Happy New Year to All

from River Lodge Woodworks

Western Red Cedar

I have been asked many times why I build your furniture from Western Red Cedar. I want to give you my reasons so you can make your own decision as to the value of the furniture I build.

So here goes.

I could certainly build the furiniture out of Red or White Oak, it is readlily available but the drawbacks are its weight, it would take two men and a boy to lift a chair, and also it does not hold up well outside. It rots.

I could also build the furniture out of Teak. At over $30.00 a board foot, it would be prohibitively expensive to get the final 1" thick lumber I put into my furniture.

I could build the furniture out of White Pine or even Southern Yellow Pine. The weight of the furniture would not be prohibitive, but the furniture would not be very strong and it would rot very quickly outside. You could paint it, often, and hope for the best.

Much of today's outdoor furniture consists of (chemically) pressure treated materials. These materials hold up outdoors because they are soaked in a toxic stew of chemical preservatives that are strong enough to require warning labels for those who handle it. The three primary ingredients in pressure-treated woods are: copper, chromium and arsenic (CCA). You and your family deserve better.

Western Red Cedar is a wonderful wood that has a naturally lustrous hue. It is mildly aromatic; it is filled with naturally occuring oils that act as preservatives against both decay and insects. If left untreated, it will turn a silvery gray color over time but keeps its structural integrity. Western Red Cedar has been noted at 80% the strength of oak with a dramatic reduction in weight.

Cedar's natural preservative oil eliminates the need for further chemical treatments. If the furniture is going to be in constant contact with the soil, it is best to apply a coat of sealer to slow down any wicking of moisture into the wood. The sealer will not prevent the advantages of the natural oils, but will help in inhibiting the growth of mold and the tendency for the wood to turn gray. Western Red Cedar is lightweight, dimensionally stable and naturally resistant to splitting, cupping or warping.

I build the outdoor furniture out of sustainable grown Western Red Cedar from the Pacific Northwest. I bring the lumber in from Wenatchee, WA. I get the small ends from the lumber mills and use as much as possible to mimize waste. Some of the logs that are milled for me are too short to be sold as housing or deck lumber, so I get those pieces and build your furniture.

All in all, Western Red Cedar is the best choice for the outdoor furniture that I build. It is strong, naturally reisitant to rot, decay, and insects. It has a beauty that has been recognized for ages by the Native Americans of the Northwest. It provided shelter, tools, canoes, boxes, baskets and many more uses for their existance. It is a North American treasure.

All of the River Lodge Woodworks products are Hand Built here in Texas. They are American products through and through.


Contact us for further information.