Cedar posts


  #1  
Old 09-05-02, 08:50 PM
MeffaDawg
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Cedar posts

I recently put up a railing all made out of PT, and have noticed it starting to twist and check after only 2 months. I paid some good money for everything and even more time getting everything nice and straight. Now I'm thinking of gathering everything over the winter a little at a time and replace it all in the spring.

I live in Massachusetts and haven't been able to find anyone selling Cedar 4x4's and other components for a railing system. Anyone know of a yard in New England who stocks Cedar? How about online? Any thoughts on Red Wood? Is it more expensive, or is it cheaper? Availibility?

Cost isn't the most important factor. I basically want something that will weather well and pretty much keep its shape. I hate PT and went with it anyway, what a mistake. I refuse to go with a composite material for the railings. I put down Trex for the decking and it's great, but I want wood for the railings.

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 09-06-02, 03:45 AM
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Hi MeffaDawg,

A good lumber retailer should be able to order you cedar posts.
Redwood will be more expensive.

If I were building a deck right now, whether pt or composite I would go with a white vinyl rail system. I hate cleaning/staining wood balusters. Maybe I do too many of them!!
Since you'll be two-tone anyway, give the vinyl a thought.

fred
Deck-Kleen Powerwashing
 
  #3  
Old 09-06-02, 09:50 AM
Davef15
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Hi meffadawg,

Sounds like you are where I was 7 or 8 years ago. I spent an incredible amount of time making a beautiful railing out of PT material, only to watch it split, twist, crack, and open gaps.

I went to cedar but be aware virtually anything you put out doors has a unique set of problems. In my case, structually, the cedar has held up very well - no checking, no twisting, tight joints etc. However, I probably chose the wrong finish to begin with and have had problems ever since. I carefully selected the 2x and 4x for soundness, strainghtness, free of knots, and color. Was a bit expensive and I was damned if I was going to put a solid or even semi solid stain. I used a product called Olympic Watergard - big mistake. It left a wax residue and didn't provide all that much protection. The tops of the railings turned black. had to clean it all after the first year. Went to CWF which was supposed to be clear but wasn't and that didn't hold up all that well. This year, On one of the decks, I gave up and put on a solid stain hoping it will cut some of the maintenance.

You should be able to get good quality cedar at any well stocked lumber yard. I found my Clear 4x4s in, believe it or not, 84 lumber - but thats all they had - no 2x anything. The other day, I noted some real nice 4x4 at home depot. Just look around a bit
 
  #4  
Old 09-06-02, 11:34 AM
renegade
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Have you ever heard of " Ipe " ? It is also called ironwood . Some companies are starting to offer this as a option for outdoor exposed building material . It is an exotic wood from Brazil , but it's famous for it's ability to withstand rot , mold, mildew , insects , and doesn't need to be treated . It is a rather heavy wood but it looks very beautiful when a project is done .
 
  #5  
Old 09-06-02, 03:51 PM
MeffaDawg
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Home Depot huh? I can't believe they sell Cedar 4x4's. I called around today and found a yard that stocks 4x4x8's, they cost $24.48 each. I'll check out Home Depot too.

I've heard of Ipe, think it's also referred to as Iron Wood. Believe it's the densest wood in the world. I understand it's extremely hard to work with, very hard to cut, but virtually industructable. I've seen the decking advertised cheaper than Cedar. One place around here has 1x6 Ipe decking selling for $1.39 L/F.

Yeah Fred, I just can't go the vinyl route. I love it for its no maintenance, but I just love the look of wood. I would have used Cedar decking around the pool but didn't want to deal with chemicals leaching into the water, that's why I used Trex. I just put up a vinyl fence around my yard though, very nice and very easy to install.
 
  #6  
Old 09-06-02, 05:06 PM
MeffaDawg
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DaveF15,

Just came from Home Depot. Saw what I saw a couple of months ago, and what I think you also saw, 4x4x8 Douglas Fir. Has the color of Cedar and looks like it from a distance. I'm not saying you don't know what you're talking about, but take a look again to be sure. I also asked the guys at the desk, the only Cedar they carry are shakes and stock for lining closets and such.

Does $24.48 for a Cedar 4x4x8 sound reasonable? I'm in Massachusetts.
 
  #7  
Old 09-09-02, 08:58 AM
Davef15
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Naw, what I saw was definitly cedar - and marked as such. One thing I notice about HD is they do customize what they carry to the areas they serve. Travel to Toronto and I checked out the local HD there and found all kinds of mouldings and flooring that you can't get in the US - at least around here.

$25.00 or so doesn't sound too bad if its good quality. I got 2 posts per 8 footer.
 
  #8  
Old 09-09-02, 05:06 PM
trailer_fan
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Fred,

I just checked out some of the white vinyl railing options on the internet. Pretty interesting stuff. One other alternative worth mentioning that incorporates wood in the railings (which I like) are powdered aluminum balusters. I bought black 32" ballusters from www.deckorators.com and have been very, very happy with them. They provide a nice contrast to the redwood railings, and best of all, I never have to sand, clean, or stain them!

Just a thought for anyone looking for alternatives to wood balusters.
 
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Old 09-09-02, 05:55 PM
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Those balusters do look nice, and they're not expensive.

thanks,

fed
 
  #10  
Old 09-10-02, 09:21 AM
renegade
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$25.00 for a cedar post isn't bad if it's "clear" . Most lumber mills carry both "clear " and " tight knot " . Clear is higher then tight knot and is used for post more , however you can use whatever you wish just make sure it gets stained or weatherproofed if it's subject to weather . Have you thought of using a pressure treated 4x4 and wraping it with cedar 1x4 & 1x6 ? It give a realy nice look when it's done and may be somewhat cheaper in the long run . good luck
 
 

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