What Happened to Redwood?

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 11-01-2010 04:04 PM 2154 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4543 posts in 4292 days

11-01-2010 04:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

At a local hardwood supplier, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen redwood lumber in quite a while. I want to do a few turning projects with this wood. Twenty years ago, lumber/home improvement places had stacks of it, presented as a great deck material. Did something happen? Is it available perhaps from a certified grower, or has it been maybe been prohibited from sale in North America? Who knows the story on this?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

13 replies so far

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3481 days

#1 posted 11-01-2010 04:10 PM

Don’t know the “story” on this but my son lives in California and he does a lot of outdoor projects with redwood.
Says it is plentiful and reasonable out there. I live in Florida and I haven’t seen any around where I live. I guess cypress would be its equivalent here.
I remember the first, last and only shop project I had in the 8th grade was a redwood gunrack. This was with a teacher that would not let you use the jointer or bandsaw because “they were too much to clean up”
Have a great day.

-- Life is good.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4776 days

#2 posted 11-01-2010 04:46 PM

I believe redwood came to be considered an over-logged species. Sustainable logging practices have greatly reduced its presence on the market.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Jim Finn

2763 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 11-01-2010 10:26 PM

Tree Huggers!

-- No PHD just a DD214

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3529 days

#4 posted 11-01-2010 11:47 PM

My dad built a house in Tennessee in 1965 that was framed with redwood studs. They only cost about 25% more than pine and he said the quality more than made up for the cost. I suppose that kind of availability and pricing let demand out strip supply. I was just a kid then but I can remember what nice wood that was. I haven’t seen it in Tennessee in years; at any price. I just thought it was protected or something.

View JoshJock's profile


94 posts in 3400 days

#5 posted 11-02-2010 12:16 AM

I just bougth redwood from the local lumber store and they are not a specialty store. I ‘ve seen redwoods on other stores in the area here in Oregon. I haven’t heard of any shortage or issues about rosewood, at least not here in Oregon. the lumber store was selling redwood fence planks for $ .99 / piece.

-- "Does this lathe makes my butt look big?"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4776 days

#6 posted 11-02-2010 12:20 AM

My understanding is that, like Josh says, it is still readily available out west. It just isn’t shipped throughout the country to the degree it used to be.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4231 days

#7 posted 11-02-2010 12:28 AM

I dont see much Redwood around here either. Mostly you just Cypress and Cedar here.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4295 days

#8 posted 07-05-2011 02:26 AM

I just bought six 2×4 redwood boards for $2 each. They run about $5 to $6 each normally in the Sacramento area. Redwood fencing is very low right now.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

412 posts in 3640 days

#9 posted 07-05-2011 03:03 AM

They are still available on the west coast, but the much of the floor space allocated at the big box stores has been given to Trex type products. Everyone seems to want fake wood decks lately. There is a lot less demand for real wood because of the extra maintenance.

Personally, I can’t stand the feel of a Trex deck. It holds static and zaps you whenever you touch a hand rail.

-- Steve

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3248 days

#10 posted 07-05-2011 05:08 AM

I priced redwood at 2 local lumberyards in Tulsa last year. They both wanted $80 for 12’ 2×12s. I passed!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3250 days

#11 posted 07-05-2011 08:09 AM

Redwood here in Texas can be a little pricey. I dismiss most of it as increased shipping cost compared to what fuel prices used to be. I realize the age/grade of the redwood has a lot to do with the price also. The older the tree was before harvesting the more I pay for it.

This last year I did a couple jobs with redwood and on both occasions second growth redwood was used. One job, a six foot bench had a cost of just under $300.00 with the most expensive single board being a 2×8x12’ @ $35.00 The other job was a picnic table approximately seven feet long and the material used for that one was 2×6x10’ and it was slightly more than $300.00 for the redwood. In the past I have paid higher prices, sometimes has much as $60.00 for a single 2×6x10’

Here is an example of a small table I recently made and got some old growth mixed with second growth. Although before finishing the redwood had a similar color, after applying a finish the difference is obvious.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3438 days

#12 posted 07-07-2011 07:45 PM

Last year I got a whole trailer load of reclaimed redwood from an old deck. I live in MI and at one time Redwood was a common construction lumber for decks, fences and such. From what I understand they no longer cut and mill old growth Redwood trees. As far as I know the Redwood that is mostly available on the west coast is all new growth.

Your best bet might be to keep an eye open for some reclaimed redwood. I am sure a lot of people tear their decks down and toss the lumber not even knowing or caring what kind it is. Thats how I got lucky.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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