Western Red Cedar Fence Boards Grades

Day after day we receive inquiries for the price of fence boards.  Unlike traditional lumber yards and box home improvement stores, when a call like that is received at our store, our staff provides a price for a Western Red Cedar fence board as well as the grade.   In many cases, the person who is inquiring about the price does not have a clear understanding of what the grading means and maybe comparing pricing of products from various sources that are not equal.


Imagine calling around to different restaurants and asking for the price of  “cheeseburger”. While it is called the same thing at a fast food restaurant as well as a nice family restaurant, the “cheeseburger” at each location will be different quality and the pricing would reflect that.    You would not purchase a cheeseburger based solely on price while not taking into consideration the quality, so therefore, you should not select a fence board based solely on price either.


While there is no regulation or standards for “cheeseburgers”, there are established standards for fence boards that have been developed by the National Lumber Grades Authority, as well as the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau.   It is important to note, that “fence grade” is below Select Tight Knot or Clear grades of Western Red Cedar and should not be compared to the quality or held at the same standard as lumber in those grades.


The West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau divides Western Red Cedar Fence Boards into three basic categories.  Any grade may be rough or surfaced, Air Dried, Kiln Dried or “green”.  Grade is determined by the best face.


No. 1 Fencing   “Select”

  • Checks and Pinholes are not limited
  • Shakes are “fine”
  • Skips are “hit and miss”, splits are “short”
  • Knots are sound and tight
  • Spike Knots can be approximately 1/2 face width or equivalent
  • Tolerance of 1/16″ over or under in thickness, width may vary along the piece of 1/8″, but not to exceed 20% of the pieces

number 1 quality western red cedar

No. 1 Western Red Cedar Fencing


No. 2 Fencing   “Quality”

  • Checks and Pinholes are not limited
  • Shakes are “fine”
  • Skips are “hit and miss”, splits are “medium”
  • Wane can be 1/2 thickness as well as 1/3 width
  • There can be small spots or streaks of unsound wood
  • White speck not limited
  • There maybe some knots that are not firmly fixed or are unsound but may not exceed 1/3 the width of the board
  • Spike Knots can be 3/4 of the face width
  • Maximum 1″ holes with 4 per foot allowed, unless “No Hole” is specified
  • Same Tolerance of thickness and width as Select Fencing

number 2 western red cedar fence boards

This is a great example of our No. 2 Select “No Hole” Fencing, which is the standard fence board we supply unless otherwise specified. This particular fence is made from 3/4″ net thick material that the customer made a custom, decorative top cut to.


No. 3 Fencing  “Rustic”

  • Lumber of this grade is suitable for low grade and permits all characteristics which do not interfere with the use of the piece
  •  Thickness can be 3/16″ over or under invoiced thickness
  • Edge skips can not exceed 1/4″
  • Variation on width should not exceed 1/2″
  • We do not allow returns or exchanges on any No.3 fencing, as the pricing reflects the quality of the material of the whole order

no 3 western red cedar fence baords

An example of no. 3 Rustic Fencing – holes, some wane and most defects are ok.  Pricing is low and reflects the quality of the material.


If you are looking to purchase Western Red Cedar fence boards and are interested in pricing and availability, please be sure to visit us!


Toll Free 866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

western red cedar fencing


GLOSSARY  as provided by The West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau

Shake – A lengthwise separation of the wood with occurs between or through the rings of annual growth.

  • “Light” or “Fine” Shake is not over 1/32″ wide
  • “Medium” Shake is not over 1/8″ wide
  • “Surface” Shake occurs on only one surface of the piece
  • Shake should not be confused with bark seams

Split – A separation of the wood through the piece of the opposite surface or to an adjoining surface due to the tearing apart of the wood cells.

  • “Very Short” is equal in length to 1/2 of the width of the piece
  • “Short” is equal in length to the width of the piece and does not exceed 1/6 the length
  • “Medium” is equal in length to twice the width of the piece and does not exceed 1/6 the length
  • “Long” is longer than a medium

Skips – Occurs during milling when the board is too thin in an area to reach the planer blades, thus resulting in rough spot

Wane – Bark or lack of wood from any cause, except eased edges, on the edge or corner of a piece of lumber


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Western Red Cedar Kayak

One of the most rewarding things about our business are the priceless opportunities to connect with people and share in their dreams, but the absolute BEST is seeing how those dreams become a reality!

We recently received this e-mail from a long time customer, Rob, complete with photos of the Western Red Cedar Kayak he built using materials purchased from our shop.

handmade western red cedar kayak

Please read on:

Subject: finished kayak
Sent: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 3:18:08 AM


Hi Everyone,

I finished my boat and actually put it into the water. I have a picture to prove it! It turned out to be a more challenging project than I anticipated but it’s done. To my good friend Tom at Cedar Creek Lumber in Burlington, here’s where some of your cedar went. If anyone needs lumber go see Tom!


The paddling picture was at Priest Lake, Idaho paddling the “narrows” between lower and upper lakes. Great place to paddle.


I hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer!


Best to everyone,


handmade western red cedar kayak going through priest lake narrows in Idaho

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


Toll Free 877.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233



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Hope Island Cottages – Tiny Houses on Wheels

Recently our customer, Kerry of Hope Island Cottages, shared these fantastic pictures of the tiny home he built on wheels.


Hope Island Cottages is the part of the Small House Society “Better Living Through Simplicity”, which is an outreach of ResourcesForLife.com, which is a cooperatively managed organization dedicated to the promotion of smaller housing alternatives which can be more affordable and ecological.

tiny house with pine tounge and groove paneling

Wood is the ideal choice for both the interior and exterior of these tiny homes due to its light weight and warm beauty.  Wood is also the only 100% renewable resource in building products and is naturally biodegradable and recyclable.

This fantastic tiny house on wheels even has a (gasp!) Sauna which is lined with Clear Western Red Cedar, the ideal choice due to the natural oils and extractives in the wood that allow it to hold up beautifully even in wet environments.  Find out more about using Western Red Cedar in Sauans here

western red cedar sauna in a tiny house on wheels

Here is the view from the lovely sauna into the living space

tiny cottage on wheels with wood interior

 Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free 866.757.6343

We serve customers Nationwide!


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Manufactured Decking

With numerous choices available in manufactured decking, we have found TimberTech and AZEK to be our favorite choices, as well as our customer’s.  TimberTech has been a strong force in the composite decking industry since it began, while Azek has led the conversion from wood exterior trim and decking to cellular PVC.   In 2012, the two companies merged and now operate under the CPG International umbrella together and are committed to advancing the entire manufactured decking industry.

azek decking provided by cedar creek lumber


Both companies provide products with exceptional aesthetics, performance and longevity, backed with fantastic consumer support and warranties you can count on.

We invite you to see an overview of the products in this video highlighting local craftsmen and their projects using both TimberTech and AZEK decking and railing products purchased from us.  For more information on these products, please visit our Manufactured Decking Page.


Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free 866.757.6343



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Why Western Red Cedar is the Right Choice for Your Sauna

Widely used in commercial applications, such as gyms, spas and hotels, a sauna made from Western Red Cedar is an ideal building material choice due to the natural oils and extractives in the wood.  These naturally occurring preservatives enable it to withstand rot and decay for many years, even in wet and steamy environments.   Also due to its stability and low shrinkage rate, it is able to stay straight and hold it’s shape.  Western Red Cedar’s high insulation value captures the heat inside and easily absorbs sounds to create a quiet sanctuary that is beautiful, smells wonderful and is comfortable.

It should be noted, that Clear (free from Knots) Western Red Cedar is the preferred choice over Tight Knot boards, as the knots tend to absorb a fair amount of heat and can become uncomfortable when stepping on or leaning against.

western red cedar sauna interior

Building a personal sauna is relatively simple when the correct materials are purchased.  Although styles do very, the basic construction methods do not change.   These steps can provide you a general outline:

  1. Choose a spot for your sauna where plumbing, heating and electricity are easily accessible.
  2. Install any necessary pipes, wires, or gas lines.
  3. Personal saunas are generally heated in two ways: lava rocks, which are heated and then water is poured over to create steam, or infrared heating, which uses a heater inside the sauna.  If you are using infrared heating, be sure to have the correct amount of power coming in to the structure. If you are using rocks, you may need to dig a space into the ground for them.
  4. Lay a simple foundation for your sauna and frame the walls and ceiling using dry Doug Fir, no. 1 or 2 construction grade, 16″ center.  Use pressure treated plates.  Be sure to leave room for three ventilation points: one in the ceiling, one on the floor, and one above the heater. Add spaces for benches and windows as desired. Be sure to frame for a door that opens out.
  5. Insulate with fiberglass insulation and add a vapor barrier to keep moisture off the fiberglass and help it last longer.
  6. Roof the interior of the sauna with Western Red Cedar, but remember to keep a ventilation spot open for steam to escape.  A tongue and groove product works especially well in this application, as well as for sheeting the interior walls.
  7. Install your heating system, following instructions given with the system, and leave a wide space for the sauna heater.
  8. Place the first layer of flooring using ceramic tile. This goes over your heating system and will collect moisture.
  9. Lay a second layer of flooring using unsecured boards. You should be able to easily remove these and clean the tiles.  Clear, Western Red Cedar decking is an excellent choice for this.
  10. Install the sauna heater.
  11. Add any benches, windows and other fixtures as desired.


Before your next project, be sure to visit us!



Toll Free 1.866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233


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Overview of our Products

Located half way between Seattle and Vancouver, BC in beautiful Washington State, we provide homeowners and contractors quality building products.  We specialize in Western Red Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, as well as Doug Fir and other exotic and domestic hard and soft woods.

Because we are located in the Pacific Northwest, the only place in the world where Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is grown, we have access to top quality material at extremely competitive pricing.  So, no matter where you are in the United States, your Western Red Cedar  and Alaskan Yellow Cedar is grown in our back yard and shipped to your area.   As many of our out of state customers have discovered, even with the cost of shipping your order direct to your door step, our products exceed the quality of what they are able find in their own markets with equal or better pricing.

Since 2004, our customers have valued the quality of our products, our commitment to exceptional customer service and superior product knowledge.

Before your next project, be sure to visit us!



Toll Free 1.866.757.6343

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233



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5/4×5″ Cedar Roof Top Deck

Sometimes, thinking outside “the box” can have great rewards!  Our customer recently completed this beautiful roof top deck to enjoy our beautiful Pacific Northwest Summer evenings.  When the weather cools and the “rainy season” begins, the Western Red Cedar deck panels can be removed and stored.  Because it is light in weight, Western Red Cedar is the perfect choice for this type of application.


5/4x5 Western Red Cedar Deck Panels

Each panel was made using our 5/4×5” Select Tight Knot Western Red Cedar decking; a somewhat uncommon size that allows the look of a wider board, but a little lighter on the pocketbook.  This decking is Kiln Dried prior to final milling, which makes for a smoother finished deck board.


cedar roof top deck


The decking was screwed to 2×4” Cedar runners and then the panels were laid in place.  It is important when installing Western Red Cedar to use Stainless Steel or coated fasteners to prevent corrosion.   It is also very important to allow spacing between the deck boards so that rain and debris can fall through and drain away.


5/4x5 Red Cedar Roof Top Decki


Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


Toll Free 866.757.6343

Fax 360.757.1050

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Western Red Cedar Timbers

Western Red Cedar is a solid choice for both interior and exterior applications where strength and appearance is of up most importance.  With its straight grain and uniform texture, it has natural properties that provide greater resistance to insect attack, as well as rot and decay.  It is also flame-resistant and easily accepts finishes.

Because we are located in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, the only in place in the world where Western Red Cedar is grown, we have access to top quality material in extremely long lengths and large dimensions.


Recently we shipped these beautiful 8×12″ by 32′ beautiful Western Red Cedar Timbers to a customer in Kentucky.  Even with shipping, the pricing, not to mention quality is far superior to any our customer could find in his local market.

Custom Western Red Cedar Timbers


32' cedar beams

Another impressive project is this stunning outdoor space created by using 8×16” x 32’, 8×8″ and 4×4″ Full, Rough Sawn Appearance Western Red Cedar that we sent to a customer on Long Island in New York.  The craftsmanship on this project is truly amazing!


Red Cedar Pergola over an outdoor kitchen

With practically every size and dimension available, our Timbers are normally supplied “green”, but can also be kiln dried per order, which does take approximately 4 to 6 weeks depending on production and size of material.  And while most timbers are rough cut, you also do have the option of having them surfaced on all four sides to produce a smooth, uniform appearance if desired.

cedar timber pergola

Our Western Red Cedar Timbers are available in either in Appearance Knotty or Clear grades.  Pre-staining is also available for Kiln Dried timbers.  Please note, because our Western Red Cedar Timbers are cut from natural sources, color variation is likely and we cannot select timbers based on color.

When installing Western Red Cedar timbers, all fasteners should be corrosion resistant or suitably coated to prevent corrosion and staining.



Before your next project, be sure to visit us!


Toll Free   866.757.6343

Fax  360.757.1050

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Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles

ayc shingles

Also known as Alaska Cypress and Pacific Coast Cypress, this rare and remarkably beautiful cedar is only grown in the Pacific coast region of North America.  This light yellow wood, with its straight and uniform grain has been used in the boat building industry for many years because of its exceptional resistance to weather.  

Due to its short growing season, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is the hardest cedar grown in the world.  It dries quickly, works easily and performs well either finished or unfinished due to its natural oils that give the wood a was-like finish.  

Because of their fine, straight grain texture, exceptional decay resistance and unique ability to weather to a consistent silvery grey, Alaskan Yellow Cedar sidewall shingles are becoming increasingly popular. Alaskan Yellow Cedar shingles are packaged and graded to the same grades, standards and specifications as Western Red Cedar shingles and finishing is not generally recommended due to the abundance of oils, however they can be treated with a preservative to extend their life.

alaskan yellow cedar shinglesLeft untreated, Alaskan Yellow Cedar Shingles weather to a very attractive light silver grey.  Pinkish or blueish stains that may appear on Yellow Cedar are not a wood defect or problem, but are from naturally occurring oils that come to the surface during the manufacturing process that will disappear after exposure to the sun.



Before your next project be sure to visit us www.cclumber.com

950 B Fountain Street, Burlington, WA  98233

Toll Free (866) 757.6343  Fax (360) 757.1050


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All gave some…Some gave all



We will be closed on Monday, May 26th in observance of Memorial Day

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