All Replies on Cedar too soft for furniture?

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View Siv's profile

Cedar too soft for furniture?

by Siv
posted 02-06-2017 10:37 PM

9 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8686 posts in 2752 days

#1 posted 02-06-2017 10:46 PM

It will be structurally sound enough, but as you have experienced, it will dent and scratch very easily. If you use clamps on soft wood, use a piece of scrap wood or plwood between the clamps and your project to prevent damage. That goes for harder wood as well.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View knotscott's profile


8351 posts in 3978 days

#2 posted 02-06-2017 11:04 PM

Cedar is fairly soft. Not a great choice for tables or surfaces that get a lot of use and abuse, but can be fine for many other applications. It’s a good outdoor wood that resists rot, and obviously the aromatic type makes a great cedar chest!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View clin's profile


1075 posts in 1598 days

#3 posted 02-06-2017 11:43 PM

Yes it is hard to complete a project with Cedar without marring the surface. However, you’d be amazed how even very deep dents can be steamed out.

I built some gates last year and in one case, forgot to put the cauls on the clamps and dented the wood. Dents were 1/16” to 1/8” deep. Used wet paper towel and cloths iron. All but one dent came out completely. And that one came out almost all the way. The only reason it didn’t come out completely is the wood was torn because it was dented so deeply.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how well steaming worked on it.

-- Clin

View newwoodbutcher's profile


798 posts in 3452 days

#4 posted 02-06-2017 11:53 PM

I feel Less sanding and more acceptance of the inevitable “rustic” look as a feature is best. That’s my two cents

-- Ken

View Madmark2's profile


682 posts in 1190 days

#5 posted 02-07-2017 12:14 AM

Cedar is a conifer which by definition is a softwood . . .


View bigblockyeti's profile


6180 posts in 2323 days

#6 posted 02-07-2017 12:24 AM

I’ve made a few picture frames with cedar and it’s not Home Depot’s fault, it’s all fairly soft requiring special detail to make sure it isn’t dented or scratched. A good finish can help a little with scratches especially but it really is best suited to service where it won’t be touched too much. It does do well for planters or window boxes where other wood might be more susceptible to rot.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Siv's profile


62 posts in 1171 days

#7 posted 02-07-2017 08:10 PM

Thanks for the replies – it gives me a good guide, I think I’ll use it for furniture that we take with us (chairs, tables etc) but for built-ins I’ll use oak or another hard wood.

I’m really enamored by he colour of cedar so would love to use it as much as I can!

View Robert's profile


3598 posts in 2083 days

#8 posted 02-13-2017 01:12 PM

Yes it is too soft.

If there are any knots that weakens the wood cedar can have big knots.

Cypress or SYP would be a better choice IMO.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View pontic's profile


706 posts in 1211 days

#9 posted 02-13-2017 02:07 PM

Cedar makes awesome speaker cabinets.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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