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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I started cleaning up the Cedar that I sawed earlier this year. I cut them into 1", 3/4" & 1/2" boards (and a few 2"X 8"). There was quite a bit of pecky, worked 2 days going through them marking out usable pieces. Very little small stuff, if it was < 20" I pretty much scrapped it. I did cut out a good pile of really small stuff for corner braces, drawer slides, molding and the like. The drawers of the Chest of Drawers that will be next will have 18" drawers (that's where the 20" comes from. The Cedar Chests will be roughly 4ft X 2ft X 2ft. I have more boards than I need and still have about half of the logs to process.

My question is;
since most of the boards are 4"-10" wide, do I cut them down and glue them (alternating the grain) when I am making the side & top panels? I hate to do that but if they are going to warp...I will. A friend of mine tells me to cut them into at most, 4" wide boards & glue them back together (alternating the grain)

Also, can I glue in thin strips of different kinds of hardwoods (say 1/2" or even 1") of Red Oak or Hickory or Sweet Gum) to add character. It just occurred to me that it might look nice to have a different color between every Cedar 1X4. I consider the Cedar a soft wood compared to the Oak and Hickory. Don't know it soft and hard woods can be glued together.

The Sweet Gum isn't nearly dry yet, cut it 3 weeks ago. That is some different wood for sure. It is turning brown as it dries. I shaved of the edge on one on my table saw check the color and it is almost pure white inside! And so fine grained that I really can't see the grain on the edges. I'm still tossing around ideas as this is my first project!

One more question:
I have a lot of the 1/2" thick boards. Can I glue them together to make the bottoms of the drawers, or is it better to make them out of something like a hardwood plywood? Still assuming I will have to cut them narrow & glue them back together!

Once again, thanks for all you help and willingness to share you knowledge and experience!
 

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Hey guys, I started cleaning up the Cedar that I sawed earlier this year. I cut them into 1", 3/4" & 1/2" boards (and a few 2"X 8"). There was quite a bit of pecky, worked 2 days going through them marking out usable pieces. Very little small stuff, if it was < 20" I pretty much scrapped it. I did cut out a good pile of really small stuff for corner braces, drawer slides, molding and the like. The drawers of the Chest of Drawers that will be next will have 18" drawers (that's where the 20" comes from. The Cedar Chests will be roughly 4ft X 2ft X 2ft. I have more boards than I need and still have about half of the logs to process.

My question is;


1) since most of the boards are 4"-10" wide, do I cut them down and glue them (alternating the grain) when I am making the side & top panels? I hate to do that but if they are going to warp...I will. A friend of mine tells me to cut them into at most, 4" wide boards & glue them back together (alternating the grain)

2) Also, can I glue in thin strips of different kinds of hardwoods (say 1/2" or even 1") of Red Oak or Hickory or Sweet Gum) to add character. It just occurred to me that it might look nice to have a different color between every Cedar 1X4. I consider the Cedar a soft wood compared to the Oak and Hickory. Don't know it soft and hard woods can be glued together.

3) The Sweet Gum isn't nearly dry yet, cut it 3 weeks ago. That is some different wood for sure. It is turning brown as it dries. I shaved of the edge on one on my table saw check the color and it is almost pure white inside! And so fine grained that I really can't see the grain on the edges. I'm still tossing around ideas as this is my first project!

4) One more question:
I have a lot of the 1/2" thick boards. Can I glue them together to make the bottoms of the drawers, or is it better to make them out of something like a hardwood plywood? Still assuming I will have to cut them narrow & glue them back together!

Once again, thanks for all you help and willingness to share you knowledge and experience!

1) Some say to do this every time, I on the overhand don't use it as a firm rule because it really depends on the wood. If the wood is old, dried and flat or quatersawn then no. If you think the wood is wet, you a have a feeling in your gut you need to or the wood is already showing cupping, then yes. It is a good practice, but it really depends on the lumber on hand. I would say from what I read you should alternate.

2) Yes you can, I do this everyday so for anyone that says no I invite them to look at over 500 inlays I have made, you can glue any two woods together if you take care adn the particular pieces you are using are suitable..

3) If it's not dry you are in for a world of hurt, if this isn't rustic I would not use the Sweetgum in any project until it's dried properly. It is bound to be an issue moving and gluing. So make a rustic project with it unless you can wait quite a long time .

4) You can do either and gluing narrow or thin boards is possible, this is another thing I do very often, everyday really. But for your project why not use ply for the bottoms, I would. It will give you one less thing to worry about as far as movement, will save time and just be simpler. It seems like the other items on your list are involved enough.

Processes I explain are my opinions and work FOR ME, others may say or do things completely different that are just as correct. But some things I do in my shop that have worked for 15 years or more, things you asked about that I actually do all the time, are for me personally, fact.
 

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Quenten if you look at the grain on the end of a board and it starts curving to the face on the end and flattens out in the middle and then curves up toward the face on the other end then it is almost certain to curl later. Only if all the grain runs straight through (edge grain) or straight across (flat grain) then you might get away with really wide boards. You only normally get lumber like that off large trees, probably greater than 3' diameter.

One thing that can help prevent cupping, besides making sure the wood is dry, is to cut grooves into the side you aren't going to see. About 1/3 the thickness and about 1 to 1 1/4" apart. That relieves a lot of the stress in the wood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys,

I'm certainly not in any hurry. That Sweet Gum is sawed into 1"X4's." I'm thinking a 1/2" strip of that across the top on the inside of the first & last board might look pretty good. It would mean waiting another year to season correctly. I would rather not to wait that long, so I probably will look into something else.

On a side note:
You guys are probably aware that we just a small storm. I was able to pick up 3 more Red Oaks to saw. And another nurse in the ICU has 5 Sycamore Trees she says I can have. Anybody ever work with Sycamore? One of the Plant Ops guys is building a house south of town & tells me there are 4 or 5 Walnut trees that I can have. I didn't even know they grew down here! But that will mean waiting again.

I'm hoping I can speed up the drying by stacking the lumber in my spare room (11 ft X 23 ft) upstairs and let the AC help pull the humidity out? I put some of the Cedar in there last week. A stack of about 20 solid red 1" X 8" X 6 footers (3/4" stickers). I'm planning to watch and see how that affects drying/defects. If this is a bad idea, let me know. If it works, I can put the Sweet Gum in there as well. I'm rebuilding my pc at home or I would post some Pics. I will when I get the OS reinstalled.

I guess I'm in too much of a hurry...I need to just keep sawing and stacking. In a couple of years it wont matter. I'll be able to get seasoned lumber anytime I want it! I started in March, for some of it, it won't be much longer.
 

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Thanks guys,

I'm certainly not in any hurry. That Sweet Gum is sawed into 1"X4's." I'm thinking a 1/2" strip of that across the top on the inside of the first & last board might look pretty good. It would mean waiting another year to season correctly. I would rather not to wait that long, so I probably will look into something else.

On a side note:
You guys are probably aware that we just a small storm. I was able to pick up 3 more Red Oaks to saw. And another nurse in the ICU has 5 Sycamore Trees she says I can have. Anybody ever work with Sycamore? One of the Plant Ops guys is building a house south of town & tells me there are 4 or 5 Walnut trees that I can have. I didn't even know they grew down here! But that will mean waiting again.

I'm hoping I can speed up the drying by stacking the lumber in my spare room (11 ft X 23 ft) upstairs and let the AC help pull the humidity out? I put some of the Cedar in there last week. A stack of about 20 solid red 1" X 8" X 6 footers (3/4" stickers). I'm planning to watch and see how that affects drying/defects. If this is a bad idea, let me know. If it works, I can put the Sweet Gum in there as well. I'm rebuilding my pc at home or I would post some Pics. I will when I get the OS reinstalled.

I guess I'm in too much of a hurry...I need to just keep sawing and stacking. In a couple of years it wont matter. I'll be able to get seasoned lumber anytime I want it! I started in March, for some of it, it won't be much longer.
Be sure you get some air circulation where you dry them.
Herb
 

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put plastic on the floor too...
 

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A quality moisture meter would be a good investment for you if you are getting into sawing and drying seriously. We don't have sycamore or sweet gum here but I know most guys would be all over the walnut before the oak or any other wood. Stacking the wood inside is fine if you can manage the humidity from it drying. What about the weight though? It could stress the floor. Here is a stack of cherry well stickered and weighted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys, I know you are right about being in a hurry. It's just killing me to have all this lumber and not doing anything with it! So I'll take you advice and slow down. I'm going to build 1 chest for my wife & 1 for each of my 2 daughters. I imagine the will keep them forever, so I better build them correctly. Plus that will give me more time to think about the inlays.

I would think the plastic is a vapor barrier on concrete like in the picture above. But in the house & upstairs (wood floors), is it still necessary? The whole upstairs smells like cedar. :smile:
 
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