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Cedar for carving?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 09-10-2013 09:50 PM 1708 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 729 days


09-10-2013 09:50 PM

Is cedar a good wood for carving on? I have plenty of it around and wondering if it is good.


25 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1940 posts in 1918 days


#1 posted 09-10-2013 10:11 PM

No….. it is way too soft and splinters badly. If you do decide to do some light carving on it I suggest you put a finish on the wood before starting. It may hold the surface together a bit while you are carving. I have done this with Mahogany and it kinda’ works.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1681 days


#2 posted 09-10-2013 10:11 PM

Dunno why it would not be for many things. It’s pretty soft stuff and easy on the tools (other than a little pitch build-up that you should be able to clear with rubbing alcohol and a rag). Downsides would seem to be it is soft and will dent easily plus it is a vertical grained wood that I don’t think would work too well if you wanted to get real fancy. Will watch to see what the experts have to say though.

View MontanaBob's profile

MontanaBob

502 posts in 1680 days


#3 posted 09-10-2013 10:12 PM

Cedar is real good for carving…I don’t do it myself, but I’ve seen some real nice pieces, done with a Dremel tool…Just don’t breathe the dust,,,it’s nasty stuff…

-- To realize our true destiny, we must be guided not by a myth from our past, but by a vision of our future

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teejk

1215 posts in 1681 days


#4 posted 09-10-2013 10:13 PM

Jim…I was typing before I saw your post. Sharp tools didn’t work for you on cedar???

View redryder's profile

redryder

2313 posts in 2098 days


#5 posted 09-10-2013 10:18 PM

No….. it is way too soft and splinters badly.

Your kidding, right???

-- mike...............

View Micah Muzny's profile

Micah Muzny

185 posts in 729 days


#6 posted 09-10-2013 10:25 PM

I noticed on my cedar wood turnings there is a lot a like chips that flake off and doesn’t cut smoothly but my mesquite went smoothly. I guess those chips and flakes is the same splinters you are talking about Jim Finn?

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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 729 days


#7 posted 09-10-2013 10:29 PM

So if cedar wouldn’t work very good for a beginner what would? What is something that is easy to work with and confidence builder to get me started on and hooked on carving? I have easy access to oak, cedar, ash, and some mesquite but can get some wood from somewhere to start.

View hairy's profile

hairy

2163 posts in 2529 days


#8 posted 09-11-2013 12:15 PM

Basswood is ideal for carving.

-- on Wednesday's I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea...

View danoaz's profile

danoaz

209 posts in 1167 days


#9 posted 09-11-2013 12:46 PM

Cedar is a good wood. Sharp tools and get to know the wood. Any concerns about chipping or splintering are true of all the woods. With the right tools you can cut cedar like a hot knife on butter. There are many well know artist – sculptures – etc. that work in cedar. CAUTION – Cedar dust really is harmful to your lungs. Wear a mask. Have fun!

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

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Loco

210 posts in 746 days


#10 posted 09-11-2013 01:48 PM

Yeah. Cedar is tough…..if you’re incapable.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View Micah Muzny's profile

Micah Muzny

185 posts in 729 days


#11 posted 09-11-2013 03:26 PM

Maybe as a beginner, cedar would be troublesome. I might get some basswood to start on or I saw a video of a guy using Jutualo or something like that, I forgot exactly what it was called or how it was spelled. It was from Malaysia I think he said. In the video it looked effortless to carve on, but then again he was a master carver so he makes it all look easy haha.

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3175 posts in 2082 days


#12 posted 09-11-2013 03:26 PM

The cedar they make shingles from is very soft, aromatic cedar is harder. Which cedar are your asking about?

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Micah Muzny's profile

Micah Muzny

185 posts in 729 days


#13 posted 09-11-2013 06:34 PM

From what I can tell it is the aromatic cedar. I live in central Texas and there is a lot of it. I looked at pictures of both and Google and it very closely resembles the aromatic cedar.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1681 days


#14 posted 09-11-2013 07:09 PM

Loco…some nice looking stuff in those pix!

Sharp tools and paying attention to the grain direction looks like it paid off. What did you seal it with (it is pretty soft stuff).

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1100 posts in 1283 days


#15 posted 09-11-2013 07:30 PM

butternut is good for beginners too if you can find it.

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