Cypress density

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Forum topic by yellabret posted 07-27-2013 04:04 PM 1160 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2715 days

07-27-2013 04:04 PM

i felled a suburban cypress tree about a year and 4 months ago, and milled it in January. i am in Houston, and we had a warm winter. i air dried it in a stack that was well stickered. i put a 4.5” x7’x20” slab in my attic for about 3 months, this is being used as a seat for “the mother of all wedding benches” that i am making for my daughter. it has dried well with almost no checking and a very minimal amount of cup. the very center is now hovering around 16%, 1” deep is around 12%, probably all i can expect around here, and it is going to be an outside bench.

this wood just seems very light, and it dried quickly. a few pieces have some small areas that rotted, this is not on the outside but rather on the milled surface of a slab. i am concerned as this is supposed to be such a good rot resistant outdoor use wood. the bulk of the wood is in good shape, and i have surgically removed the bad stuff.

1) this will be on a porch without direct exposure. i am planning on using several coats of Penofin marine oil for the finish. am i correct in my thinking that once i have several coats of oil soaked into it that it will be protected from further rot? i am planning on a few fresh coats on annual basis.

2) i have measured the density to be 27lbs/cf. i read in various places that cypress is typically 29-31 lbs/cf. should this be a concern? or is this within an acceptable range?


4 replies so far

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 3548 days

#1 posted 07-27-2013 04:13 PM

I have heard that cypress should dry a year for every inch of thickness

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5228 posts in 4473 days

#2 posted 07-27-2013 04:24 PM

Ambient humidity in Houston is the clue, and I think that 12% is about as good as you’re gonna get.
You’re maint. schedule sounds like ya have a good plan.
If it were me, I’d build away. Use good fasteners and water resistant glue.
Don’t for get the pics when you’re done.

-- [email protected]

View yellabret's profile


56 posts in 2715 days

#3 posted 07-27-2013 05:06 PM

thanks bill. yeah, i am happy with 12%. taking a sanding break now, and dont worry, there will be photos. ;-)

as far as an inch per year, that is a very broad brush, and from what i have found overkill. i have found that 90% of the movement is finished after a few months, and a very knowledgeable pro around here advocates using mesquite and bodark almost immediately as it checks and moves very little.. this is for slab live edge furniture, so it is much less critical. i have made several pecan pieces at 2.25” thickness on spec after 9 months drying and at 18-22%, 9 moths after construction both indoor and out no issues.

for joinery i use mortice and tenon and supported by hefty lag screws, countersunk with a 1” hole and plugged with a dowel. practical, very strong, and has that nice dowel look. this is one heck of a project, with 10” thick slices off of the bottom 3’ of trunk for legs. i’ll be glad to get this out of my garage/shop!

View WoodYard's profile


35 posts in 3524 days

#4 posted 07-29-2013 01:52 AM

12% is fine for Cypress.

-- Rick Wood

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