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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    One of the projects my wife wants done in the next couple years is to replace a 200' and 70' run of cedar fencing, replacing it with vinyl to match the rest of the property. The fence boards are your typical 1/2" x 6" x 6' pieces, most are in decent condition but are weathered. I hate to cart it all to the recycle dump and was wondering if its worth it to buy a bench planer and resurface the boards? I'm not sure what I'd use the wood for, but thought someone on the forum might have an opinion on this thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    5,081

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    Generally speaking, they are useless in their present condition. For you to spend time and money to restore them, will be good resources down the drain. When you take them apart, you'll see even more damages.

    However, there could be someone near you who may want to use them to repair an existing fence. You probably have around 550 boards in your 270' of fence. If you could salvage half of them, then find a buyer who would pay you 50 cent each, you'll make about $135 - worth the trouble?

    If yes, find that buyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    23

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    Thats what I needed to hear. It doesn't sound like its worth the trouble. Thank you for the feedback.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    You wouldn't want to use a planer either, one missed nail or screw or staple or rock, or dirt in general will dull or destroy the planer knives in a heartbeat. A thickness sander would be the better option if you were so inclined to try to salvage the boards into useable lumber.

    As for salvaging for fence repairs, I would see what the going price is for new, then cut that in half for boards that are in excellent condition, still, is it worth the work for a few hundred bucks? The formula to figure it out would be:

    $ return divided by time invested = value of time spent

    As DJ points out, it's a lot of work for little gain. Do you have a fireplace or wood stove? How about a backyard fire pit? If so, then cut up the fence and burn it yourself, it will be worth far more than what you could make trying to clean it up and sell it. you don't have to worry about removing fasteners either, just burn them with the wood. You can sift them out of the ash with a magnet if you use the ash on your garden, or just pitch the whole thing into the garbage and be done with it.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,081

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    Using these boards for firewood may be a wise solution, UNLESS they are painted/stained, in which case you shouldn't burn them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    Since both of our fireplaces are gas inserts, I can't use the wood. When possible, I like recycling materials but I do agree after seeing the comments, that it is better to send it off to the recycling plant. It is a lot a material to store and it really doesn't sound like its worth the effort. My neighbor is a big time recycler and will be disappointed and I hate to break his heart, but I have better things to do with my time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    You could always offer it to the neighbor, let them come dismantle the fence and take it for free, saves you the time, effort, and expense of doing it yourself.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Salvaging Cedar Fence Boards

    Advertise them for free on Craigslist or Freecycle, someone will take them. They could be used for building compost bins or perhaps doubled up for raised bed gardening.

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