oh man, this wood STINKS!


hey all,
i've been reading for a little while, but have never posted before. my background: had some good, tool-using role models as a kid. as an adolescent, i did a lot of theatre stagecraft on a volunteer basis, and later as a work-study position (stage carpenter) during my first two years of college. knocking up stage flats, occasionally making simple props. i was also an assistant woodworking instructor at a summer camp around that time (think: teaching kids to make Snoopy clocks, routing out "Our Happy Home" signs, etc). i moved to a more urban setting and haven't had the space or time to think about any of that for like 8 years. now i'm in a house w/ yard & shed, and plan to make the most of both.
on to the problem.
short version: the smell of this cedar wood i just purchased for indoor use is overpowering. should i spray it with polyurethane/let it air out/not worry about it?
long version: my first "real" project ever (ie: built to be seen close-up and last more than 6 months) is a platform bed that i've designed myself. i'm on an extremely tight budget. the visible wood will be refinished salvage from an 1840's house, but i want new stock for the structural elements. shopping for slats at the HD today, i ended up buying 22 6ft cedar fence boards because they were less that a quarter the price of the pine 1x4's i'd been thinking about, and half the price of pegboard or MDF. they were stacked outside, and damp from recent rain, but in good condition. on the drive home, the smell was overwhelming. seriously. i like cedar fine, but even with the window rolled down, it was *intense*. so now i'm not sure if i should let them dry out for a day or two outside (HOT, but high humidity), inside (cool, low humidity- A/C), spray them with poly, or just assume that they'll mellow out on their own...
any guidance is very much appreciated, and i hope y'all won't mind if i bug you from time to time with additional questions- i'm psyched to be rediscovering this world!
thx,
-bean
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would let them dry out first...outside where its hot and not wet will be faster...but watch out for warping. You might even want to sticker 'em. Then bring them in for a couple of days (at least) before you begin to work on them. The smell should deminish greatly once they are dry however if the smell is still objectionable finish them with a spit coat of varnish once the slats are cut, that should help too.
Good luck.
Al Morgan
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Good advice - I concur. I'd let them dry as long as possible before working them. Good luck, Andy
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thanks for the fast responses & good advice! i'll move it to the shed 'til next weekend... was hoping to have this project finished before the new mattress arrives on Thursday, but would rather have it done right.
cheers,
-bean
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