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 Sawing Cedar

Western red cedar is prone to collapse and internal checking. Sawing strategies are necessary to counter these issues:

  • Because of the high and uneven shrinkage associated with collapse, sawing should oversize both width and thickness;
  • Never dry larger sections for resawing later; always cut to final dimensions otherwise internal checking will be exposed;
  • Do not cut thicker sections unless internal checking is acceptable.

Flatsawn timber has issues with annual growth rings lifting and peeling off in front of it and feathering where earlywood meets latewood - a surface issue.

Always look to quartersaw where possible. However, consideration needs to then be given to bark encased spike knots. Sometimes flatsawing is required  to avoid spike knots (similar to redwood).

Western red cedar showing collapse
Western red cedar showing checking

Western red cedar logs from old trees are mostly heartwood. Like mature macrocarpa, the band of sapwood is only narrow.

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