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CEDAR, PORT-ORFORD

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

THE TIMBER:
The fine-grained wood is faint yellowish-white with tinges of red. When freshly cut, it has a distinctive ginger-like aroma that is overpowering in confined spaces.

WORKABILITY:
Port-Orford-cedar is extremely durable. In the past, it was used for making caskets and large quantities were exported to the Far East for this purpose. It was also used as storage battery separators because of its resistance to acid. Serving as a testimony to its value in a marine environment, Sir Thomas Lipton, in the early part of the last century, had his Cup-challenger yachts built of Port-Orford-cedar.

USES:
Because of its limited supply, the former uses for railway ties, mining timbers and venetian blinds have been largely curtailed. It remains a premier wood for cabinetry as well as for arrows. To some extent, the wood is utilized as soundboards for stringed musical instruments.

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