The Wonderful Properties of Cedar Wood

Cedar wood is commonly used in outdoor furniture and structures built to endure sun, rain and snow. Many people, woodworkers and layfolk alike, are familiar with this type of wood. So what makes cedar so special and hardy? Let your friendly neighborhood lumber supplier explain why this is so and why we fill our inventory with cedar wood. 

Cedar 101 

The common type of cedar used in carpentry are Western Red Cedar and Northern White Cedar. The former grows primarily in the Pacific Northwest while the latter is mostly found in Eastern and Southeastern Canada and the nearby regions. Western Red Cedar can grow very large, they are also quite long lived. Whereas Northern White Cedar is smaller. Both types have that distinct cedar scent caused by oils and acids known as polyoxyphenols or “phenols,” which give them their resistance to moisture, decay and pests. That’s why they’re so useful for outdoor purposes. Properly finished cedar can last for decades even in harsh conditions.


Cedar Wood Attributes

Western Red Cedar is among the most durable woods with a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage. It is twice as stable as most softwoods because of its low density and shrinkage factor. Moreover, it makes long and lightweight lengths of timber with fine straight grain and uniform texture – ideal for cutting, sawing and nailing with common tools. Or planing into smooth surfaces, or machining into any pattern. It also holds glue bonds well and is a good base for paints and stains since it doesn’t have pitch and resin. The distinct aroma also makes it popular, as it is believed to repel pests. That’s why Western Red Cedar is so popular for interior or exterior home use.

Northern White Cedar is the lightest commercial wood in the US. Even -grained and finely textured, its heartwood is resistant to decay and termites. It is also easy to work, glues well and holds paint good too. Moreover, it experiences less dimensional change though the wood is soft and has low mechanical properties like bending strength and nail-holding. So it’s more useful for rustic fencing and posts. But it is also used for cabin logs, lumber poles, shingles and other products.


Looking for Cedar Lumber?

We have cedar for your woodworking projects. Go ahead and check our products and wood inventory pages to see what type of wood you want for your project. As your lumber supplier in the Utah, Idaho and Colorado area, Rustic has definitely got the wood you need. Feel free to contact us for inquiries.