Cedar, Red

Red cedar is a large hardwood that grows in the coastal rainforest areas of eastern Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea, South America, the Philippines and India. It is commonly used for internal decorative applications such as veneers and paneling.

The heartwood of red cedar ranges from a pale pinkish red through to a richer dark reddish brown. The sapwood is paler pink or yellow in colour and is distinctive from the heartwood. Red cedar has a rough, uneven texture with a grain that is usually straight but may be slightly interlocked. Growth rings are often visible. Red cedar also features a distinctive odour that is said to repel moths.

Red cedar is soft and has good workability. It nails and glues well. Red cedar can also be painted, stained and polished and it finishes well, however its rough texture may require extra work. Precautions should be taken when machining red cedar as the sawdust can cause irritation for some people.

Red cedar is scarce in Australian forests, however small quantities are being imported.

Appearance

Red cedar is valued for its appearance, with heartwood that ranges from a pale pinkish red through to a rich dark reddish brown. The sapwood is paler pink or yellow in colour and is distinctive from the heartwood. Growth rings are often visible.

Red cedar has a rough, uneven texture with a grain that is usually straight but may be slightly interlocked - this fiddleback appearance is popular for use as veneers or paneling.

Common Applications

Red cedar is used mainly for appearance-based internal application such as decorative veneers, paneling and furniture. It has also been used for boat building and carving.

Common Form

Veneer

Workability

Red cedar is soft and has a good workability. It nails and glues well. Red cedar can also be painted, stained and polished and it finishes well, however its rough texture may require extra work.

It is easy to dry but care needs to be taken to avoid the timber cupping. Precautions should be taken when machining red cedar as the sawdust can cause irritation for some people.

Origin of Timber

NSW

Availability - Further Information

Red cedar is scarce in Australian forests, however small quantities are being imported.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

4.50%

Radial:

1.90%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.22%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.10%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F8

F7

F5

F4

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

420kg/m3

Unseasoned:

820kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

47

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

72

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

9.0

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

9.2

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

25

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

36

Impact - Unseasoned:

5.0

Impact - Seasoned:

5.5

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

2.1

Hardness - Seasoned:

3.1

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Bushfire Resistance:

Not Tested

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