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Correct screws to use for aromatic cedar

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Forum topic by DW833 posted 05-27-2022 02:41 PM 593 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DW833

251 posts in 3374 days


05-27-2022 02:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar aromatic cedar joinery

I picked up several older pieces of furniture made from aromatic cedar. Not sure, but estimated to be
at least 20 years old, but could be forty. Because of the condition and size, I decided to break it down and
build something else.

Too much of it was semi-repaired or damaged, etc. Also, most of the recoverable lumber will be less 2-3 feet
in length and about 4 inches wide. Thickness ranges from 3/4 to 15/16”

I haven’t used this type of cedar before and not sure of how to build with it.
I was thinking I could just use the same joinery, glue, finish that I use on most of other projects.
But I have a good bit of it and wanted to maximize my use of it.

Not sure what I will build, but mostly smaller wall cabinets or maybe a few step stools.
The furniture as it existed used nails for joinery. Not sure on the glue. May have been hide glue.

If I use screws for this type of lumber, can it be any type? Meaning, stainless steel, kreg, deck screws?

Also, can I use dowels and glue. Can I use any species of dowel wood?
Any specific glue required. Most of what I’ve read is that any woodworking glue works with cedar.


11 replies so far

View Jimarco's profile

Jimarco

108 posts in 2599 days


#1 posted 05-27-2022 07:42 PM

I’m not an expert with Eastern Red Cedar but I’ve built an all cedar small bathroom lavatory including counter top and a small 2 shelved coffee table.

The lav was a standard/typical lav build and I used Titebond 2 for glue. The coffee table was 2 separate slabs, one for the top and one for the bottom shelve. connecting 4 legs to two odd shaped slabs incorporated pocket hole, dowel, screws and glue. I didn’t encounter any problem with joints and all have held up well. Both pieces used several coats of poly as a finish.

So to answer your question you shouldn’t have any problem with any type of joinery and material used for your project. Keep in mind it is a softwood.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

1563 posts in 2594 days


#2 posted 05-28-2022 02:15 PM



I m not an expert with Eastern Red Cedar but I ve built an all cedar small bathroom lavatory including counter top and a small 2 shelved coffee table.

The lav was a standard/typical lav build and I used Titebond 2 for glue. The coffee table was 2 separate slabs, one for the top and one for the bottom shelve. connecting 4 legs to two odd shaped slabs incorporated pocket hole, dowel, screws and glue. I didn t encounter any problem with joints and all have held up well. Both pieces used several coats of poly as a finish.

So to answer your question you shouldn t have any problem with any type of joinery and material used for your project. Keep in mind it is a softwood.

- Jimarco


I would only add that, as I recall, eastern red cedar splits rather easily. So, be sure to pre-drill your screw holes.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

10769 posts in 3757 days


#3 posted 05-28-2022 04:10 PM

I would recommend Stainless steel. I used stainless steel for a cedar fence and have brads for my air nail gun.

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3224 posts in 3664 days


#4 posted 05-28-2022 09:52 PM

Eastern Red cedar while classed as a softwood is actually about as hard as most maples and black walnut. It is a bit brittle when turning it. You want sharp tools. It is a juniper not a cedar even though it has cedar for a common name.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1797 posts in 1395 days


#5 posted 05-31-2022 12:18 AM

Aromatic Cedar is usually a liner for blanket chests or storage closets because of its anti-moth qualities. Because of its lasting aroma, some people do not choose it for exposed wooden items like boxes or household decorations. If you cut or sand the surface of the wood salvaged, you may determine if it is Aromatic Cedar. Joinery or fasteners can be the same as other woods.
Reference: https://www.timbertown.com/what-is-aromatic-cedar/#:~:text=Aromatic%20Cedar%20is%20actually%20Juniperus%20Virginiana%2C%20however%2C%20it%E2%80%99s,two%20trees%20don%E2%80%99t%20look%20all%20that%20much%20alike.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

3016 posts in 4285 days


#6 posted 05-31-2022 01:35 PM

The aroma is not really long lasting. It goes away as the outer surface oxidizes. To keep the aroma, sand to renew. The wood is beautiful with a clear finish.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1200 posts in 2711 days


#7 posted 05-31-2022 04:27 PM

fine thread screws. predrill to the size of the shank of the screw- that being the screws diameter at the bottom of the threads.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

1621 posts in 1402 days


#8 posted 06-01-2022 12:23 AM

I would use the same procedures as if I was using pine. I offer building Cedar Chests to customer specs. I use brass and or brass coated screws to fasten piano hinges to the lid & carcass. If handles are requested I use the screws that come with the handles. I also have used hardwood dowels on many of the carass joints. Any wood glue will work, I used Titebond III on the lid panels and Carcass.


View Tyler Kotar's profile

Tyler Kotar

7 posts in 26 days


#9 posted 06-01-2022 05:11 AM

I also would suggest stainless, I have used them on a few projects and still years down the road haven’t noticed any issues with them.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1530 posts in 878 days


#10 posted 06-01-2022 04:01 PM



Eastern Red cedar while classed as a softwood is actually about as hard as most maples and black walnut. It is a bit brittle when turning it. You want sharp tools. It is a juniper not a cedar even though it has cedar for a common name.

- johnstoneb


I’ve worked with plenty of juniper (Eastern red cedar) and it was nowhere near the hardness of hard or soft maple or even walnut for that matter. Average Janka hardness tables seem to support this.

-- Darrel

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

3016 posts in 4285 days


#11 posted 06-01-2022 06:09 PM

If for indoors use, I don’t think it matters. Outside, yes for stainless.

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