Using Cedar for Woodworking Projects

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If you’re looking for a new type of lumber to create something that lasts long, try using cedar for woodworking projects.

Cedar comes in a number of different varieties that include the Red Cedar, Spanish cedar, juniper, and the eastern cedar.

One of the reasons why this is a good type of wood to work with is that it is resistant to weather compared to the common wood types available.

This is why most woodworkers build outdoor projects such as benches, and even dog houses out of cedar.

Working with Cedar

Although cedar is known as a great material for the outdoors, it still has its limitations. Cedar has a tendency to be unstable because of its tendency to expand and contract depending greatly on the season.

Another thing to remember is that wood glues as well as mechanical fasteners like nails and the usual screws but they tend to get worn out over time because of the wood’s movement. Because of this, you should consider using stainless steel bolts which have nuts and even washers compared to mechanical fasteners.

Apart from being water-resistant, you’d be happy to know that by nature, cedar also resists insects and decay very well. This special trait will ensure you that when you’re using cedar for woodworking projects, anything you make will last for years with proper care.

Another thing you should take note of when working with cedar is that one of the varieties – Spanish cedar, is very aromatic. This type of wood has a distinct aroma which most of us humans would appreciate, but is actually unappealing to pesky insects.

For so many years, people have been using cedar wood to line their closets with this type of cedar to keep moths and other pests away from their clothes. If you’re planning to create a cabinet or a dresser, this type of wood is certainly the one for you.

Finishing your Cedar Project

If you’re using cedar for woodworking projects, you should know that the wood doesn’t go well with paint. Since you’d be covering the grain of the wood, paint will not be adhering very well on to the wood in the long run.

Although everything will look fine at first, over time the paint will crack, and eventually peel. If you painted your cedar project, you will soon be scraping and painting it every few years. Because of this problem, most people will opt to stain their projects instead.

When you stain cedar, the wood can breathe and even give it UV protection. This would mean that the color will stay longer and look vibrant even when it is exposed to the weather outdoors. Although you will still have to reapply the stain on your project, you don’t have to scrape anything off, or sand as often compared to using paint.

If ever you’re using aromatic cedar for your project you should know that its scent will likely fade over time because the exposed surfaces would oxidize.

If you’d like to have a rejuvenated scent on an old cedar piece, simply sand the surface lightly using a fine-grit sandpaper. Simply wipe down the wood’s surface and you’ll be amazed how fast its scent will return.

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