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is all cedar good cedar?

Dec. 29, 2013, 11:54 p.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sept. 27, 2005

OK question - is all cedar good cedar to build with? I know that Western Red is the best (the old growth stuff etc..) but there are also other cedars which are on the shore - im thinking the smaller variety of cedar that tends to grow in wetter, swampy areas….does this wood have the same rot resistant factor that Red does? Is it suitable for building?? (maybe its a yellow cedar?)

I'm ignoring Smedley.

Dec. 30, 2013, 6:36 a.m.
Posts: 1713
Joined: Dec. 31, 2006

Yellow cedar has good rot resistance but typically grows at higher elevations. It smells like potatoes when you cut it.

Dec. 30, 2013, 6:50 a.m.
Posts: 17928
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

I've found old yellow blowdown that were quite large. The wood was surprisingly hard and not easy to work with, but it smells like cedar, I suspect it has similar oils. Go for it.

Skinny little trees might be too knotty to work with though.

Have you tried bucking stringers out of the big old blowdowns yet? -see PMs

Dec. 30, 2013, 8:17 a.m.
Posts: 1111
Joined: Jan. 9, 2007

Yellow cedar is stronger, will hold a nail better and is more rot resistant… my guess is its good bro.


Dec. 30, 2013, 10:25 a.m.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sept. 27, 2005

found this resource on the BC Gov website.

Awesome. "The Tree Book."

I'm ignoring Smedley.

Dec. 30, 2013, 12:05 p.m.
Posts: 7
Joined: Nov. 6, 2011

Unless you are up pretty high on the mountain you probably wont find yellow cedar or Cypress as it is called. You can definitely tell because the heart wood is yellow and smells different from WRC. It will have similar bark to WRC but is a little more flaky and much more sticky and doesn't spud off nearly as easy as WRC. Cypress is perfect for building - it will out last WRC but often the old stuff has spiral grain and can be hard to split. I did some work on some cabins up on Cypress a few years back built from Yellow and aside from greying it was as solid as the day it was cut - and I was told that it was over 60 years old.

Dec. 30, 2013, 12:47 p.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

very dense wood, pretty valuable too

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

Dec. 30, 2013, 12:55 p.m.
Posts: 351
Joined: March 4, 2013

yellow cedars prefer areas less wet than red from what i've seen and generally above say 800m elev. so the ones you mention in swampy areas are probably not yellows.

Dec. 30, 2013, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 222
Joined: Aug. 7, 2008

Where I build - which is above 800 meters there is a fair bit of yellow cedar.
It is beautiful wood. That yellow is like a beacon when cut.

Very, very dense - feels like a hard wood and definitely works my saw harder.
Splitting rungs out of it is much more work then red cedar.

Dec. 31, 2013, 12:27 a.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

yellow is hard to split, grain tends to be spiral to some degree, pretty dense, hard to drive nails into, yellow core. red is much easier to deal with. either is good, use whichever you find.

Jan. 5, 2014, 10:01 a.m.
Posts: 828
Joined: Oct. 27, 2003

Some of the best cedar i have used is old cedar.
Just look at the grain, tight and dense,it will last for a very long time.
Some cedar even big trees have loose grain and I am sure they will have a long life .
The tight grain ,I think has more oils ,it definitely is the wood of choice for me.
Coming across a big tree laying down ,covered in moss,makes for sweet rungage and easy splitting.

FVMBA Website

Jan. 5, 2014, 10:53 a.m.
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Joined: Dec. 23, 2003

Jan. 5, 2014, 7:01 p.m.
Posts: 1713
Joined: Dec. 31, 2006

Nice slabs

Jan. 6, 2014, 9:06 a.m.
Posts: 983
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Nice slabs

you want slabs?

now this is a slab

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

Jan. 6, 2014, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 1713
Joined: Dec. 31, 2006

Even nicer. Syncro if you're not working on a trail build right now you should be! You're the cedar master.

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