DIY Cedar Hot Tub (Episode 1): Finding Affordable Clear Cedar Boards

thanks for joining us for this video we wanted to do a short series on our DIY cedar hot tub it's something that we're really excited to get started on and so we're going to share a few different subjects with you this video today will be some tips that we learned on finding cedar at a really good price assume of you might know we bought a stock tank thinking that was a smoking deal I think we paid 275 for an 8 foot galvanized steel tank come to find out this wasn't a good fit for us and so we ended up trading that just recently and we decided to invest in some cedar so we want to share with you some tips that we learned on how to find cedar at a really great price the biggest problem with getting wood for your hot tub is finding clear cedar you don't want any knots ideally you want tight grain wood but that's not always the easiest to find and you're going to pay a pretty penny for that wood the good news is you can find clear wood but it's hiding in number 2 grade lumber so the first tip that we have is try to find a warehouse that uses seconds they buy a lot of units that have blemishes or damages or knots or things that are too big to go to market and the second tip is to find one of those warehouses that will let you sort through the lumber that's really critical a lot of warehouses they won't you have to take the first few boards off the pile in our case we found a warehouse nearby was about 90 miles away and they let us sort through several units of lumber and we were able to find lots of clear wood so let's look a little closer at these boards and I'll explain to you what that means so this board was actually a grade number two cedar board but as you can see there's a lot of clear wood in here with no knots of course there are knots from time to time but these knots if a lot of times there's a gap between them and what you can do is look at these boards and try to decide whether you could cut a piece of clear lumber out of this big enough to use of course you'll have lots of wood left over but the value or the price of these boards is so much lower than a clear piece of wood it's actually worth trying to sort the other advantage is you end up with a lot of extra wood that you can use to build other things so the way we're doing this is we're actually going to measure between these knots and see if we could get a three-foot stave for the side of our hot tub out of this so our hot tub is a 3-foot height and so what we're looking for is staves that are around three and a half inches wide and three feet long that are completely clear this is an 8 foot 2 by 8 board which means if we cut the board in half lengthwise it's about three and a half inches with the smidgen over and if we can get three feet between the knots were dialed in so let's take a look at this board and see whether or not it'll make a good clear stave board all right so what we're looking at is this piece of clear wood here and so we're going to measure between this knot and the next large knot down there and see if we've got three feet available and it looks like we're stuck at about 32 inches so this particular board we actually marked off as not a good option for a stave that said it's actually a really nice board so we wind up buying this to make other things like stairs benches and such out of I just realized it might be a really good idea to tell some folks out there what sorting through lumber is because while this is a common term maybe not everybody knows what that means so I'm going to kind of show you what that means let's do a little sorting on our pile here you all right so I just sorted through a few of our own boards that we purchased and what I was looking for is a board that has a lot of clear in it even though it's got some big knots but I'll show you how you can get a 3-foot clear stave out of this board for a very good value alright so this board is one that we chose to make staves out of and you can see that there's no knots and the grain is nice and tight on this board it's not a tight grain old-growth board but definitely good enough to make a hot tub out of and you can see this monster not down here but the beautiful thing is we have actually got three feet of clear wood in this board so what we can do is cut this board off of three feet and then rip this board in half and now we will have enough wood for two hottub staves it is a good idea when you're sorting through that lumber though to go ahead and flip boards over because sometimes the defects on the backside so don't just assume if you're looking at the front of the board it's good to go sometimes a defect is really small on one side and it's monster on the other side so this board will make a fantastic set of staves in fact there's another section down farther on the board that's really clear and we'll get two more so this one board will produce four hottub staves for us and I think we paid around $5 for this eight-foot 2 by 8 cedar board which is a heck of a deal we were also able to find several units of tongue-and-groove and again by sorting through those boards we were able to find plenty of clear which we're going to use to build the floor and again there's going to be several pieces that are left over and we'll use those for decorative pieces maybe a fence something like that so just again if you if you kind of look around these warehouses you'll find that there's a lot of a fantastic wood that's been priced down because it's got a blemish or a ding in it alright that does it for our tips on finding affordable wood for your DIY cedar hot tub if you enjoyed this video and you want to learn more about our DIY how to build please subscribe to our YouTube channel we'll put a subscribe button right here please follow along we're going to do some more videos on getting the staves cut getting the joints cut building the floor assembling everything and of course enjoying the hot tub so please follow along if you want to learn more about 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