On topic - cedar fence boards

I'm building some benchwork for a model railroad and want to build in in modular sections so it can easily be moved. Probably each section will be about 27" by 66" with several interior cross members.
I got the bright idea of planing smooth some cedar fence boards and using them. Certainly lightweight enough. Should be about 1/2" thick if I only smooth one side, and a little less if I smooth both.
Any reasons this wouldn't work?
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Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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If you are going to use NEW cedar pickets, count on them shrinking about 1/2" in width. If you are using old pickets you should have no problems.
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berlin.de:

The fence boards I see used seem to have been trees about 36 hours before they are delivered to be built into fences. Still dripping, most of the time. Lots of drying and associated challenges to consider....
We felled and sawed a red cedar in a friend's yard in December, for a Boy Scout project. We MIGHT be able to consider woodworking with it this month, if we allow for moisture issues (outdoor benches).
Consider something more like the construction of a typical, cheap hollow core interior door slab. Lightweight skin. Paper honeycomb filling glued to it. Cheap. Lightweight. Available. Probably available as seconds at your favorite large builder's yard. Pre-primed. And about the right size.
Have fun with this!
Patriarch
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"patriarch <" wrote:

I'll second the door idea. I've still got 14-15 doors (knob hole drilled too high) in my garage, cost something like $5 for the lot about 20 years ago at an auction. I've used some (even for doors) but never used them for my original purpose.
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Larry Blanchard wrote:

If water content is a problem, then just let them dry for 2 weeks or so; rough sawn cedar fencing will dry very quickly. You might be surprised at how beautiful the boards are when planed. In any case, finish both sides for stability. If you are worried about strength, don't worry they will a lot of weight between 24" centers, but you probably won't need a support more than at the ends and in the middle.
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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net says...

Agreed, but I need them a bit closer than that for the risers that support the roadbed.
And for those who suggested the door approach - I'm not modelling Kansas :-). Do a Google on "model railroad benchwork" to see some of the widely used techniques.
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Should work fine, just dig thru the pile and pick out the boards that are dry (super light in weight), then you won't have to be botherd with waiting for them to dry or warp.
Larry Blanchard wrote:

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They will work great. I used some planed cedar fencing to replace the seats in the swingset at my mother-in-law's house. It's been about 1.5 years, and they have silvered up, weathering just fine. They are unfinished. The seats are plenty strong enough to support me at ~190 lbs., at about 18" across.
These boards had been spares leaning against a fence section outdoors for a few months. No drying was needed since they were staying outside.
One thing you might consider: I only planed the buisiness face so that I wouldn't lose too much material. Nobody ever touches the rough side, so it's fine, and a little stronger than if I'd have planed both faces.
-Mike

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