark brown. I have always loved the patterns in cedar and I love the look of it. Most people seem to only think it is good for outdoor projects, rustic projects and hope chests because you rarely see it used for anything else. I get that it is a softer wood so I am sure durability of it becomes a question for a lot of people, but should that stop me from using it to make some fine furniture with it? Even searching this site and the all mighty Google Images..pictures seem non-existant to try to reinforce the thought in my head that it can be done. My father in-law will be driving down here to Florida in a couple months and has offered to haul a trailer full down for me and I am thinking of taking him up on the offer.

So what do you all think? Can you make fine furniture out of Cedar without going down the rustic furniture road? Has anyone done this that has pictures of it? Am I going down a road I shouldn’t even bother with?

-- - "But old news can change, as memories float downstream. So don't judge me by my failures, only by my dreams"


6 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1830 days


#1 posted 08-12-2014 07:34 PM

Purple and brown? Are you sure we’re talking about western and not eastern? I think you can make some really nice stuff from it. I like it, and it doesn’t have to look rustic. I think you really need to pay attention to the grain and sapwood, to make it look like it flows.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1711 posts in 1644 days


#2 posted 08-12-2014 07:45 PM

Western red-cedar is different from eastern red cedar. WRC is quite soft, and is really not suitable for fine furniture. Good for outdoor stuff that isn’t used too heavily.

Given that your cedar is cream to red/purple and brown, I don’t think you have WRC (which doesn’t have those variations).

I haven’t worked much with eastern red cedar, but it is harder than WRC (900 on the janka vs. 350 for WRC). It’s a little harder than Honduran mahogany, which is often used in fine furniture. The design and fit-and-finish will determine how modern it looks. So give it a shot.

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

View Joshua Oehler's profile

Joshua Oehler

169 posts in 1151 days


#3 posted 08-12-2014 07:49 PM

I thought he said it was western but I could be wrong or he could have just misspoke. He has plots of land all over the place. He was taking about another 40,000 acre plot he recently picked up as well. Another reason why I really wanted to get the wood from him is he does it right. He does not ground clear his land. He only takes down what he needs, when he needs it and he said for every tree he takes down he replants 2-3. From what I understand all of his land is in and around Oklahoma. I do not live on the side of the country, I live in Southwest Florida and am from Ohio so I’m not sure what actually grows there. I will change the title just in case I’m wrong

-- - "But old news can change, as memories float downstream. So don't judge me by my failures, only by my dreams"

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13444 posts in 1317 days


#4 posted 08-12-2014 08:30 PM

You are definitely talking about eastern red cedar. No WRC anywhere near that area. The closest would be northern Idaho. I love it, but it is pretty overpowering for that many pieces, especially if you put clear oil based poly that is really gonna bring out the color. Water based will let the wood fade a little more. I’ve never seen it with dark stain on it. Might give that a try, depending on what you’re going for. I have it as my handrails on my stairs and loft railing, plus saplings stripped of bark as my spindles. My advice would be to make one piece out of it and see how you like it and more importantly, how she likes it. I’m afraid she’s gonna say it’s lodgy.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13444 posts in 1317 days


#5 posted 08-12-2014 08:37 PM

This is the best I can do. This is a wine rack that was brought to me to add a new base and a new coat of finish.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Joshua Oehler's profile

Joshua Oehler

169 posts in 1151 days


#6 posted 08-12-2014 11:14 PM

Beautiful wine rack and thanks for the info. I’m not too worried about it being too much. The only things I am really considering out of the cedar is the entertainment center, coffee table and entry table. The 2 tables are going to be pretty small so it should be fine. I may do my office out of it too if all goes well, but that pretty much just my man-cave and not in line of sight of the rest of the house.

-- - "But old news can change, as memories float downstream. So don't judge me by my failures, only by my dreams"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com