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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all! I’m planning on making my first router-based cottage sign. Everything I’ve read says cedar is a great wood to use, as it’s soft but very durable and rot resistant for outdoor use. I live in Ontario, Canada, so we get extreme temperatures here: from very hot to very cold. I’m having an extremely difficult time procuring a cedar slab though. I’ve tried many different wood mills and most is only 8” wide and I’m looking for something wider for a sign. One guy suggested using Tamarack wood instead. I looked it up in the wood database and it seems to be a softwood with decent rot-resistant properties, but I’m not sure how comparable it is to cedar for routing letters. Has anyone ever used Tamarack wood for this purpose? How was it?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The wider the single piece of wood the more likely it will warp, especially if used outside. Why not glue two boards together with a good exterior glue.
I was planning on using live edge, so that would be difficult, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind if I have to go in another direction. Thanks!
 

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Hi all! I’m planning on making my first router-based cottage sign. Everything I’ve read says cedar is a great wood to use, as it’s soft but very durable and rot resistant for outdoor use. I live in Ontario, Canada, so we get extreme temperatures here: from very hot to very cold. I’m having an extremely difficult time procuring a cedar slab though. I’ve tried many different wood mills and most is only 8” wide and I’m looking for something wider for a sign. One guy suggested using Tamarack wood instead. I looked it up in the wood database and it seems to be a softwood with decent rot-resistant properties, but I’m not sure how comparable it is to cedar for routing letters. Has anyone ever used Tamarack wood for this purpose? How was it?
Thanks in advance!
Hi Newbie! I believe tamarack to be hard/dense. Probably tend to dull your bits. Should be fine results as far as I know. Eastern Hemlock is very rot resistent, not all that pretty and tends to be splintery and rather inexpensive. 6/4 Hemlock should be good but probably too thick for a sign blank unless it's a bigger sign... Probably quite local to you, as well
 

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Tamarack, or Western Larch (Larix occidentalis) should be a fine wood to use in your project. This is from a woodworking source: "Larch wood is one of the hardest types of softwoods and is harder than several species of hardwoods. Larch wood has tones of yellow, reddish-brown and white and has a straight grain, although flat-sawn wood can have an interesting and aesthetically pleasing character. " I love the trees, but have not used it in wood working projects myself as we don't have it as a wood source within 300 miles. I consider Larch like I would Douglas Fir, very strong and dense.
In regards to finding wider stock of any wood in your area, find a local business that does custom saw milling. They usually have lots of sources/projects for people and can probably find/mill for you what you need.
 

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SIGNS ? ~ I like signs !!

Newbie - are you going to paint your sign with paint or a clear coat finish ?
what are your realistic expectations as to how long it will last and how much
maintenance it will require during its life time.
what size would you like it to be and how will it be mounted ?
do you have any sketches or drawings available to share with us ?
 

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Tamarack should be a good choice for your sign, I would choose it over the cedar but that is my own opinion. It is a tough, rot-resistant wood so should hold up against the elements well.
 
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