Smoothing Rough Pecky Cedar

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Forum topic by torea posted 01-13-2017 03:43 AM 575 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1017 days

01-13-2017 03:43 AM


I recently picked up a few small boards of pecky cedar. It’s essentially two 1/2” boards glued together, one that’s smooth cedar, and one that’s pecky and rough. I’d love to smooth out the pecky side to use for some projects, but I’m worried about tear-out or just destroying the pecky-ness. Does anyone have any tips for smoothing these boards without shredding or chipping them to death?

I have a Grizzly benchtop planer and a variety of power sanders, if that helps.

Thank you!

2 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5622 posts in 3860 days

#1 posted 01-26-2017 02:01 AM

I understand that the helix heads for planers are great at handling ‘problem’ grain, that may be one (expensive) solution. Shallow cuts with your planer may yield good results. If it is just one board I would break out my hand planes and have at it. It is surprising how quickly you can tame a knarly piece of wood with a hand plane

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View wood2woodknot's profile


96 posts in 2121 days

#2 posted 01-26-2017 04:27 AM

SHARP – THIN CUTS. I just finished carving a 6 ft. boat oar out of a piece of 2×8 western red cedar. Blocked out the basc shape on a table saw, then all the thicknessing and shaping with only a #5 and block planes, and a 3/4” chisel. I have two garbage bags of shavings. Most problems with tearout were when I tried to take too heavy a cut or needed to touch up the tools. Watch the grain. Shearing cuts were a big help, too. I just finished thicknessing some smaller pieces for another project and a ryoba and planes were better than a band saw and scroll saw (tendency to burn).

Was not hard – just had to be careful and not rush the hand work. This was my first project with cedar. Enjoyed he experience..

-- ajh

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