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drying northern white cedar

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  • william
    Hello all, I have been given the opportunity to harvest a tall very straight northern white cedar to build a couple canoes/kayak. The trees are old growth and
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 6 10:32 AM
      Hello all,

      I have been given the opportunity to harvest a tall very straight northern white cedar to build a couple canoes/kayak. The trees are old growth and I will be able to get a couple 18 foot logs from them to use for full lenght strips. Which is rare.

      The question is how long must the boards be air dried? or should they go to a commerical dryer?

      Have anyone worked with norhtern white cedar? Advice?

      Thanks!
    • Lionel Derenoncourt
      William, This is a great opportunity to get such long logs of white cedar. I hope they wont have too many knots. Let me refer you to Sam Trufan who sold me
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 6 11:10 AM
        William,

        This is a great opportunity to get such long logs of white cedar. I hope
        they wont have too many knots.

        Let me refer you to Sam Trufan who sold me some northern white cedar planks
        last January with which I built my canoe. He was very nice and may be able
        to answer your questions. His email address is struf@...

        Good luck to you.

        Lionel

        On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM, william <wmschuster@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > Hello all,
        >
        > I have been given the opportunity to harvest a tall very straight northern
        > white cedar to build a couple canoes/kayak. The trees are old growth and I
        > will be able to get a couple 18 foot logs from them to use for full lenght
        > strips. Which is rare.
        >
        > The question is how long must the boards be air dried? or should they go
        > to a commerical dryer?
        >
        > Have anyone worked with norhtern white cedar? Advice?
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        >
        >



        --
        *Lionel Derenoncourt*
        Happily Retired


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jim Marco
        Drying cedar is just like any other wood. Cut it down, rough cut it, weight and sticker it for a year or so (for 1x) and use it. Cedar is a softer wood. But
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 6 11:51 AM
          Drying cedar is just like any other wood.
          Cut it down, rough cut it, weight and sticker it for a year or so (for 1x) and use it.

          Cedar is a softer wood. But any knots and grain around them will be quite dense and oily. I would suggest a full cutting (say around 1-1/4" rough) to clean at reliably at 13/16". Without weight and stickers (moved once per month) the board will cup and check. It will anyway, but you can reduce this by half with added cinderblocks for weight. Planning will be difficult for boards wider than 8", later. Narrower boards will not cup as much, but will twist and warp more. The oils are difficult to get rid of without kilning, it can take several years of air drying if there are a lot of knots. It depends on the trees you have access to. Also, the old growth logs will likely be denser than any of the newer growth trees. Again, this can delay drying the wood.

          Two types of cuts for rough cutting: Quartered and Plane. Quartered leads to narrower boards and easier drying. Plane cutting is easier, less wasteful, but more difficult to dry. Generally, plane cut is what you want. About 1 in 5 boards I buy are quartered. After ripping a plane cut board, you will get quarter sawn strips. This is preferred. But for gunnels, thwarts and other trim, you want raw quarter sawn lumber to cut into parts. For my small boats, I laminate thwarts, yokes and seat backs to get the best of both worlds, but that's me.

          IFF you can get the boards ripped to 18', this will be a big advantage. But most white cedar is used for Guide boats and lapstreak style canoe building. Western Red Cedar is denser, but works as well for strippers. It doesn't work that well for lapstreaks. It is rare to need long lengths for that. Mostly, gunnels, but a lot of boats don't need them. Lapstreak strips are usually cut to 3/8" strips by about 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" starting with a 1" rough piece. If you plan on something like that, a thicker rough cut may be needed, resawing it later. Long 18' strips are hard to get for gunnels.

          Hull strips don't have to be full length. Cutting around knots and sanding a scarf will work fine. But full length strips makes them easier to work with.
          My thoughts only . . .
          jdm








          James D. Marco
          302 Mary Lane
          Ithaca, NY 14850
          607-273-9132 (land), 607-220-9969(cell)


          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          > william
          > Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 1:32 PM
          > To: cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [Cedar Strip Canoes] drying northern white
          > cedar
          >
          > Hello all,
          >
          > I have been given the opportunity to harvest a tall
          > very straight northern white cedar to build a couple
          > canoes/kayak. The trees are old growth and I will be
          > able to get a couple 18 foot logs from them to use for
          > full lenght strips. Which is rare.
          >
          > The question is how long must the boards be air dried?
          > or should they go to a commerical dryer?
          >
          > Have anyone worked with norhtern white cedar? Advice?
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
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