As a woodworker or even the DIY handyman, we all want to create stunning projects. Projects and crafts that give our home and yard some pop and spice. A craft that can impress the neighbors, spouse and any guest that happens to stop by. For many of us, the options and possibilities are endless, and we may not even know where to begin. What wood should we use and what should we make? What are the best options to get started toward a beautiful new project? Cedarwood happens to be one of those options we have available to us. During some of my most recent projects, I was a little hesitant to get started. I had some questions. What can you make out of cedar wood? After doing some digging and planning, here is what I have learned.
So, what can you make out of cedar wood? Cedar Wood is most commonly used for outdoor projects like patio chairs & tables, birdhouses, and feeders and just about anything that needs to be weather resistant.
In today’s post, we wanted to cover more than just what cedar wood can be used for but show you the pros and cons of cedar wood. In addition, we wanted to briefly touch on 2 amazing projects you can start today and most likely finish today. Not only that, but the overall budget you will need for these projects is next to nothing. Let’s dive into it.
Some Draw Backs of Cedar Wood
As great as cedar wood can be, like everything in life, it does have a downfall or two. For many, they may consider these drawbacks a positive. I’ll let you be the judge. First and foremost, cedar is not a wood you want to paint in most circumstances. I’m sure you are probably thinking that this is a major flaw, but is it?
The upside to this is limited to work-load and time spend on the project. For anyone that has seen or worked with cedar wood, we all know how beautiful it is without adding any paint coatings. The grains are rich, the color is visually appealing and let’s face it, the rustic lodge wood look has been in style for quite some time. Add the visually appealing side into the equation plus not having to paint multiple coats and many would argue this is by no means a downfall, but a huge positive about cedar wood.
Cedar Wood as a few other drawbacks as well. Here’s a few more to understand.
- Cedar Wood Can Scratch And Scuff Fairly Easy
- Cedar Needs to Be Stained Every So Often To Maintain That “Fresh Look” (Every Few Years Recommended)
Other Considerations to Keep in Mind About Cedar Wood
While cedar wood has always been known to be stable and a top pick for outdoor projects, it doesn’t come without a few other considerations. As far as a long-lasting wood, it’s fantastic but as far as stability, it has a few drawbacks. First, cedarwood can easily expand and contract through the seasons and the weather elements. However, don’t just blame the cedar wood for this drawback.
All woods will have fibers that expand due to moisture absorbed. In an article published by Woodworkers Journal, it’s stated that all wood will expand across the grain of a board over time and element exposure. Furthermore, the article specifically states that regardless of the wood, you will always deal with these factors. It’s important to just take a few measures and precautions to handle them effectively. By no means, is it a reason to not use cedar wood for any upcoming projects. Let’s dive into a few examples of what can be made from cedar wood and what it entails.
The Cedar Wood Bench- A Quick and Easy Project to Add Some Flash
A beautiful cedar wood bench can really add some life to any backyard garden, patio or even be used as just purely yard decoration wherever you decide to place it. Another bonus to using cedarwood to create a bench is the overall cost and time involved. A bench can be thrown together in a few hours for under 50.00 dollars in most circumstances. Here’s what you would need. It’s going to hold up against the weather elements, naturally, repel bugs and insects and with a nice sealant, it can last you decades to come. If you want to look into how to construct these benches with ease, be sure to check out my plans.
I have a full overview of this specific bench. It will break down the material needed and a step by step guide to getting this bench put together in no time. You can see that plan here
The Bird House- A Wonderful Option and DIY Project To Create with Cedar Wood
A birdhouse is another great example of a project you can throw together and for cheap when using cedar wood. It should cost you next to nothing and not take much time at all to complete. You can make these with ease by using standard cedar boards. Here is a full scope overview of how to make the custom birdhouse out of cedar wood. It will entail everything you need to know from materials and how-to directions to get the job done with ease.
These birdhouses are truly one of a kind. Even just creating these with your child or grandchild is a blast and a memory to hold onto. They require very little skill to complete. In addition, the final product attaches and hangs easily. Once these bird boxes are in there permanent resting spot, you can enjoy watching the birds fly in and out for years to come. For time involved, the overall cost, and the unique traits these boxes offer, it’s a project not to pass up during your next free weekend.
Just imagine having a nice cup of coffee on the back porch enjoying the view of the birds coming and going as they please with something you created. Sounds pretty relaxing to me.
Is Cedar Wood Expensive?
This is a question that comes up frequently. Is cedar wood expensive? Cedarwood is cheaper than redwood and some other related woods but compared to other options, yes cedar wood is at the high end of the price scale.
Do You Need to Seal Cedar Wood?
Another frequently asked question. Do you need to seal cedar wood? Cedarwood is naturally rot-resistant and not likely to crack or split. This makes cedar wood excellent for outdoor projects with no finishes or sealing required. However, indirect light, sealing cedar wood is advised.
More about Sealing Cedar Wood
Elaborating on the point mentioned above, although cedar wood is perfectly fine as mentioned with no sealing or finish, doing so will never harm your cedar. Painting is not advisable with cedar wood due to the grains but when constructing a fence or patio that will be exposed in direct sunlight, sealing the wood can help dramatically against fading and what’s known as the wood “graying” over time. The extra step with some cedar wood can go a long way to not only keeping form but maintaining beauty for years to come.
Putting It All Together- Cedar Wood Provides A Plethora of Options
When you begin contemplating these options and deciding which wood to use or what project to finish, it can be intimidating to feel assured you are using the best overall material and getting the job done correctly. Overall, for outdoor projects such as the ones discussed above, cedar wood is a “must consider” option and will not leave you disappointed.
Additionally, it’s a bit on the pricey end but for the exterior life-span and beautiful natural finish it provides, it’s well worth the few extra dollars. Do you have any experience completing DIY projects using cedar wood? If not, what would do you recommend? Drop a comment below.
Can you use cedar wood indoors?
Yes, you can use cedar wood indoors. In most situations, cedar wood is used indoors for
closet linings, wall accents and a great option for tongue & groove vaulted ceilings. In
addition, cedar wood can be used to make beautiful indoor furniture and is one of the top
choices of wood for indoor saunas.
How Long Does Cedar Wood Last Outdoors?
Cedarwood is one of the most durable and long-lasting woods that can be used outdoors. Factors on actual life span do still vary. Items such as climate and how much light the cedar wood is exposed to can make a difference in your overall life span. Some cedar wood fences last up to 40 years.