Rough-Cut Cedar

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Forum topic by Sorethumbs posted 1201 days ago 3562 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sorethumbs's profile


38 posts in 1274 days

1201 days ago

Can anyone tell me a way to create a “rough-cut” surface on cedar? I have some cedar that came off a circular saw-mill. I can see the arced saw marks from milling but it is not “rough-cut” like I get from the lumber yard. I want to get that rough surface, even on the edges if possible, how do I do that?

13 replies so far

View David's profile


196 posts in 1290 days

#1 posted 1201 days ago

Are you willing to lose some of the thickness? I’ve been trying to think of ways to do this myself, I want to build something for a pothos plant to climb on, I’m considering just using a coarse bandsaw blade and resawing a thin strip off.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View newwoodbutcher's profile


346 posts in 1477 days

#2 posted 1201 days ago

I did what David is thinking about for a post and beam gate. Worked like a charm

-- Ken

View Sorethumbs's profile


38 posts in 1274 days

#3 posted 1201 days ago

Are you saying that “rough-cut” cedar is produced by a band-saw mill only?

Anyway, I can’t resaw this stuff, its thin already.

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 1229 days

#4 posted 1201 days ago

Not from expreience but I would guess that you could go to HF and get a cheap brass brush for a grinder and run it across the surface. It should be soft enough not to remove material but aggressive enough to “rough up” the surface

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View DrDirt's profile


2407 posts in 2369 days

#5 posted 1201 days ago

I know that the home centers sell rough faced cedar for house trim. Not cut marks but a almost “Splintery” rough surface.
I was thinking that a drill and a wire wheel would accomplish that.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Mickey Cassiba's profile

Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 1658 days

#6 posted 1201 days ago

We had a special request for some ‘rougher cut’ cypress for fencing. We ended up ‘adjusting’ the set on one of our resaw bands with a pair of pliers. Customer was satisfied.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View Sorethumbs's profile


38 posts in 1274 days

#7 posted 1201 days ago

I thought I’d post a follow-up because I did finally find a web site that described how “rough-cut” cedar is surfaced. Apparently it starts as a kin dried board that is S4S. Then it’s run through a surfacing machine. That machine is basicly a planer with serrated knives. This gives it that uniform looking rough surface. I’m not going to get a custom set of knives for my planer, so I’ll either have to learn to like my lumber the way it is, or try one of the creative solutions like those suggested above. Thanks for those.

View JasonWagner's profile


523 posts in 1807 days

#8 posted 1200 days ago

Wondering if you have an old set of planer knives that you could serrate? Easiest way is to run lumber through with hidden nails in it but there might be a better way! Maybe clamp the two or three blades together and use a dremmel type cutting wheel to notch the blades? Does a hand plane with a serrated (scraper) blade give you that type of finish? I haven’t ever used one.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View devann's profile


1735 posts in 1319 days

#9 posted 1200 days ago

I have an old set of planer knives that need resharpening but I keep them for the ruff look. It’s not as ruff as the serrated kinfe look but they do raise the grain and give it an old wood appearance.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View SteviePete's profile


224 posts in 1930 days

#10 posted 1190 days ago

On soft wood like cedar I have power washed it with the rotating head and got a texture similar to rough cedar. (I think it is rough as it is because it is so wet when cut. I know when planing i get lots of tear out.) This was not the purpose of what I was doing. I just wanted it clean. Sand blasting too, should work. Good luck, s.

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Bearpie's profile


2586 posts in 1645 days

#11 posted 1190 days ago

While you can rough up a board with wire wheels be aware that if you use one made of steel instead of stainless steel or brass and if you leave it outside in the weather you will probably end up with a rusty board! The spinning action of the steel wire wheels will wear off and im-bed microscopic pieces and when wet turns to rust. Stainless steel will do the same thing except it won’t rust. Ask me how I found out! I was a welder by trade and found this out on one of my projects that I had to do over! Take my advice or learn the hard way.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View derosa's profile


1533 posts in 1463 days

#12 posted 1190 days ago

How about going diagonally across or against the grain with a heavy file or scraper.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View John's profile


182 posts in 2210 days

#13 posted 1190 days ago

Try a 2TPI band saw blade with an erratic set. I resawed some cedar recently with my 3/4” resaw blade and it had a somewhat rough look. Not as rough as you are looking for. Maybe call Suffolk machinery and ask them what they might suggest.

-- John, Long Island, NY

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