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Western Cedar Planking

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by canoenut, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. canoenut

    canoenut LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I have a 1936 OT Yankee w/c canoe that has western cedar planking and white cedar ribs. Approx. 40' of the planking has to be replaced. Please advise how to best match the existing planking. should I use white cedar? I plan to bleach the interior after stripping.
  2. smallboatshop

    smallboatshop Restorers


    Household bleach is too harsh for the old cedar. Snappy Teak-Nu works well and doesn't raise the grain. You can get it from Jamestown Distributors.

    For red cedar you might use red cedar clapboards. To match the old color you need to take a piece of the bad planking, treat it as the rest of the hull; then varnish it. This will give you the goal to stain the new cedar. Min-wax Golden Oak and Provincial sometimes work well.

    Others will probably have better suggestions.

    Good luck,

  3. OP

    canoenut LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for your help.
  4. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    red cedar

    I'd be curious to know the grain structure of the red cedar. How many growth rings per inch? flat or vertical grain. Tim
  5. OP

    canoenut LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Red Cedar

    i've been to two lumber yards in this area today looking at western red cedar. Just ask to see vert. grain clear. Looks very good to me and also expensive. I asked one yard worker to be shown this wood and he said,"oh you want to go in the vault". Anyway 1"x6" is around $4 a lin. ft. As far as the number of growth rings, I guess that would depend on the conditions under which the tree grew. The examples I saw were pretty fine. I wouldn't bother looking for this at the big box store.
    Hope this helps,
  6. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    If the canoe was planked with WRC, then that is what you should use to replace any damaged planking with. Fortunately, quality WRC is usually much easier to find than white cedar, depending on where you live...
  7. Steve Lapey

    Steve Lapey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Western Red Cedar

    If you need as much as 40 feet of planking, check out
    They specialize in red cedar and they sell to local lumber yards throughout New England. Your local dealer can probably order from them. Last time I ordered some through them they recommended grade 'Aye or better' decking and it came through quarter sawn to vertical grain.
  8. Bill Mackey

    Bill Mackey LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Try this on for size

    I needed a small piece of planking to repair a 3" X9" section, while walking through Home Depot I saw some red cedar picket fencing rough cut. Found a good piece and ater several trips throught the planer to the right thickness, it was beautiful and gave much more planking than I needed for the job. Kept the rest for the next repair. Cost was 1.99 for a 4" by 5 ft. picket. Just select carefully from the pile.
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I often find a piece or 2 of mostly clear stock at Menard's when I go through the piles. I usually check when I go there, buying a piece or two when I find them, just to have on hand. It's much cheaper then buying Aye grade (clear) at a contraxctor lumberyard.

    Check the 2x8 or 8 widths, often there are boards that have knots only on one side or the other, and it can up "up graded" to clear when the board is cut to planking width.

  10. Denis M. Kallery

    Denis M. Kallery Passed Away July 3, 2012 In Memoriam

    Another thing to look at -if your planking is under 3 1/2 inches in width is Red Cedar 4x4s. You can find some that vertical grain can be sawn out of. Just go through the pile. Denis
  11. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Red Cedar Qualities

    As a person who has logged, grown, sold, cut, planed, used 1000's of board feet of Red Cedar I am following the discussion trying to understand what specific grade of cedar we are talking about. From the Washington Loggers viewpoint we sell cedar w/o grade unlike Doug Fir, hemlock or any other species. Cedar is commanding very high prices in Washington with most of it going to fencing. I sold a large (200M bd ft) lot to a mill in Montesano who converted the who thing to fencing and "allocated it" to their buyers. Another lot I sold to a mill in Pe Ell WA and it all went to a single distributor in Kansas City. This was labeled as Canadian Cedar since it was contracted by a Canandian company. All of this was second growth cedar with growth rings less that 8 per inch. I collect and cut old growth cedar on my tree farm and use it mostly for foundation wood in 2x6, 2x8 dimentions. Old growth will have up to 50 rings per inch and can be very brittle. Many of those old trees of legend shattered when they fell. Second growth is not so brittle. So my question is what type of wood did the canoe makers buy back in the early to late 1900's, 2nd growth or old growth? Either way. red cedar can easily be found in 20' lengths 12" wide and clear. In the high production mills it is inconsequetial what cut is made, vertical or flat grain. On a small mill, band saw or head saw, you can cut what you want. That said, I have a barn I built and sided with red cedar some years ago and wonder if I should be taking the boards off for canoes?
  12. dumbquestionsguy

    dumbquestionsguy Name says it all, people.

    I've found some decent clear 2x6x8 red cedar at Home Depot (not that I advocate the big stores - just have a lot of locations) - takes a bit of digging, but they've turned into some relatively nice canoe components... And I think they're all of $12.

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