I am considering rebuilding some teak cokpit seats with red cedar (mostly for $$ reasons). It seems to be a wood that holds up well in exterior use, and has decent strength characteristics. Also, I believe, will stain nicely. Is there any reason(s) other than tradition not to do so? FYI, there will be no teak nearby, so the mixing of woods is not a concern.
You might also look into a wood called Afromosia...it has the same characteristics as teak, holds up great and is beautiful...plus it''s not on the endangered list as is teak. I replaced my hatch boards with it several years ago and have been very pleased. It is way cheaper than teak but I''m not sure how it compares to red cedar.
In the early 1970''s I lived on my 30'' Cedar lapstrake hull Jersey Sea Skiff (yup, complete with a single screw Chrysler Crown six engine!). I kept her in Culebra, Puerto Rico and later San Juan. The Cedar held up wonderfully. No worms. No rot. No leaking. The Mahogany was another story though. It was amazing, too, just how comfortable the Cedar made it below decks.
I also live in Raleigh. What lumber company? I have been looking at Raleigh Hardwood, but have been told Capital City Lumber has a good selection of teak and mahogany, so I was going to see what else they might recommend.
Okay, small world. I got the Afromosia from Capital City Lumber...it came highly recommended by one of their employees and I had also heard about it from a fellow sailor.
You may have to look there more than once depending on your needs...they generally keep it in stock all the time but sometimes that stock consists of wider boards than other times. It was good wood to work with and is truly beautiful...my hatch boards were out in the environment for three years and still look gorgeous.
You''re on the right track with Afromosia. The problem with red cedar for seating is the low density. Although strong for its weight, red cedar is relatively soft. Even a rivet in a pair of jeans could dent it. Density and wear resistance can be roughly equated. Teak, afromosia and oak are all roughly the same density, red cedar is only around 50% as dense. Douglas fir is around 75% as dense as these woods and I wouldn''t go lighter than that for seating. A quick Internet search will turn up density charts and other information on various woods.
I have just installed some SPANISH Cedar in my boat. I am using it for hand rails on top of the cabin and for my slatted grating in the cockpit cabin sole. I recommend quarter sawn white oak or (you can stain it) 0r red wood, or afromosia. Inside my boat I have used cyprus for the ceiling molding sheathing and it is very rot and moisture resistant. I am very interested to know how LYPTUS would hold up to the marine envirement. It is derived from 2 types of ucaliptis trees (I know I spelled that wrong).