does anyone know much about aromatic cedar

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Forum topic by , posted 09-18-2011 05:08 PM 6926 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3516 days

09-18-2011 05:08 PM

A woodworker friend built a aromatic cedar.chest and I loved it and it smelled so good. It is beautifull wood. Would there be any regrets with using this wood for kitchen cabinets, building doors and face frames. Seems it would do just fine and has such a nice sent to it. I think an oiled finish would be best so it continues to smell nice.

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20 replies so far

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3792 days

#1 posted 09-18-2011 05:54 PM

I do believe that once a finish is applyed you will lose the aromatic fragrance.

View Carbide's profile


210 posts in 2415 days

#2 posted 09-18-2011 06:05 PM

Yes, once a finish is applied the smell goes away. You actually gotta watch what kinds of finish you use because the oils in the wood are not compatible with many finishes.

-- When it feels like a job, it isn't a hobby anymore.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#3 posted 09-18-2011 06:52 PM

And the wood is soft. Not my choice for kitchen stuff.


View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3496 days

#4 posted 09-18-2011 07:17 PM

Used for moth control in blanket chests and closets. Great fragrance.

I’ve purchased some old cedar chests because I found them at a bargain. Love them. So much I thought about making one of my own. The aromatic cedar is extremely expensive. I figured, a few years ago, my own chest would cost over four hundred dollars, just for the wood. Now adays I notice the builders are just using the cedar as a liner inside the chests.

Beautiful wood, usually lots of character. Too much for some. Soft.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View pariswoodworking's profile


386 posts in 2453 days

#5 posted 09-18-2011 07:32 PM

It’s soft, smell good, and has a tendency to crack (at least the cedar we had cut. Its been several years and still cracks a little). Sanding sealer will help prevent this. It looks great with a poly finish.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

#6 posted 09-19-2011 01:52 AM

Great information. Not sure if I would build a kitchen out of the cedar. I do like the looks, the cost is reasonable. If I did a kitchen, I think I would use hard maple for the face frames so that the doors mounted well to the cabinet.

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View pariswoodworking's profile


386 posts in 2453 days

#7 posted 09-19-2011 02:07 AM

Cedar or pine would be good if your going for the rustic look. Not sure how well they will hold up to abuse.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2648 posts in 2891 days

#8 posted 09-19-2011 02:52 AM

I use a lot of cedar, making boxes and trunks and get it cheaper than Oak.

-- Website is

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3019 days

#9 posted 09-19-2011 05:47 AM

Cedar is inexpensive, great for outdoor furniture, and is beautiful ( to most people; there’s allways someone who doesn’t like it). Closets and chests lined with it are left unfinished to maintain the smell. Every few years, one must sand the surfaces to remove dried oils from the wood to restore the scent. Shellac works well, or laquer. I don’t know how unfinished cedar would do with dishes. In the Civil War (Pahdon me Beauegard, you shoot first. I insist.) southerners had canteens made of cedar, and yankees had maple or beech. Them Rebs would kill the Yanks just for their canteens. The taste of cedar was that bad.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18249 posts in 3645 days

#10 posted 09-19-2011 09:13 AM

A room full of it may get to be a bit overwhelming after a while. Little too much of good thing ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2952 days

#11 posted 09-19-2011 09:13 PM

The first thing to know about working with Aromatic Cedar is safety first, wear a respirator when working with aromatic cedar.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

#12 posted 09-20-2011 02:51 AM

Thanks for the information guys. I really like how it looks and smells.

Greg, that is a great point you make.

Parishwoodworking, those are beautifull projects you show. Very nice looking. I tend to work with some customers that have rustics taste

-- .

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3037 days

#13 posted 09-20-2011 04:58 AM

Cedar certainly smells good, but if you put a finish on it, you lose the aroma. If you leave it “raw” you also lose the aroma unless you lightly sand it periodically.

It certainly wouldn’t be my first choice for furniture or cabinets, but I’ve used quite a bit of it as closet or chest liners.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View maljr1980's profile


171 posts in 2425 days

#14 posted 09-25-2011 10:17 PM

ive seen it used for wine cellar doors and shelving among other things

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3713 days

#15 posted 09-26-2011 12:34 AM

If you like a cedar smell that’s not as strong and last longer without resanding, try Spanish cedar. It’s a little more stable and less likely to check.

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