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McGee Lumber Company
2339 N. Graham St.
Charlotte, NC 28206-2505
704-332-2107

Tips for Cedar Lumber


It is hard to not get carried away about cedar.  Cedar is such a great wood for so many different things—its hard not to be excited about using it both indoors or out.  Lets talk briefly about some cedar applications and options.  

Why buy cedar?

As should always be done lets think first about what we are trying to accomplish with cedar.  Is the appearance of the cedar wood product the most important issue? Are you buying cedar lumber for its strength and durability?  Cedar is incredibly resistant to rot and insects just don't like cedar.   

Is this cedar project an outdoor project?  Do we want to leave the cedar wood in its natural state or do we want to paint or stain the lumber?  These are just of few of the questions that should be asked before we start shopping for cedar lumber or any cedar wood product. 

Cedar appearance

Lets start by saying that the appearance of the cedar is our main concern.  That might usually mean that we want our cedar to be the highest possible appearance with no knots and no other flaws. 

Then we might be wanting a Clear Heart grade of cedar.  This is the highest grade of cedar lumber with only pieces of heartwood (the darker colored wood found in the center of the tree).  As the name further implies, this grade of cedar lumber will be either completely clear or minor imperfections that do not detract from their excellent appearance.

Quality cedar lumber like this is pricey.  But if it is the correct wood for the job then lets not waste money on a lesser wood or a lesser grade that fails to do what we need done.  

Other cedar grades of lumber

Now lets fast forward through a number of various grades of cedar lumber and end up at the other end of the spectrum with a cedar project that doesn't demand perfection in appearance from the cedar but one where the cedar is chosen because of how durable cedar is.  

In that case we can save some money on our cedar lumber by looking at a Select Knotty or Architect Knotty grade.  Knotty lumber is usually less expensive than clear cedar.  In a Select or Architect Knotty cedar grade, the knots are sound and tight.  The wood will be a mixture of heartwood cedar and sapwood cedar.  These kinds of cedars can either be left natural, stained, or painted. 

A side benefit to working with some of these "lesser" grades is that you end up with some wonderfully colorful and spectacular combinations.  If you want your cedar project to say "WOW", every time you walk into the room, these so-called "lesser" grades could just be the ticket.

Cedar…such a glorious and wonderful wood.  In the higher grades it is totally classy, professional, and warm.  In the knotty cedar grades it is natural, durable, and lovely.  What is your project and how can cedar help you enhance the value of whatever you want to accomplish?

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