View Full Version : Source for Port Orford Cedar (and other woods from the western US)

Matt Clara
08-30-2014, 03:51 AM
I apologize in advance if this reads like a plug for this one man mill I found online, and I'm hoping people will offer up some other sources for woods like Port Orford Cedar, as I'd rather have several to choose from than be at the supply mercy of just one. Recently I was looking for some Port Orford Cedar to use in uke necks. I didn't spend a lot of time searching, but I wasn't finding much until I stumbled on Kevin Connor's site, woodfromthewest.com. Kevin had a single neck blank costing $25, and I was all set to just go ahead and order it when I realized that shipping was also $25, so I contacted him to see if there was anything we could do about that. Kevin informed me that he was milling up some more right then, so I ordered a couple and shipping was the same at right around $25 ($24, actually). Kevin also told me he tends to throw in some "extras" with each purchase, so I thought I'd open the package in front of the video camera and share what I found here. The Port Orford Cedar is very nice, and the rest, well, see for yourself.


I don't think Kevin keeps everything he carries displayed online, so if there's something you want (pistachio, for instance) send him an email or give him a call. Nice guy, and very helpful.

08-30-2014, 04:32 AM
Wood Sniffer!! Wood Sniffer!!
He certainly sent you some nice freebies. How does the port orford cedar compare with mahog or spanish cedar for necks?

Matt Clara
08-30-2014, 04:58 AM
That pistachio is crazy fragrant, almost like an incense, very sweet with just a little nuttiness! I haven't checked the cedar out beyond what you see in the video. I think it's actually a cypress and not a cedar. First impression is that it is heavier and denser than Spanish Cedar and looks more like the Sitka spruce I've used. I'll let you know more when I've worked with it. I have an idea for an "all American" uke, with osage orange, Texas ebony and Sitka spruce, so I needed an all American wood for the neck. I want the wood to be distinctly American, and I might go for a port orford cedar top, too. I already have the spruce, though...

08-30-2014, 05:38 AM
I've been using incense cedar for necks and soundboards. It is also not a true cedar, but rather in the cypress family, as is port orford cedar, as you mentioned. They are fairly closely related, here's a wiki link that shows the family tree. Port Orford is Chamaecyparis, and incense cedar is Calocedrus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressaceae

I like to sandwich an eighth inch slice of manzanita down the middle of the necks, thinking it might help stiffen them a bit. Here's a recent shot.


08-30-2014, 05:47 AM
Thanks for the info and link. Oregon Wildwood also has nice POC neck blanks and pistachio wood sets, amongst other woods.

Pistachio makes great back & sides as well as fretboards.

That POC smells awesome.

Jim Hanks
08-30-2014, 05:57 AM
Pacific Coast Woods http://www.pacificcoastwoods.net/
Vince is a great to to work with. Sorry I can't give any more details than that yet. :-)

Matt Clara
08-30-2014, 06:09 AM
Thanks for the links, guys, and Doug and Doc, it is the POC that's so fragrant, not the pistachio--it's the only one I didn't sniff! ;)

08-30-2014, 08:58 AM
I've been ordering from Northwest Timber for years. Sara knows my needs, and knows shipping is an issue when it comes to long boards. Best Big Leaf Maple - got some great Myrtle as well. Been meaning to get some POC, but haven't, yet. Aaron from HMS wants a Claro Walnut from me, but haven't gone there yet either.

They got nice stuff, easy to view.

Note: Don't even look at the popcorn quilted maple, or redheart quilted maple - that stuff is no good for ukulele. Stick with the spalted curly maple ;)


Down Up Dick
08-31-2014, 11:41 AM
I don't know if this'll be any help at all, but a lot of wooden arrows (archery) are made from Port Orford Cedar. Smells good when they break. That's all I got. :old:

Jim Hanks
08-31-2014, 12:17 PM
I don't know if this'll be any help at all, but a lot of wooden arrows (archery) are made from Port Orford Cedar. Smells good when they break. That's all I got. :old:
Thank you for that Cliff Clavin moment, d.u.d. :p

Down Up Dick
08-31-2014, 03:30 PM
I don't get it. Matt Clara's lookin' for port Orford cedar, and fletchers use it to make arrows. Why, couldn't he look up some fletchers and get some of their damned wood? What's funny?

Jim Hanks
08-31-2014, 03:47 PM
Hey, hey, don't get all huffy. I was just trying to be funny myself. I didn't see the connection between archery and luthiery, but you're right that for some purposes at least, "wood is wood" so could be a potential source. Sorry for any offense.

Down Up Dick
08-31-2014, 04:16 PM
No offense, I just didn't understand. I thought I made a faux pas. Drink up and sing the next verse. :cheers: