[Posted on July 3rd, 2014 by Aaron Presley]
Rough cedar lumber has special characteristics which make it very useful and valuable for specific types of projects. The first distinct characteristic is the wood is aromatic. This means cedar wood is a natural deterrent for moths and other insects. This is why cedar is the wood of choice for making closets, lining clothes drawers, and as the wood material for making wardrobes. The second wonderful characteristics about cedar is, it resists rot. This means cedar is a great wood for posts, decking, and siding where the expense is worth it when the wood lasts for a very long time. Western red cedar has an especially beautiful color tone and becomes part of modern architectural design, to create a distinctive look for luxury properties.
History of Cedar
Cedar grows naturally in the Himalayan mountains and in Lebanon. Over many decades, cedar trees spread worldwide so now it is found in many other countries as well. There is even a species of cedar called “rose cedar” (in Spanish “cedro rosa”), found in Mexico and Central America, which is quite different in appearance from the cedar trees found in the United States. On the outside, the trees look very different, but the wood produced from each type is very similar.
In ancient history, the Phoenicians built sailing ships using cedar wood because of its ability to withstand being in the water without rotting. Cedar spoken of in the Bible, was used to build the royal palaces of both King Solomon and King David. It was integral in the construction of the famous King Solomon’s Temple built in Jerusalem.
Cedar Oil and Ceremonial Uses of Cedar
The aromatic oil of cedar was one of the world’s first perfumes. Buddhist temples burn cedar, because of the aroma it gives when burning. In ancient times, cedar oil was also used for embalming and the wood lined coffins. The mummies of individuals buried in this way have survived for thousands of years. Like frankincense and myrrh, cedar oil was a desirable aromatic scent. Noah burned cedar as an offering after surviving the flood.
Modern Uses of Cedar
We like using rough cedar lumber because it is so easy to sand and polish. It takes stains well and is very good for making musical instruments like violins and guitars. Fine table tops, mantle pieces, walk-in closets, and armoires are all great candidates for the use of cedar. Many crafts persons like to use cedar to make hope chests, jewelry cabinets, and smaller boxes for keepsakes. Rough cedar lumber is wonderful to use as exposed beams and of course as lining for any type of closet to store clothes. Even something as simple as treated pilings benefit by being made of cedar.
Cedar is a high quality wood in very high demand by those with exquisite discriminating tastes.