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Finishing Eastern Red Cedar

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Forum topic by Fax posted 06-27-2017 05:32 PM 942 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


06-27-2017 05:32 PM

Hello friends,
Trying to refinish a cabinet that I think it is Eastern Red Cedar.
Very old cabinet from Germany, made over 50 years ago.
It looked gray without any beauty or grain.
It had been waxed all these years and the wax got so hard
Now the wood graing is SO BEAUTIFUL,
Sanding dust is reddish.
Very hard wood.
Very heavy compared to any other wood I have worked on.
Very dense and britle.
Beautiful grain patterns.
Reddish and White when I apply Lacquer thinner to wipe off the wood.
.
I would like to apply Waterlox Varnish or Arm R Seal

Question
Should I apply Seal coat of shellac,
because it had so much wax over the years, even if I rinse it thoroughly with Acetone and Lacquer Thinner,
Then Waterlox or Arm R Seal

I did some reading about Eastern Red Cedar and someone mentioned that this wood, eastern cedar has oils and must apply seal coat of shellac, otherwise the varnish will not dry.

What do you recommend?
Thank you very much for your help !
Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones


34 replies so far

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2399 posts in 3866 days


#1 posted 06-27-2017 05:43 PM

got a picture .. is the wood soft and does it smel llike cedar

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#2 posted 06-27-2017 05:49 PM



got a picture .. is the wood soft and does it smel llike cedar

- CharlesNeil

It is very hard, feels like a rock .
Very heavy.
Edges are very hard.
Had a gray look before I sanded it.
As soon as I wet it a bit with solvent lacquer it shoes beautiful color, reddish and white.
I will try to smell it as soon as I get home from work.
I used lots of lacquer thinner and acetone to wipe old grime, waxes, and oils that were used.

-- Julian Paul Jones

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2399 posts in 3866 days


#3 posted 06-27-2017 05:53 PM

That doesnt sound like cedar, cedar is soft , usually some what knotty ..

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2914 posts in 2168 days


#4 posted 06-27-2017 05:59 PM

Need a picture. If it is actually from Germany I doubt that it is Eastern Red Cedar. Eastern red cedar is just a little bit softer than Cherry. Cedar 900 Janka, Cherry 950 Janka. Eastern Red Cedar is a juniper it doesn’t have much or any oil some of the knots may bleed. You might want to seal them with shellac but if it is actually 50 years old any sap will have dried up long ago.
It is not particularly heavy about the same weight as Black Cherry a little bit lighter than Black Walnut
As Charles says pictures would really help. If you sand down to new wood the cedar small will fill your shop. You’ll smell it as soon as you walk into the shop. You haven’t mentioned any smell and you would notice that immediately.Hence the name aromatic red cedar.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#5 posted 06-27-2017 06:02 PM


That doesnt sound like cedar, cedar is soft , usually some what knotty ..

- CharlesNeil

As a classical guitar player I know that whenever I see a new guitar, I try to smell it inside because of the beautiful cedar scent.
But this doesn’t have that obvious scent of cedat.
And it is impossible to put a nail in it; must dril first.

Thank you very much for your help!
Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#6 posted 06-27-2017 06:04 PM


Need a picture. If it is actually from Germany I doubt that it is Eastern Red Cedar. Eastern red cedar is just a little bit softer than Cherry. Cedar 900 Janka, Cherry 950 Janka. Eastern Red Cedar is a juniper it doesn t have much or any oil some of the knots may bleed. You might want to seal them with shellac but if it is actually 50 years old any sap will have dried up long ago.
It is not particularly heavy about the same weight as Black Cherry a little bit lighter than Black Walnut
As Charles says pictures would really help.

- johnstoneb

Now that I think of how much sanding I did yesterday, I didn’t notice any scent of cedar as I do when I see a new guitar made with cedar; you feel it right away.

Thank you very much for your help !

Julian

-- Julian Paul Jones

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#7 posted 06-27-2017 06:10 PM

I will post pictures how it looks when i wet it with acetone

-- Julian Paul Jones

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#8 posted 06-27-2017 08:33 PM


got a picture .. is the wood soft and does it smel llike cedar

- CharlesNeil


-- Julian Paul Jones

View Fax's profile

Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#9 posted 06-27-2017 08:38 PM

-- Julian Paul Jones

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2399 posts in 3866 days


#10 posted 06-27-2017 08:44 PM

not sure, but its definately not
Cedar

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#11 posted 06-27-2017 09:40 PM



not sure, but its definately not
Cedar

- CharlesNeil

Since I sanded and rinsed the wood several times with lacquer thinner to remove all wax,
I would like to go with the Waterlox varnish.
Would you recommend a seal coat of Shellac or not needed anymore ?

-- Julian Paul Jones

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

942 posts in 812 days


#12 posted 06-27-2017 10:42 PM

Eastern Red Cedar is as common as weeds around here. I have cut down several in my yard and I wish the rest of them were gone. It is a little bit oily but I never heard of anybody having to seal with shellac prior to varnishing if it has been dried well. It is a popular wood for building bird houses because it is rot resistant. I just ground up a stump in my yard that had been there since I cut the tree down 30 years ago. The only use I have for it is to CNC carve outdoor signs for campers and rustic cabins. I have not found it to be very heavy or very dense. Are you sure we are talking about the same species?

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#13 posted 06-27-2017 11:34 PM


Eastern Red Cedar is as common as weeds around here. I have cut down several in my yard and I wish the rest of them were gone. It is a little bit oily but I never heard of anybody having to seal with shellac prior to varnishing if it has been dried well. It is a popular wood for building bird houses because it is rot resistant. I just ground up a stump in my yard that had been there since I cut the tree down 30 years ago. The only use I have for it is to CNC carve outdoor signs for campers and rustic cabins. I have not found it to be very heavy or very dense. Are you sure we are talking about the same species?

- ArtMann

I don’t know the woods well. I am just learning it each day after work. My wife calls it my “Mid-life crisis” but I think it is the nicest hobby weather married or not married. I am amazed how much there is to know to make wonderful finishes. Even my kids find reasons to hang around me more.
Now my wife is actually very happy that I kept at it for a couple of years now; she has a big list of TO DO for me. Kitchen cabinets, dining table, chairs, bedroom set, bookcases, food trays, kitchen wood stuff, and anything that has wood … My son damaged some furniture and I was not upset at all…more reasons to justify my “Mid-life crisis”

-- Julian Paul Jones

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johnstoneb

2914 posts in 2168 days


#14 posted 06-28-2017 12:37 AM

Definitely not cedar can’t help beyond that.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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Fax

62 posts in 453 days


#15 posted 06-28-2017 12:41 AM



Definitely not cedar can t help beyond that.

- johnstoneb

Actually now that I think of it, I don’t smell cedar after so much sanding.

-- Julian Paul Jones

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