Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Aromatic Cedar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251

    Aromatic Cedar

    I took a cedar tree to the saw mill the other day and got it cit into 1" thick boards. How long should I wait for them to dry?
    Also if the red color fades in the drying time what is the best way to bring the color back?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    I live in Lobelville, Tennessee
    Posts
    3

    Smile Dry Red Cedar

    I put my red cedar in a small storage bldg. for about a month while it was hot. I then checked moisture content which was 7% but, be careful how you stack it. Find good level spot put sticks down bout every 16" to lay it on then stack it up with sticks between each layer. I have had good luck with this. You can find inexpensice moisture meters on ebay. Hope this helps, Jack

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251
    Thanks Jack.
    That is how I tried to stack it, but the floor in my shop isn't as level as I would like.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    1,603
    Unless you want to work with warped lumber, it is imperative that you start with a level base. Put down some cinder blocks first at about 2 ft. intervals, being sure to get them level and in the same plane. I like to lay 4x4 pieces across the cinder blocks and then start stacking the lumber to be dried. As already stated, place stickers a minimum of 6" from the ends and every 16" - 24" along the stack. If the stickers are green, they need to be of the same lumber you are drying. If they are already dry, it doesn't matter. Keep the stickers in a vertical line above each preceding layer. Leave a 1" or so gap between the planks on each layer.

    Cedar dries much faster than many woods because it has a fairly low MC when cut. I gave the 5/4 Cedar I have a year to dry but I believe it was suitable well before then. It's a good idea to bring the planks into your shop and let them acclimate a few days before actually milling them to final dimension. Also, don't mill them until actually ready to use them.

    That deep red/maroon color will reappear when the lumber is planed. The faded portion doesn't run very deep. However, through oxidation and UV exposure, it will eventually turn to more brown hues, even when finished. It's still attractive, though, IMHO.

    Also note that some people are sensitive to Cedar dust so you might keep that in mind when working it. Luckily, it doesn't bother me.

    Good luck.
    Cody


    He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Stephenville, TX
    Posts
    914
    If you have a moisture meter the water content should be about the same as other woods (around 6-8%)....I don't think cedar oil affects the moisture reading. Cedar dries better than most woods; it dries fast and doesn't tend to warp or split Stick it flat and level, as has been said, and when dried to what you want to use dead stack it. (Dead stacking is simply taking the stickers out and piling the boards on top of each other....like you see in the lumber yard). It will do two things - help preserve the color and help keep oils in the wood. That is, if you want the oil in there to give it the cedar smell.

    I make a number of cedar chests and of course want the smell. Comercially processed aromatic cedar is always air-dried as heating it in a kiln drives out the oil and it loses the smell. Also if you want the smell store it in a relatively cool place. I'm in central Texas and got a load in and made the mistake of putting it in storage in a place that heated (with a tin roof) to probably 120 in the summer. I ended up using it for things like bookcases as it totally lost the smell as all the oils were driven out.

    Also there is no way to keep the red (purple in many cases) color. When I make something of cedar I like to try to be able to put a finish on it as soon as possible to help preserve the color as air oxidation will take it from red to brown. But UV light also does it and any piece will eventually go from red to brown no matter what; the red usually lasts at most a month. And over the years it will darken to where the brown is nearly black depending on how dark it was to start. I have an old comercially made (Lane) chest from the 1950's that's just about black and white now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251
    Thanks Cody and Richard.
    I will check to see just how level I have them, what would be too unlevel?
    If it only has a 3 degree slope would that be alright?
    Thanks again!
    Ross

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    6,585
    Hi Ross, level isn't the issue, being flat is the issue. You could have a 20% slope, as long as it's flat.

    Have fun with the cedar, and be careful when planing or sanding it. Cedar is a very strong allergin..........Regards, Rod.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    4,973
    Blog Entries
    1
    It's my understanding that lumber should dry around 1 year per inch. If I'm not mistaken that's for hardwoods though. It should give you a good reference point to start from. Got any pics?
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251
    Thanks guys.
    The wood is stacked under my workbench, but I will try to get a good picture of them.
    How do you post pictures?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    4,973
    Blog Entries
    1
    At the bottom of your post you will find "manage attachments" open that and attach your pic from the folder your computer has them in. The pics must smaller than 107KB or it will not let you post them. Look forward to seein them.
    What you listen to is your business....what you hear is ours.

  11. #11
    One of my favorite woods...can't wait to see the pics!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251

    Cedar Pic #1

    I decided to restack them on a better part of the floor.
    Here is the first picture of 5.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251

    Cedar Pic's

    I like how red most of it is.
    I put some lead weights on the stack to try and prevent it from possibly bowing?
    Does it look like my stacking is good enough?
    Thanks,
    Ross
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Yessir...looks like a pro stacked it. Very nice color too!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    251
    Thanks.
    Whatever I decide to make I will post a picture of the finished product.

Similar Threads

  1. Finishing a aromatic cedar chest
    By Jory Hamblen in forum Project Finishing
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-06-2007, 11:49 AM
  2. Shellac over aromatic cedar
    By Richard M. Wolfe in forum Project Finishing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-18-2007, 5:32 AM
  3. Aromatic cedar for bowls?
    By Jeff Horton in forum Turner's Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-27-2006, 8:54 PM
  4. Aromatic Cedar
    By Tyler Howell in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-31-2005, 2:53 PM
  5. Aromatic Cedar How long does it last
    By Dean Baumgartner in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-20-2004, 10:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •