Spring time is just around the corner and so our focus shifts to gardening. A popular question is whether or not to use raised garden and/or flower beds. When considering to build a garden or flower bed you want to use high quality material to create a bed that is functional, durable, long-lasting and is safe for your plants and veggies. Here are a couple suggestions from our trusted staff at Weatherwise Cedar Products to consider for your spring project.
Yellow Cedar is a very durable wood, and life its sister-wood Western Red Cedar, it is also resistant to rot, decay and insects. Yellow Cedar is a dense wood due to the high concentration of tannins which can cause a longer drying time when staining your project. If the drying time is a high priority and you still want to use Yellow Cedar, one action we suggest is to sand the pieces with a very course sandpaper (such as 60-80 grit) to open up the grain in the wood as much as possible. This allows the wood to absorb the stain more quickly and have a faster drying time allowing you to put your project to use shortly after staining.
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar is a softer wood than Yellow Cedar and is a preferred cedar choice for garden beds. As with all cedar products, we recommend the application of stain onto all sides of each board using a water-based stain (such as Sansin or Timber Pro) that is safe for plants and vegetables. Western Red Cedar is a light-weight wood when dry making it easier to work with and placing your finished project.
Pressure Treated Lumber
This has been a tradition go -to product for making garden and flower beds; however in recent times there is increased discussion and controversy regarding its safe-use for garden beds. Our staff recommends avoiding using pressure treated lumber for garden beds out of a caution of using a chemically-treated product around edible vegetation.
If you feel you are needing more information on any of these products please feel free to come in and talk to our staff here at Weatherwise Cedar Products or leave a review so that we can assist you with your projects.
Pressure Pus is a great way to keep pressure treated lumber looking fresh while also protecting it from the weathers elements. Not only does it enhance the natural brown tones of the pressure treated wood but it also is VOC compliant, water repellent, environmentally friendly and ready to use, with no prepping needed. For applying Pressure Plus you can do it in a number of different ways; brush, roll, spray or dip coat it on with ease. Clean up is also a breath with soap and water.
Rough lumber will absorb more stain due to the increase in exposed wood fibers. Your initial up front cost will be higher but it will add durability and longevity to your project.
Smooth lumber has less open fibers so the stain will not absorb as much. It is highly recommended you sand all surfaces with 50-60 grit to open up the fibers. Whether you’re staining rough or smooth lumber, it comes down to the look you are trying to achieve. Rough is usually more of a rustic look, where as smooth is a modern sleek look.
Now where to use your rough vs. smooth lumber is completely up to you, however; something to be mindful of is to use smooth faced products in areas that need to be cleaned, where there is less chance for spider webs and other outside debris to attach itself to.
Board Foot – is actually a measurement of volume. A board foot is one square foot, one inch thick. To calculate board foot = width in inches x length in feet x thickness in inches.
Running Foot – is used in woodworking and means the same as a lineal foot. Refers to a one-dimensional measurement of length.
Square Foot – Is a unit of area in the imperial measurement system. A square measurement is the 2-dimensional derivative of a lineal measurement, so a square foot is defined as the area of a square with sides 1 foot in length.
There are a few things to factor in when choosing your gate hardware; whether you are wanting to go for a simple functionality or an architectural element. Next would be choosing your hinges. When picking your hinges; a good rule of thumb to follow would be that 1/3 of your gate should be hinged. As an example, if you have a gate that is 36″ wide, you will need 12″ hinges to support the weight of it and to prevent sagging. Another rule of thumb would be when measuring out your gate always remember to take a 1/2″ off each side to ensure you will have enough room when attaching your hinges as well as seasonal changes which may cause the wood to shrink or expand.
Also another thing to consider would be the longevity of your hardware, especially if you have exposure to salt water/air you will be needing something that is either galvanized, powder coated, or stainless steel to protect it from the elements. Here are some options for picking out gate hardware:
- Hinges; want them visible or hidden
- Butt hinge or strap hinge
- Handle or no handle
- Needing a lock?
- Ring handle vs. thumb latch
- Hammered metal or smooth metal
- Antique or modern
**All our gate hardware is available to check out on our website under Our Products then Hardware.
Vancouver Island Western Red Cedar is used for its sustainability and longevity. Being that it is naturally rot resistant, makes it desirable to be used in our fence panels and many other applications. Along with it being pitch and resin free, makes it unlike other species. Red cedar contains thujic acid which is a crystalline unsaturated acid found in the heartwood of the cedar that helps against insect attacks. It’s got a low shrinkage rate, durable, light in weight, and is very fibrous; making it ideal for staining. Western Red Cedar has fine grain and a beautiful texture and although it is graded by the National Lumber Grade Authority it is usually graded by its appearance. The grade we use mostly is select tight knot; which basically means the knots in the wood are tight and sound, giving it the beautiful texture and appearance we strive for. The grade clear is virtually how it sounds; clear of knots (or small pin knots) with beautiful grain. Our fence boards are a standard and better which means; when produced, select tight knot is not taken out which allows us to deliver a higher quality product. We re-manufacture raw logs into select tight knot, clear, standard & better, and pallet grade yielding as much product out of each piece of wood, which increases our value adding.
Weatherwise Western Red
When Cloverdale approached us to create a colour to best represent Vancouver Island we jumped at the chance and it did not take long for our skilled team to come up with Weatherwise Western Red. This is a rich cedar colour with an emphasis on the browns.
Since it’s conception it has become quite popular both for the custom colour and for the quality of the stain. It isn’t uncommon to have customers directed here just for our colour. Many employees often use it for their fences and other projects.
GRK Fasteners is a brand we have been selling in the Weatherwise Cedar Products store for only a short while, but we are extremely fond of the quality and structural capabilities of their products. They are designed for doing a job efficiently with very few if any complications.
At the bottom of the screw is the Zip-Tip, which creates no need for pre-drilling, and allows for faster penetration. The W-Cut on the bottom part of the screw acts like a saw, creating a smoother drive with low torque. Close to the top of the screw you will find the Cee Thread. This part of the screw enlarges the hole which reduces the chance of splitting. The Recessed Star Drive on the screw head allows for zero chance of splitting to occur because of the six contact points. The Washer Head creates greater holding power. Reverse thread on some of the job-specific screws prevents mushrooming from occurring.
The many great aspects of these screws allow for twice as many GRK screws to be used per battery life of a screwdriver. All GRK screws have been evaluated for structural values with IBC/IRC specification. They are AC257 code approved for resistance to corrosion because of the Climatek coating used to further extend the quality of these screws. You can feel confident using these screws thanks to the limited Lifetime Warranty that comes with them. With a complete line of fasteners for many different applications and a very large size range, you can’t go wrong choosing one of GRK Fastener’s products.
The majority of customers shop around when looking for products for their home. Your home is the biggest investment you will ever make and you want it to last and look beautiful for many years. This article is intended to help you understand and search for the best fence panel for your project. It’s our belief that a well-educated customer makes for a more satisfied customer and a better end result. We will explain some of the features of our fence panels and differences you may wish to consider while researching other manufactures.
Just like in any industry, there’s a lot of things to be mindful of that reduce both the cost and quality of a panel. In order to keep price down some manufacturers will use pressure treated hemlock or fir as the frame of the panel. This can lead to twisting as they dry out. Pressure treated woods are often white woods (spruce, pine, fir, and hemlock). These species are generally less stable than cedar and may be more susceptible to cracking, warping, and shrinkage.
Other manufactured panels may use shorter boards in their panels than they advertise. A lot of diagonal lattice topped panels may be 3” to 6” shorter than the indicated 6′. For solid panels, they are often 6” shorter than the indicated 6′. These are commonly referred to as nominal height panels. These panels are made with less wood and therefore have a reduced cost. If the height of a panel is a concern to you for reasons like privacy, then full height panels like ours will achieve your needs.
Another difference is what the body of the panel is made out of, which is usually either Tongue and Grove (T&G), regular fence boards, or channel. T&G has a habit of gapping since it is generally milled with a 3/8” or less overlap. This often results in gapping and splitting as a result of being more susceptible to moisture based damage. Regular fence boards are what you commonly see around on both stick built fences and standard grade prefabricated panels also known as Contractor Grade. The main downside for these boards is the gapping which occurs due to moisture seasonally expanding and shrinking the wood. Our Premium panels are made out of channel, which we consider to the be the most durable product. Channel gives you the advantage of an increased overlap that T&G does not offer. As seasonal gapping occurs with T&G and regular fence boards, the channel’s overlap prevents the gaps from forming. If you like the look of T&G, the back side of the channel fence panels have the same look.
Another common difference in the fence panel construction is the framing. We use a 1”x2” sandwiched frame. We consider this to be the strongest option. After 25+ years of fence panel construction, our design has continued to perform greatly for us and our customers. We also make a 2”x4” framed fence panel for those people that want a larger chunkier look. People often believe that heavier panels indicate higher quality and strength, but this is not the case due to the way the panels are constructed. Lighter panels are more durable and have less issues with deformation.
Our 1”x2” Premium Panels are lighter and stronger than other types of framed panels. The nailing pattern eliminates the potential cracking of the panels due to the forces of nature. Our Premium Solid panels come with the added strength of a 1”x4” mid brace, supporting the boards across the entire length of the panel and preventing the boards from warping. Other retailers may sell a variety of other panels that can appear to be the same as ours, but they may be constructed differently. Be sure to ask plenty of questions about the construction of the panels when you are trying to find what panel works best for you.
Both Western Red Cedar and Yellow Cedar are exceptionally durable and weather resistant. After being sustainably harvested they have very pleasant aromas, and are very commercially valuable. Although Western Red Cedar has the longest life span of any tree in British Columbia, the Yellow Cedar is also known for its longevity. Both woods are filled with natural preservatives called tannins, giving them great durability. These natural preservatives repel against moisture, insects, and decay.
Western Red Cedar is a softer and more lightweight wood than Yellow Cedar. It’s more tonal, being known for it’s warm colour and dark, rich heartwood. It is commonly used in log homes because of the flare at the bottom of the trunk, and the fact that it’s a great thermal insulator. Western Red Cedar is excellent at absorbing stain since it is a softwood and is also pitch and resin free, so it works great both internally and externally. The most common uses are decking, fences, posts, and beams.
Yellow Cedar which has many different names such as Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Sitka Cypress is a much harder wood than Western Red Cedar. It’s actually a Cypress tree and not a Cedar. It’s used for building aspects where strength and durability are key factors. It usually grows at high altitudes, causing fine grain with tight growth rings. It takes nails and screws without splitting, and very rarely twists. Since the wood is harder and filled with tannins, it’s not as absorbent with stain. Boat building, bridges, and stairs are common uses for this type of wood since it’s so dense and strong. Yellow Cedar is harvested in much smaller quantities than Western Red Cedar.