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Cedar help please

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Forum topic by MissouriOutdoors88 posted 09-29-2014 08:24 AM 1020 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 803 days


09-29-2014 08:24 AM

Hey all! I’m new here and excited to be a part of this great site. I’ll skip the personal introduction for now other than saying I live in southeast Missouri and am owner of a good chunk of wooded land. So I have access to lots of various lumber primarily including white oak, walnut, and cedar amount others. So I’m just getting started on this woodworking, but have been wanting to for quite some time.

I cut down a couple cedars the other day and skinned them. Looked at them yesterday and they have some thin longitudinal cracks, and they seemed to have warped some. Can this be avoided? Should I leave the bark on a while? Thanks!

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.


30 replies so far

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3553 posts in 1233 days


#1 posted 09-29-2014 11:24 AM

cedar doesn’t have much of a bark. Cracks and warping occur naturally although you might be able to minimize cracking by sealing the ends with paint or paraffin. Welcome to LJ’s

-- earthartandfoods.com

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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 803 days


#2 posted 09-29-2014 11:36 AM

So there isn’t much I can do about a log warping then I guess huh? Also, should I peel the bark immediately after cutting?

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1941 days


#3 posted 09-29-2014 12:38 PM

Depends on what you are going to do with the wood. If you want boards, best to saw them out as soon as possible after felling the tree.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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MrFid

805 posts in 1370 days


#4 posted 09-29-2014 03:53 PM

To avoid warping I’d mill to boards ASAP (as suggested in comment 3), and stack and sticker the boards in a covered area while you let them dry. Then mill to final thickness using a jointer and a planer when you’re ready to work with the wood. Good luck, and welcome!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 803 days


#5 posted 09-30-2014 02:10 AM

Thanks for a the help folks! Much more
Helpful than another site that shall not be named. Does anyone build interior furniture with cedar?

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#6 posted 09-30-2014 02:33 AM

Usually furniture is made out of harder woods than cedar,indoors closets and blanket chest are lined in cedar sometimes.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 803 days


#7 posted 09-30-2014 02:43 AM

Yea I have a good bit of oak and some walnut at my disposal as well but wanted to mess around with the cheaper cedar as a beginner. The other option for me is to start with some bar wood stuff. I actually just got a little barnwood end table competed and it actually turned out ok. Any of y’all mess with barnwood? Also, how do I know what kind of wood those planks are made from? I’m not great at judging that just yet. Thanks and sorry for all the newbie questions.

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

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Monte Pittman

22029 posts in 1803 days


#8 posted 09-30-2014 02:50 AM

Cedar can be very popular for indoor furniture. It’s very beautiful. Sometime this winter, I will be making a dining table with it.

Welcome to Lumberjocks

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

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3042 days


#9 posted 09-30-2014 03:00 AM

I stand corrected,just because I don’t use Cedar for furniture it doesn’t mean others don’t.Take a look at Monte’s projects.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View mort2's profile

mort2

1 post in 800 days


#10 posted 09-30-2014 03:00 AM

I have made a book case out of red ceader. It has lasted 17 years and still looks great. I would suggest that you ware a mask and a heavy Aperian to protect your skin. I broke out in a horable rash from my chest all the way down to my knees, It was not fun.

View CSmithWoodturnings's profile

CSmithWoodturnings

24 posts in 803 days


#11 posted 09-30-2014 03:40 AM

I am a woodturner and I’ve used quite a bit of cedar. Whenever I have left the logs sitting around they do tend to have longitudinal checking, but whenever I have cut the logs, and roughed out the bowls, they don’t crack. My best piece of advice would be to:

1.Cut the pith out of your logs. The pith is the center of the log where the rings originate. This will usually help a lot.
2. Seal the end grain of the logs with either wax, or anchor seal, or possibly even a few coats of a latex paint. Moisture will want to come out of the end grain faster than any other part of the wood. Sealing this will allow a slower drying process, which will prevent most checking.

View CSmithWoodturnings's profile

CSmithWoodturnings

24 posts in 803 days


#12 posted 09-30-2014 03:40 AM

I am a woodturner and I’ve used quite a bit of cedar. Whenever I have left the logs sitting around they do tend to have longitudinal checking, but whenever I have cut the logs, and roughed out the bowls, they don’t crack. My best piece of advice would be to:

1.Cut the pith out of your logs. The pith is the center of the log where the rings originate. This will usually help a lot.
2. Seal the end grain of the logs with either wax, or anchor seal, or possibly even a few coats of a latex paint. Moisture will want to come out of the end grain faster than any other part of the wood. Sealing this will allow a slower drying process, which will prevent most checking.

View MissouriOutdoors88's profile

MissouriOutdoors88

334 posts in 803 days


#13 posted 09-30-2014 04:41 PM

Thanks a lot everyone. I want to start with cedar also because there’s so much in my woodlands that I actually want it out so other native species can propagate. That and it so cheap to do so my rookie mistakes won’t be a big deal. I’m getting a 14” bandsaw this weekend so I’m hoping to be able to rip some with it. Does anyone else do this? I just don’t want to have to ask my neighbor to use his mill every day.

-- I'm an aspiring woodworker with a degree in Biology.

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3022 posts in 1263 days


#14 posted 09-30-2014 04:59 PM

Just get used to knots. Lots of knots. You’ll want to develop a knot filling strategy. I use the dust from sanding it mixed with epoxy. You can also just use clear epoxy.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3553 posts in 1233 days


#15 posted 09-30-2014 05:04 PM

+ Charles and adding splinter. Milled and planed cedar is usually kept in a shady/dark area and covered with burlap to maintain the aromatic scent.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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