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Drying Cedar Wood and Processing it for use
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Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18984
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 8:26 am    Post subject: Drying Cedar Wood and Processing it for use  Reply with quote    

My mother may have to fell a cedar in her garden. We're on clay, it's close to next door's extension which is subsiding.

She's sentimentally attached to it as my late dad planted it. I was wondering about getting it turned it into a piece of furniture, bench/daybed type thing. It's about 12m tall, 40cm diameter at the base. Nice and straight.

When it's felled what's the best way of drying and processing it for use and approx. how long will it take? Are commercial dryers available and how much do they charge?

Thanks in advance.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43926
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not many places do kiln drying in the UK anymore, when we chopped our trees for our wooden floor the only firm we could find that'd take on the kiln drying and converting was Woods of Wales. There may be local firms but it'll take some time and legwork to find one. It took me 6 months of trying before I found Woods of Wales, I don't think they'd do it now though as the owner Kenton Jones has been ill and they've reduced the scale of what they do.

I'll ask around, but in the first instance make sure whoever fells it does it as cleanly as possible, the more twisting and turning it does on it's way down the greater the risk of internal splits

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18984
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ta. I'm guessing it will gradually be reduced in height rather than felled.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43926
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gradually reduced in height? That doesn't sound nice, do you mean as part of the felling?

This is someone from UK TreeCare:

"Cedar is one of my favourite timbers for its strong grain structure, colour, stability through the drying process, durability and the way that it acts as an insect repellent (or is that just Cedar of Lebanon?). I would expect even the branches to be ideal for creating garden furniture just as they come off the tree.

I have some beams and fully intend building a timber framed building from them. In that application green beams work well as any twisting as they dry can tighten any loose mortice and tennon joints. see www.cruck.co.uk and https://www.facebook.com/CraftWoods-Cheshire-271752659519758/

I am sure that you will find any number of mobile sawmills local to you but we have a 36" throat, 21 ' bed mobile bandsaw if all else fails."

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4664
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Kiln drying shouldn't be necessary for future furniture, but would be necessary for near term furniture. Rough milling and covered drying will get you there eventually.

What tree do y'all refer to as cedar over there? Here "white cedar" is Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) and "red cedar" is a type of juniper. Neither are true cedars.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43926
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's most likely a Cedrus, probably C libanii but could be deodara or atlantica

mousjoos



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 1973
Location: VERY Sunny SW France
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If the only option is to air-dry, then the general rule of thumb is "a year for every inch thick" ie if the boards end up 2" thick then 2 years.

If air dried, the butts need to be stacked on a flat level surface, & the "sticks" should be placed between the board at regular intervals & one above the other, thus keeping the boards from warping, bending etc.
A makeshift roof to deflect the rain is fine, & air flow should be as uninterupted as possible.
Once the timber is sufficiently dry, if the boards are to be used for furniture then depending on where the piece will eventually live, they should spend at least 2 seasons in that environment ie in the front, or the dining room etc.,

hope that's clear

Alternatively, look for someone who can kiln it, even if you have to travel....far quicker !

Only place I knew of was just to the north of Ipswich...the name escapes me

mousjoos



Joined: 05 Jun 2006
Posts: 1973
Location: VERY Sunny SW France
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Witnesham saw mill

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33664
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 16 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

http://www.grangefarmtimber.com/our-services-1/the-kiln/

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8741

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want to make furniture, make sure that whoever takes the tree down leaves a long section of the trunk in one piece. The usual way with trees in built up areas is to take them apart in short sections; usually only 2-3' long. Those would be useless to mill, so leave at least the trunk long.

If it is not possible to keep a long section intact, think about something else to make, perhaps a carving, or see if a wood turner could do something with it.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 3976
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

When I`ve seen wooden products here advertised made from Cedar,it states Western Cedar,Thyja Plicata,grown in Columbia,North West.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18984
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure what type it is - this is it: https://goo.gl/maps/o8mqnYgtgKT2

It's need to be in approx. 2.4m section to be useful

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18984
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for info so far - anything else appreciated.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you put your question to a tree surgeon?

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18984
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 16 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not got that far yet. Mainly dealing with emotional issues.

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