Western Red Cedar

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phmiller
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Western Red Cedar

Post by phmiller » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:25 pm

I have been following the discussion about sourcing WRC with interest. I live in New Zealand and have had no difficulty in acquiring this timber here. A great deal of WRC is imported into this country for use in the building trade. Any amount is available to anyone who wishes to purchase it.

The only thing I might request in the way of advice from you Canadian and North American builders, is what grade of timber should I be looking for ?

In the past I have used timber that was destined for use as weather boards ( I think you call them clap boards ) before they were put through the planing machines. The results I achieved with this timber seemed satisfactory to me but those in the know may have some comments to make.

Patrick.

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Cruiser
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Cruiser » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:56 pm

I think what grade you buy, is what you envision the final product will look like and what sort of tolerance to knots you have.

The lower the grade (starts at clear and works down from there) the more knots and imperfections there are .... clear won't have any large knots and only a few small ones. So if you don't like the knots and buy the lower grade you will be skarfing a lot of pieces ... you can sort through the boards to get the clearest and smallest knots.

I would always recommend going to a lumber yard and talk with the people in the yard, explain what you are after and most times here, you can get a lot of good information and sometimes they have lumber stashed away ... I know I found some beautiful long lengths of clear cedar here that way.

If you don't mind knots (up to a point I think they add interest), you can get around issues of the knots falling apart when you make strips, by stabilizing them with epoxy before you cut the strips. then they won't fall apart when you cut the board up.

One thing if you sort ... feel how heavy the board feels, sometimes (for whatever reason) a board is just heavier than the rest, I don't use these, I just stick to the lighter ones.




Brian

phmiller
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by phmiller » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:30 pm

Thanks for your reply Brian. I shall certainly check each piece for weight next time I purchase. Patrick.

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:35 pm

Being from the States. I regularly buy #3 and better. 1x stock. #3 is the lowest grade, and usually 7/8"- 1" thick. Better grades are usually planed thinner 5/8". I bead and cove my strips (highly recommended) and so the rougher cut #3 serves me well !
I'm able to sort, where I buy. Of course I'd like to buy knot free lumber. But I'll buy any plank, that I can get at least half the plank, cut into full length strips.
I've never paid much attention to weight.
I do look hard at the grain ! If it is Slash cut, or Flat sawn, I start looking closer. That is my first step. If It's not flat sawn, I pass.

Here's a pick that demonstrates the grain pattern
Image

Knots are a pain to sand, Being harder than the surrounding wood, knots will leave you with a high spot.
I love sorting Cedar ! My wife will sometimes steer me away from the cedar stacks ! Ha ! Especially if I have my old truck !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

phmiller
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by phmiller » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:47 pm

Thanks Jim. I buy from a company that imports logs direct from North America. They tell me the quality of their sawn stock is pretty even except perhaps for the sap wood which can be brittle. I haven't come across any timber with knots so perhaps I am lucky. Patrick.

tetonrr@live.com
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by tetonrr@live.com » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:14 am

I just started a 15' prospector, got the molds and stems finished and began to look around for Western Red Cedar. I called up one of the local lumber stores and they have 1"x 12" x 16' clear WRC at a great price. When I went to check it out the boards were nearly knot free and looked great except they were really finished to 5/8" thickness. My question is, other than having smaller strips, is there any other problems I will face if I just made 5/8"x1/4" strips? Would the smaller strips be more likely to break as I cut , rout and handle them? The other solution which would add more steps, is to first cut them to 3/4"x 5/8" strips, then on the band saw rip the 5/8" in half and run that thru the plainer to 1/4" thickness.
Rusty

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:46 am

Definitely go with the 5/8" planks. Yes it will take more strips, but they will follow the curves in the hull, in the bilge area better. It will take more time. But better than doing all that extra machining.
1x12x16' ? Ah Where do you live ? Ha ! I'd be all over that !!!

Here is a link to cutting strips. I hope it helps !

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/for ... dar-strips

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Cruiser » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:35 am

Personally, I would likely just go ahead and rip the strips (subject to Jim's previous post on grain orientation).

The strips are going to come out at 1/2" (have to subtract an 1/8" for the bead and cove. I doubt there will be a higher chance of breakage, simply because the strips are going to get very flexible (read that as floppy). You will need to support them a bit more for any milling operations, because they will be really flexible.

This does however mean you will have quite a few more strips to glue in, so overall extra strips means extra work ... depends on your time frame and if some additional work stripping impacts your planning.

The only advantage I can think of is that since the strips are more flexible, they are also easier to bend around curves, so some of the stripping may be easier.

Brian

phmiller
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by phmiller » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:29 pm

With smaller strips potentially there will be less material to remove when you are fairing the hull so that's got to be a good thing. I have an author who advises this anyway so go to it. Patrick.

tetonrr@live.com
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by tetonrr@live.com » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Thanks for the help. I'll go with the 5/8" strips. I live in Tyler, TX. I'm looking forward to the woodworking but not the fiber-glassing.
Rusty

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:43 am

The fiber glassing is always the scariest !

If you can find someone locally with a little experience. That can help calm your nerves.

Remember to get everything lined up before you start mixing. Good extra help is a plus.
Keep the faith, as it will be fine !

Wish I could come down and help, when it's time to glass !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

tetonrr@live.com
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by tetonrr@live.com » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:50 pm

Jim,
Question about your grain diagram. Is that grain pattern for the uncut board or the cut strips?
Rusty "semper fi"

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:16 pm

tetonrr@live.com wrote:Jim,
Question about your grain diagram. Is that grain pattern for the uncut board or the cut strips?
Rusty "semper fi"
That represents an uncut plank.
When you cut strips from a plank like this, your strips will be Quarter-sawn.
They are strong, easier to machine, and don't warp. They also sand evenly.

Good question Rusty !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

hughhallhh56
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by hughhallhh56 » Fri May 05, 2017 1:37 am

Well I am the lucky guy. I live in the land of WRC. I buy 5/4 deck panels - clear up to 20 foot. Personally I like the the full one inch widths. Now realizing that this is not the norm for most people sourcing cedar I would like to point out that I most like looking for tones.

Clear wood is nice and easy. But when I step back and look at the finished product, it is the choice of wood colours that means the most. I like to sort through the pile and find matching tones of wood. I then look for the the very dark heart woods to use as contrasts.

Hugh

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Cruiser
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Re: Western Red Cedar

Post by Cruiser » Fri May 05, 2017 8:49 am

It is amazing to me the different colours that WRC can have. If you go to a lumber yard instead of a box store you get a better selection of colour/hue/tone or simply "character" I find.

I have some WRC that is so dark, most people think it is dark walnut .... other pieces have white and brown sort of flowing through. I am just completing 10 paddles in WRC and NWC and I am using exactly what you are talking about.

Although I am a lot further west than you are and have often dreamed how nice your lumber supply would be.


Brian

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