aromatic/western cedar for walkin closet shelves/drawers


I figured out that building up our walkin closet would be a good startup project. I was thinking of making it from cedar but everywhere I look they say cedar is for outdoors and outdoors only. Am i missing something, why is it not used for furtniture? And in the same token is the western cedar as sold in Lowes etc, same as aromatic cedar that will protect cloth from moth?
thanks a lot, this list is a great source of knowledge for me.
pawel
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No, aromatic cedar is different than other cedar wood. You should be able to get either T&G planks of cedar (I think 18 square feet or so was about $20), or 4'x8' chipboard panels of aromatic cedar a little cheaper than that at HD or Lowes. It might not be with the rest of the plywood, but if you look/ask around, it should be there. Something to keep in mind - it's basically off-gassing the scent, so it is more effective/lasts longer if it is in an enclosed, sealed space. I'm planning a blanket chest lined with aromatic cedar, and I'm going to use a tight-fitting lid, possibly even with weatherstripping. I've heard of people making air-tight closets. Once the smell starts decreasing, though, you can refresh it to some extent by sanding the whole surface of the aromatic cedar lightly, then vacuuming or blowing out the dust. Good luck, Andy
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Andy wrote:

Meaning no offense but I have a different point of view:
I thought about that and decided not to make any chest airtight or put a lock on it if the chest were large enough for a child to hide inside when playing hide and seek. Especially unwise would be a latch that automatically locks when the lid is closed. I won't do that even if the chest or trunk is intended for a childless household. I like to think that the stuff I make will survive myself and the first generation to own it so there is no telling who will use it in the future.
Eastern Aromatic Red Cedar (aka juniperus virginiana) is one of if not the most toxic wood native to temperate North America. "Blowing out" the dust is not a good idea, unless you can blow it alll the way outdoors. If you vaccuum it, you should be sure that you have a very good filter that does not let the fine dust pass through. Cheap vacuum filters throw fines into the air and create a worse hazard than sweeping with a broom.
Incautious woodworkers who eschewed respiratory protection when working with it have reported acute toxic effects (the next day) similar to the flu. Some have developed asthma. A cow-orker here had a contact dermatitis for about six months after working with it.
I found myself with a scratchy throat and a cough shortly after unloading three hundred board feet of it from my van. Now I use a mask whenever I handle it in quantity.
As I heard a friend explain to his young son about his circular saw, "You don't need to be afraid, you do need to be careful."
I'm happy to work with it, it's a beautiful wood.
Just respect it.
--

FF


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I have worked extensively with Eastern Red for many years. I would suggest to be careful NOT to have shelving or drawer bottoms with cedar knots in it. The knots contain more resin that is apt to leach out with slight temperature fluctuations, similarly as mercury in a thermometer fluctuates. It will leach out and stick to your garments and/or other collectibles.
Also, once you get your closet, shelving and drawers built, allow it to acclimate for at least a 2 weeks before you use it, then inspect it carefully. Upon inspection, you may find the surface has fine crystalizations on it. It will look almost like a very very fine spider web type film on it. You will find this crystalization more so in an area where the wood is more dense... like near knots.... Where the lumber is more apt to be end-grain or nearly so. You can steel wool it off or rub it off with a stiff cloth, like burlap. Then you are good to go!
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On 17 Jan 2006 12:16:43 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

How big do your "posion oak" sumacs grow ? (we don't have them around here)
Is there any difference in ERC toxicity according to climate ? It's regarded as a nuisance dust in the UK, but not desperately toxic.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Dunno about poison sumac but I've never seen staghorn sumac that was any thicker than about three inches. All the poison oak I have seen has been small and twiggy, less than an inch thick.
There are some poison ivy vines that are four or more inches thick, thick enough to make spoons. It is a woody vine, so I suppose you might call that wood. Poison ivy is the only clear candidate I can think of for a wood more toxic than Eastern Aromatic Red Cedar that grows in the same range.

Not that I know of. I dunno if I would call any wood desparately toxic though I've heard that some people are hypersensitive to cocbola.
--

FF


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Western Redcedar is much too soft for furniture and not nearly as aromatic as the traditionally used Eastern Redcedar for moth protection and clothes/blanket chests. As a matter of fact, the Eastern is a Juniper so the western Junipers would be closer in characteristics than the Western Redcedar.
Western Redcedar is traditionally used for exterior protection by way of roof shakes, shingles and siding.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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