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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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!
On 17 Jan 2006 12:16:43 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
How big do your "posion oak" sumacs grow ? (we don't have them around
Is there any difference in ERC toxicity according to climate ? It's
regarded as a nuisance dust in the UK, but not desperately toxic.
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
though I've heard that some people are hypersensitive to cocbola.
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.
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