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Stabilizing Red Cedar Lumber

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  • Stabilizing Red Cedar Lumber

    I have been building furniture as a hobby from Hardwood, mostly Red and White Oak for about 25 years. I recently got a good deal on some Rough cut Red Cedar. The Cedar has been in a barn air drying for the past 10 years. When I planned the lumber and made Cedar Chests from it, it seems to want to warp and shrink. Does anyone know how to stabilize Red Cedar for furniture? Any Ideas?

  • #2
    not to insult your woodworking skills but if you already now this someone else may benifit from this response. wood that has been air dried for years or kiln dried to lets say 7 to 8% moisture content has to be taken to your shop where it shall sit for a couple of weeks to aclimatize its self to your shop. its moisture content will change in the winter,summer,tempurature where you live and the humidity levels. the next step after you let it sit is to cut your parts afew inches more than needed an to only rough mill them,not to size yet. now let them sit again to air dry in your shop 2 more weeks while the woods stresses are releived and they become more stable. go ahead now and build your projects cut them to final size and join them as you would out of any solid wood project allowing for the expantion and the contraction of the wood. you should also seal your projects on the iside as the outside as to allow for the same rate of moisture changeing content. im not sure if I talk too much or missed something but give it a try and if you know more than this please let me know.also dont be dicouraged NORM says he has never met a piece of wood yet that would ever stay still bye for now

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    • #3
      Ted 01 wrote:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I have been building furniture as a hobby from Hardwood, mostly Red and White Oak for about 25 years. I recently got a good deal on some Rough cut Red Cedar. The Cedar has been in a barn air drying for the past 10 years. When I planned the lumber and made Cedar Chests from it, it seems to want to warp and shrink. Does anyone know how to stabilize Red Cedar for furniture? Any Ideas?
      Ted,

      I use a lot of Cedar and Redwood on the exterior of houses and to make outdoor projects (planter boxes, deck tables, etc.)

      As I'm sure you know, soft woods are easily affected by changes in temps. and humidity. When you make any projects with soft woods like Cedar, the wood needs time to acclimate to the environment of your shop. Preferrably a minimum of a week prior to starting your project. Once the project is done, you should apply a coat of sanding sealer to all surfaces. This will seal up the grain of the wood, which in turn will stop the wood from absorbing too much moisture and it will make your stain or paint go on more evenly and give you a much nicer final finish on your project.

      Good luck! [img]smile.gif[/img]

      [ 06-25-2005, 09:24 AM: Message edited by: CARPENTERDON ]
      Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
      Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


      I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

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