When it comes to understanding the world of cedar, there are few people we trust more than “Mr. Cedar” himself, Paul Mackie. He’s been with the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association—known as the “voice of the cedar industry”—for more than two decades, working to represent quality cedar producers and educate others on all things cedar. 

In this series, Paul shares everything cedar-related, from what exactly western red cedar is to the difference between kiln- and air-dried lumber and installation best practices. In today’s video, Paul discusses the practical uses of finger-jointed western red cedar.

What is finger-jointed western red cedar?

Finger-jointed western red cedar boards are lumber made from short pieces of western red cedar joined together into longer boards. The joints fit together like interlacing fingers and are glued together. The boards are predominantly available in 1”, 1 1/4”, and 2” thicknesses and range from 2” to 12” in width. Finger-jointed western red cedar is also available in half-by-four, half-by-six, half-by-eight, three-quarter-by-eight, and three-quarter-by-eight bevel siding.

What are the uses of finger-jointed western red cedar?

Since finger-jointed western red cedar primarily consists of joints that are glued together, it’s used for projects where the boards aren’t under stress—like siding, trim boards, and fascia. Because there are so many joints, this product should not be used to applications like decking that require a certain level of structural integrity.

Western red cedar naturally has a wide color variation, and since these finger-jointed boards are made up of small pieces joined together, you’ll see a mix of colors in one board. The blocks the finger-jointed boards are made out of can be as short as 3”—so depending on the configuration of your boards, you may end up with something resembling a checkerboard rather than siding if left raw. Finger-jointed products are designed to be primed and painted: Properly doing so will produce a uniform look.

Stay tuned for more from Paul as we continue to learn from him on Dunn Solutions over the next few months. Be sure to check out the rest of our Mr. Cedar series with Paul, including tips on how to maintain western red cedar siding, the benefits of using western red cedar for siding, and the difference between air-dried and kiln-dried western red cedar. For the full series, click here.