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distinguished member (212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/19/2010 05:08PM  
I am looking for cedar to use in making a wood and canvas canoe. Anyone know where I can buy the stock to mill my ribs and planking from? I am in Minnesota.

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distinguished member(3436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/19/2010 09:16PM  
The place I found to for cedar to rip out the strips for my first canoe(now I buy them pre ripped from Northwest acnoe) was Shaw lumber in St Paul. They have since closed the StPaul store are only open in Minneapolis.
They have highend wood stock, wont find anything cl0ose to it at Menards,Home Depot, or Lowes. Thought there was a yard called Youngblood(?) in Mpls. Call NWC, maybe they can get you some through their source. I have been to NWC on "strip ripping day", they start with some REAL NICE CLEAR cedar stock.
distinguished member(1209)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2010 09:40AM  
I was able to special order a couple of 12 in x 20 ft cedar planks from Home Depot in Burnsville. It's almost completely clear except for a couple of very small knots on the last 16 inches of one of the boards. Once these get ripped down there should be enough strips for one boat with quite a few left over. They were spendy though...about $300. I had planned on ripping them myself on a borrowed table saw, but I called around to a few carpenters/builders and found someone who said they could probably rip them down for me for $100. This should save me about $150 compared to the cost of buying the strips pre-cut from NW Canoe, plus the added benefit of extra strips for future boats. I like to save the money, but I'm not sure its worth the hassle. I'll probably just get them from NW Canoe next time. But, if you have the tools, time, and know-how its something to think about.

distinguished member (212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2010 11:04AM  
Thank you for the information.

I am planning to build a cedar canvas boat, so the strips from NWC will not work. Otherwise, I'd save the effort and buy them there.

I'll check with Home Depot and see what they can do. Probably call NWC also.

Anyone know where I could buy the wood straight from the mill. In SE MN it is possible to get oak, cherry, etc. Just no Western Red Cedar or White Cedar.
distinguished member (436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/20/2010 12:18PM  
check with youngblood lumber in mpls.
distinguished member (212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/21/2010 08:08AM  
I checked with Youngblood, they referred me to Hiawatha Lumber. Hiawatha has what I need. Otherwise, NWC gave me some contacts further north that I am checking with.
distinguished member(951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/10/2010 03:04PM  
In case anyone still needs some cedar

clear cedar on CL
distinguished member (212)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/17/2010 09:01AM  
I was able to find a cedar source at True North Cedar in Superior, WI. The lumber is rough cut, so thankfully I have a planer and equipment to handle the rough stuff.
distinguished member (268)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
04/15/2010 08:50PM  
I know I'm way late on responding to the thread. I just got on this forum.

For any other folks looking for cedar. Western red cedar is the stuff used for stripper canoes. It's also the wood that all of the retailers sell. Menards, Home Depot, ect. Norther white cedar is usually used for wood canvas canoes but not exclusively. It is used nearly always for the ribs. There is not a widespread source or market for white cedar so it is never sold in retail yards. Also, it is usually quite knotty when bought in longer lengths which also makes it difficult to use for strippers. If you're looking for white cedar, call a small private mill in an area of the country where white cedar grows (MN, MI,WI). You will always find it there or they will tell you who has it.

Western red cedar grows tall and yields clear boards up to 20' But the clear boards are sold at a premium and are almost always a special order product. Plan to pay over $6 to $8 a board foot for clear cedar. Ask your supplier for 'D and better' cedar. This is wood that is mostly clear but will have some occasional knots. Knot to worry, the shorter strips where the knots are can be used in parts of the boat where you don't need a full length strip. If you have deep pockets, order 'A and better' lumber. This is the best of the best wood.

Make sure not to order vertical grain sawn boards. They must be flat grain sawn. Otherwise your strips will be very difficult to sand smooth due to the strips running parallel with the rings of the tree. The popular books on canoe building describe flat grain and vertical grain wood pretty well. This wood strip is much more dense at the rings than the soft cambium wood between the rings and is really tough to sand smooth. You end up with a wavy feeling strip where the sander takes off more soft wood than the dense wood at the rings.

Northern white cedar is superior to WRC because it is lighter in weight and more flexible. But it's moot due to the inaccessibility of it being cut into long clear boards. WRC is certainly a fantastic wood, though. Redwood is the least desirable due to it being more brittle.

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