finlander

grain vertical or horizontal?

8 posts in this topic

I have some cedar from the front porch of the old house. It is from the 1920's or 30's. Very close grain, beautiful looking, About an inch thick. Is it bad to use it if your bait is say, 3 inches tall and the grainis running horizontal thru it?? I have always searched out vertical grain. It could be used that way for baits that are 1" tall, maybe a cigar shape. Just was wondering what everyone thought. Thanks.

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Good cedar can be a great lure wood. Congratulations!

If the wood is strong enough, the grain won't matter on a lure. Just be sure it runs head to tail. Cross grain is weak.

I'm currently making a 9" surface glider out of Paulonia (thank you Lincoya) and the grain in the blank was quartering. Other than sanding differently at the flat grain, it's fine, and floats evenly.

Vertical grain on the flatter surfaces will sand out more evenly, but that's about the only difference.

After you shape it, be sure to seal it real well with a penetrating sealer, and use super glue in the pilot holes for, and on the threads of, your screweyes, to strengthen the wood in that area.

I sand and pre drill for everything, and then dip in Minwax Wood Hardener. I let it dry for a day, sand, and redip. After another day, I check to be sure the solvent is gone by hitting it with a hair dryer and watching for bubbles, which would mean active solvent is still in the wood. Penetrating sealers take a while to off gas.

When I float test the lure after it's sealed, if I have to adjust the ballast, I reseal the new ballast hole with runny super glue. It also penetrates.

Good luck, and I'm looking forward to seeing you new lures in the gallery.

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I tried a few cedar blanks with the grain running perpendicular to the length of the bait. I was trying to avoid a problem you get hand sanding cedar with the grain - the hard grain stands out, the soft grain gets hogged out. But cutting the lip slot in cross grain significantly weakens the wood around the head of the bait, so much so that I wouldn't trust the lip and the top of the bait's head not to snap off during use. Not a good idea.

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I always have the grain running horizontal from nose to tail. Are you using western red cedar or eastern? Big difference. Is it the wood people use to make cedar chests?

Either way, the wood should be plenty strong for you.

RM

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The grain WILL be running nose to tail, but it would be across the bait if it were a narrow, tall one. The wood is approx 1x4". Grain runs across the 1" width.

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Sounds like what's called "vertical grain". That's where the growth rings are close together, and oriented so that, in a 1X4, you'd see the grain lines on both the larger 4" surfaces, and the 1" faces would be flat grain.

That is a very stable, strong grain pattern in any wood.

You said you got it from an old porch. Was it the decking of the porch? I ask because vertical grain douglas fir was typically used for covered porch decking, at least out here in SoCal, not cedar, which is a softer wood.

Edited by mark poulson

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It was the decking, tongue and groove. It looks like cedar, has the red color. Some wainscote was used on the verticals, inside the railing. Hope to cut some more up tomorrow. Wainscote will be firewood outside at the cabin and some of the 1x3 will be used inside after I rip the painted side clean. I will keep a few pieces for lures.

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I think you'll find that the decking was vertical grain douglas fir, which reddens as it ages. As tounge and groove material, it was used for sub-floor/underlayment in Kitchens in the early part of the 20th century, under the new miracle floor covering linoleum, because it was so strong and stable. It layed down very smooth and even.

It is a little less buoyant than cedar, and less rot resistant, but much stronger. That's why it was used for decking.

Take a piece to your local lumber yard to verify that.

I have used VGDG decking for lures in the past, and it works great.

I still have a couple of pieces from a job in the garage in case I get inspired.

Just be sure to seal it well.

Edited by mark poulson

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