Redwood and what woodworkers need to know about it

Redwood and everything you need to know about

Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens) is the tallest species of trees in the entire world, with an average height of 275 to 330 feet. Redwoods might live for a long time (sometimes up to 1000 years). They are commonly found in a limited area on the Pacific Northwest in the US and also New Zealand. Redwood is softwood and not hardwood which is an absolute beauty for your home structures.

redwood forest

 

We use redwood lumbers for different woodworking purposes. Lots of carpenters use redwood for making furniture, outdoor furniture, shelves, decks, etc. And because of the wide range of uses, redwood has become one of the most appreciated lumbers used by DIYers.

 

So this article is dedicated to helping you get more familiar with redwood lumber, redwood lumber characteristics, and its common uses. There is a list of a variety of features and characteristics down below, make sure you read until the end to find out the exact features you’re looking for in Redwood.

 

Texture

Redwood has got straight grain that sometimes turns out to be wavy. The lumber can be sawn smoothly or roughly, depending on what you are looking for. The rough texture is capable of applying finishes very well.

redwood texture

Color

Redwood color ranges from a pinkish-brown to reddish-brown as the name says it all. After a while, Redwood lumber turns a gray or silver-gray color because of exposure to the sun and UV radiation. It can also turn out to be completely black when the weather is humid.

To keep the natural red color, woodworkers stain the lumber when it is installed and after three years the lumber should be stained again to preserve the original color.

 

Workability

  • Easy to work with hand saws
  • Easy to work with power tools
  • Gluing and finishing can be applied quite easily
  • By applying a primer you can paint it easily

 

Durability

Redwood is one of the strongest materials used for making home structures. The durability rating for redwood in some tests is class 3 which means it is moderately durable and highly stable. Being durable makes the lumber perfect for outdoor uses. Note that lumbers taken from older trees tend to be more durable than younger ones.

 

 Weight

Redwood is much lighter than many types of woods and that makes it a great candidate to be used in home furniture because it is easy to work with and can be sawed easily.

 

Sustainability

IUCN has listed redwood as a vulnerable species due to a 40% reduction in the past decades. It is recyclable, sustainable, and it can last for a long time.

 

Cost

As construction lumbers, the price range varies from medium to high. Redwood is commonly found in some regions of the US and New Zealand. It is quite uncommon in Asia and Europe that makes the lumbers much more expensive in these areas.

 

Toxicity and allergy

During recent years, we had a few severe reactions and problems while working with the lumber. So it can be used as a safe wood but keep in mind that some common reactions have been reported frequently, such as inflammation of the eyes, skin, and asthma-like symptoms.

 

Rot resistance

Redwood is one the most resistant types of wood to rot. Being rot resistant makes it suitable for using outdoor. Decks, fences, and furniture used outside near the ground are prone to moisture and different kinds of insect attacks. So one of the best choices for making outdoor furniture is using its lumbers to make sure the furniture lasts life-long.

 

Uses

  • Decking

The strength and stability make redwood one of the best types of wood for decks. Although the price would be higher than other materials and wood that woodworkers use for decking, it lasts a long time due to its stability. The beautiful red color gives a good contrast to the atmosphere.

 

  • Furniture and outdoor structures

As we have mentioned before, redwood has a beautiful unique color. The color makes it perfect for home furniture and different things made of wood in our home. By the way, it is moderately durable, stable, and rot-resistant. All in all, it is a good choice for home furniture and also outdoor structures.

 

  • Construction beam

Contractors tend to use redwood for beams and supports because it is strong and readily available in large sizes.

 

Conclusion

redwood

Is redwood lumber the best choice for my indoor and outdoor furniture?

Not THE best, but it could be one of the best choices available on the market.

 

Why Redwood?

In a nutshell, many characteristics make it perfect for a DIYer such as being easy to work with, long-lasting lumber, unique color, being rot-resistant, lightweight lumbers, etc.

 

What are some drawbacks?

You can find redwood lumbers in some limited areas. Having said that, the price could be a bit high in other regions. Keep in mind that IUCN listed redwood as a vulnerable type of wood. Another drawback would be the color change when exposing to the sun and UV radiation.

 

 

Woodmaze is an article-based website that helps you find more about wood and things related to it for woodworkers, DIYers, and carpenters all around the world. We have written another cool article about different types of wood and their uses. You can check that article as well.

Thank you!

 

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