Western Red Cedar is a large softwood that grows in British Columbia and some of the nearby western states of the USA including Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.
Western Red Cedar will remain dimensionally stable under most weather conditions and is not prone to shrinkage or swelling. Due to its versatility, it can be used for both internal and external applications such as cladding, linings, joinery, windows and roofing shingles. Natural preservatives provide resistance to fungus and insect attack, while its low density offers very good thermal insulation qualities. Western Red Cedar also delivers impressive acoustic properties.Visually, Western Red Cedar is favoured for its rich and inviting colours. The heartwood ranges from a pale brown through to a richer dark brown. The sapwood is a paler yellowish white colour. It has a fine texture and straight grain with growth rings often visible.
A durable, yet soft timber, Western Red Cedar has a good workability. It cuts, machines and glues well and can also be painted, stained and polished. Precautions should be taken when sanding western red cedar as the sawdust can cause irritation for some people.
It nails and screws well, however if timber is damp it is corrosive to iron and copper, so hot-dipped galvanised nails/screws should be used where required, and any copper plumbing, fittings or sheathing isolated from contact with the wood.Western Red Cedar can be brittle along the end grain and sharp cutters are recommended due to its soft nature. It is not suitable for steam bending.
Western Red Cedar is commonly available with significant quantities being imported into Australia.