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I know it is Cedar.... Please Tell Me MORE....

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Forum topic by DIYaholic posted 05-25-2014 07:00 PM 1373 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2138 days


05-25-2014 07:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question cedar milling

A friend, “The Chef”, cut down a cedar about a year ago. (pictures at the end of post) I would like to mill & make some turning blanks from the remains…. IF that is possible and advisable. As far as I know, cedar is a soft wood, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. FYI: I’m located in Vermont.

As the title states, I know it is cedar, but what particular species and it’s workability eludes me. I could use some help from the collective brain trust here on LJs to shed some light on the matter. So, onto my questions….

1) What species is this?

2) Once milled and/or blanks are made, what is the required drying time, before I could work it?

3) Where does it fall within the janka scale?

4) Does this “work” & “turn” well?

5) What projects can you recommend?

6) What finishes would you suggest?

I want to say thank you, in advance for you help and for taking the time to read and reply!!!

The tree: about 45’ tall

The leaf:

The wood pile:

Again, thanks for imparting your knowledge….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?


31 replies so far

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1750 days


#1 posted 05-25-2014 07:27 PM

I work a lot with cedar, mostly western red cedar. The stuff on the east coast is suppose to be aromatic cedar, can’t really tell from the photo’s.
Western red cedar can be used for turning, but keep the chisel sharp and the speed low. Any time you lathe a soft wood it’s best to go slow and wear protection for your face. One snag and it’ll snap off and fly.

Aromatic cedar is a bit more firm and works a lot like Camphor.

This web site will give you the rest of the info you requested.
http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2138 days


#2 posted 05-25-2014 07:42 PM

Russell,
Thanks for the info & link!
That’s a great site.
I guess, once I mill it up, I’ll get to see the color and grain….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#3 posted 05-25-2014 07:44 PM

Randy, We have Eastern Red Cedar here and that doesn’t look at all like ours (foliage or cut ends). Ours has vey white sapwood and bright red heartwood when freshly cut.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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RussellAP

3059 posts in 1750 days


#4 posted 05-25-2014 07:45 PM

The leafs look like western red cedar to me, but when you cut it you’ll smell it if it’s aromatic cedar. Should have a dominant reddish purple color, western red will look more like Juniper with light red to pink spalting. Sap wood is almost pure white.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22007 posts in 1801 days


#5 posted 05-25-2014 08:15 PM

We have eastern red cedar. It doesn’t look like that.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2138 days


#6 posted 05-25-2014 08:21 PM

No matter what species it is, I’ll play with it and make something.
It is FREE wood, that makes it my favorite to practice with!!!

Thanks, guys.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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firefighterontheside

13470 posts in 1320 days


#7 posted 05-25-2014 08:23 PM

Randy that probably either western red cedar(arborvitae) or white cedar. White cedar may be natural to Vermont. I will check. Definitely not eastern red cedar. I will check my book and get back. Either way it is definitely good wood. Lots of canoes and paddles are made with white cedar.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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JL7

8426 posts in 2428 days


#8 posted 05-25-2014 08:27 PM

Can’t help with the wood ID Randy – but nice score!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

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firefighterontheside

13470 posts in 1320 days


#9 posted 05-25-2014 08:36 PM

Northern white cedar or eastern arborvitae is natural to Vermont. Pictures may be crap, but..

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Arlin Eastman

3555 posts in 2024 days


#10 posted 05-25-2014 08:36 PM

Yes and I love turning everything from Ceder.

Arlin

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2153 days


#11 posted 05-25-2014 08:42 PM

Bill wins! That looks just like Randy’s pics.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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firefighterontheside

13470 posts in 1320 days


#12 posted 05-25-2014 08:50 PM

Western red cedar and eastern white cedar are very similar looking. The needles are quite soft, not prickly like those of eastern red cedar, the bark looks similar. Western red cedar is widely planted as an ornamental and just called arborvitae. Eastern red cedar or aromatic cedar as Russell called it, is native to the whole eastern half of the country except the southern coasts and is actually a juniper and not a true cedar. It is exported to japan as a hardwood I believe. Don’t know the exact hardness, but it is pretty soft, along the lines of white pine.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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bondogaposis

4028 posts in 1814 days


#13 posted 05-25-2014 09:25 PM

That is Northern white cedar or Thuja occidentalis and is a common ornamental known as Arbor vitae, it also native to the Northeast. Western red cedar is, Thuja plicata and is not commonly used as an ornamental and is native to the pacific coastal rainforests. The wood is soft, it is used in canoe building and fence posts, it is fairly resistant to rot.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2138 days


#14 posted 05-25-2014 09:27 PM

Bill,
I’m thinking you’re assessment is correct.

Like I said, it’ll be milled and made into turning blanks. We’ll see what hides within….

Thanks, all!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2138 days


#15 posted 05-25-2014 09:29 PM

Bondo,
Thanks for chiming in and offering your expertise, it is greatly appreciated!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

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