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slade72
need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

I'm renovating the exterior of my 100+ year old house this summer. I took off all the aluminum siding and am in the process of sourcing out the trim and clapboards needed for repair. Most of the trim boards will be easy enough to replicate but the cedar clapboards are an unusual dimension.......1/2 X 6 1/8. Let me add that it is NOT beveled. It is 1/2 inch top and bottom....square cut. So if you can picture that....just these simple rectangular shaped boards.
Well, some are cracked as one might expect but enough of them are in good enough shape that I don't really want to re-side the whole house with new beveled stock. I have contacted the local mill, asked them for a price for 200-300 lf. of the dimension I need and have just been told that it would be too expensive. I asked them to run the numbers anyway and give me an actual price and I never got a call back. I thought about planing down 1 X 8 clear cedar but that really would be pricy and I would hate to waste that much good wood. I also thought about splitting 5/4 X 8 on a band saw and hopefully yielding two boards that way.
I wonder if anyone else has run into this issue and if they could help me out. I'm open to using new stock (1/2 X 8 beveled) but I can't imagine how I would get it to look the same. The angle of the kickout would be different.
I'm also open to using a different species such as Southern Yellow Pine since it will be painted but I'm concerned that the pine would not be stable enough for the 5 1/4" exposure.
Any advice will be appreciated.
By the way.....I'm doing this myself regardless of what the solution ends up being. I work in the trades and am acting as my own GC.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

I'd wait for a call back from the mill, or poke them with a stick, before deciding.

Sounds like you've got a handle on this.

ed21
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

I'd wait for a call back from the mill, or poke them with a stick, before deciding.

Sounds like you've got a handle on this.

Amazing how poking is often required from mills and wood shops. I don't know if they are just busy, feel the job is too small, think you're just shopping and won't use them anyway or something else. It shouldn't take long to figure the cost and time it mill.

dj1
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

Call/visit the mill again, and talk to the owner or manager. I can't see why the person at the mill who took your request would brush you off like this, no matter what size order you have.

Get nowhere with this mill? try another mill, even one in a different town. Or, fabricate it yourself, just like the old saying: "Everything is smoother when I work alone".

slade72
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

I'd wait for a call back from the mill, or poke them with a stick, before deciding.

Sounds like you've got a handle on this.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. I will be in touch with the mill tomorrow but I'm not going to hold my breath. They don't stock cedar so it would be a special order. They must not consider 200-300 ft worth their time.

slade72
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension
dj1 wrote:

Call/visit the mill again, and talk to the owner or manager. I can't see why the person at the mill who took your request would brush you off like this, no matter what size order you have.

Get nowhere with this mill? try another mill, even one in a different town. Or, fabricate it yourself, just like the old saying: "Everything is smoother when I work alone".

I know. It's annoying. I'm totally open to a different mill even if I have to travel a bit. I'm in the Hudson Valley.... upstate NY if any one has any suggestions they can message me.

I had the same thing happen with a roofing company once. The guy came out, looked at the job, said "it's gonna be expensive but I'll email you an estimate". Never got the estimate. Why do people assume they know what I consider expensive to be?

dj1
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

Even though I've been working in the west coast since 1976, I have a little experience in working in the east. On the few occasions that I did work in the east coast, I noticed that businesses and contractors seemed less eager and less enthusiastic to pursue a job than in the west coast. I thought that it was the job size, too small to bother, or not enough profit in it.

Add the weather factor in the east, and you have a "hostile" environment for a homeowner to get things done.

It could be the case here: this mill may consider 200-300 pieces too small, or they don't want to bother with cedar, or there is too little money here.

That's why I suggested you do it yourself, and if you lack the know how, find a retired carpenter who will be happy to get up in the morning to fire up his saws, like in the good ol days.

Always do business with people who want to do business with a smile !

HoustonRemodeler
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension
Quote:

That's why I suggested you do it yourself, and if you lack the know how, find a retired carpenter who will be happy to get up in the morning to fire up his saws, like in the good ol days.

Bonus- You'll make his week

Bonus - You're more than likely to get excellent work

slade72
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

I appreciate all the replies. I'm thinking it's going to be better just to replace the whole front of the house with brand new beveled 1/2 by 8 and just patch in repairs on the sides. The front has a lot more cracked boards but the sides are in pretty good shape. I don't think anyone will be able to tell that the clapboards on the front are leaning at a slightly different angle than the sides. Plus this way I'll be able to house wrap the front and tighten up ye old envelope.

dj1
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension

There you go, you'll kill two or more birds in one shot.

Fencepost
Re: need cedar clapboard advice- uncommon dimension
slade72 wrote:

I'm open to using new stock (1/2 X 8 beveled) but I can't imagine how I would get it to look the same. The angle of the kickout would be different.

I think that the angle should be the same as long as the reveal is the same. However, you may find that the face of the boards don't project out as far (top and bottom equally) -- you might need to use some shims.

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