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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!
 

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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.
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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You use what you have. If only a bandsaw, you can do that. But if you need an edge for glue up, you'll need to learn to use a hand plane. Inlm assuming if you don't have a TS, you don't have a jointer. I've jointed many pieces with a plane, but it takes work. Cedar is easy to plane, except for the knots!
 

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No. Powered hand planers are for trimming doors that get stuck or other carpentry work. I mean an old fashioned hand plane-no motor but yours.
 
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