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Needing some info on cedar

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Forum topic by JCamp posted 08-20-2020 05:29 PM 740 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JCamp

1736 posts in 2007 days


08-20-2020 05:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cedar

I know it’s beautiful but aside from that what makes cedar a desirable lumber?
It’s supposed to be oily and certain finishes won’t stick to it, as far as woods go though is it really THAT oily ?

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might


13 replies so far

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Ocelot

3808 posts in 4094 days


#1 posted 08-20-2020 05:44 PM

What kind of cedar?

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

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HokieKen

21690 posts in 2594 days


#2 posted 08-20-2020 05:48 PM

Depends on the specific species JCamp but it’s mostly desirable due to it’s moisture-resistance and decay resistance. It’s good for outdoor use and marine use. The aromatic variety is also desirable for closets and chests because the odor naturally repels insects.

I have limited experience working with it and the only finish I’ve ever applied was sealer on outdoor furniture. I don’t recall it being especially oily though. But, like I said, I haven’t worked with it a lot.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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pottz

25749 posts in 2440 days


#3 posted 08-20-2020 05:59 PM

ive used western red cedar quite a bit and have never found it oily at all,ive stained it painted it and put oil finishes on it no problem.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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Phil32

1749 posts in 1359 days


#4 posted 08-20-2020 07:24 PM

I choose cedar for some of my woodcarvings, especially Alaskan Nootka Yellow Cedar. It has excellent carving qualities.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

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SMP

5302 posts in 1361 days


#5 posted 08-20-2020 07:26 PM

As mentioned totally depends on type of cedar and your needs. I use western red cedar all the time as its dirt cheap here.

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Jim Finn

2938 posts in 4378 days


#6 posted 08-20-2020 10:34 PM

I make boxes of eastern red cedar and it sells well, partially because of the odor. People love it. This is why I do not apply finish on the inside of the boxes I sell. It is soft and sands easily!

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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JCamp

1736 posts in 2007 days


#7 posted 08-20-2020 11:10 PM

Well I’m not really wanting to do the project. What brought this to my mind was I was reading the Bible where Solomon was building the temple and used the Lebanon Cedar for the inside. They covered it in gold. Got me to think why in the world of all the wood would they use cedar. I’ve read it’s oily and that certain finishes will peel off of it over time and I know they have cedar wood essential oil. Aside from it smelling great I can’t find any reason for that wood to be used. Thought mayb some woodworkers would know something about it

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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Aj2

4446 posts in 3254 days


#8 posted 08-21-2020 12:01 AM

I know a little bit about cedars. The truth is Western red cedar is in the cypress family. Alaska yellow, port orford,red cedar all from the cypress family.
The only true cedars are deodar and cedar of Lebanon. I think there’s another called atlas cedar.
Cedar of Lebanon is kinda brittle and soft. So it not that great for structural like table legs or frame rails.
But it’s absolutely the best drawer material. Or back panels for a cabinet. It smells great and lasts forever.
I have almost used my last pieces of cedar of Lebanon I had two large quarter sawn slabs.
I’ve made a lot of drawers from them.

Clarowalnut drawer front with Lebanon bottoms.

-- Aj

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xedos

537 posts in 756 days


#9 posted 08-21-2020 01:38 AM

The port orford cedar I’ve used takes and holds heavy solids opaque stain beautifully.

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therealSteveN

9985 posts in 2030 days


#10 posted 08-21-2020 05:01 AM

I used to turn Port Orford Cedar daily back when I did ShopSmith demos. Stuff costs and arm and a leg, but it machines as clean as anything I’ve ever used.

WRC is what most of us are awash in for outdoor wood furniture, traditional siding, and trim for said houses.

Eastern Cedar we know from the linings of older trunks, and many a closet for it’s fresh smell, and it’s ability to chase off insects.

Gonna go with Aj about the real Cedars, I have no history with them. I think though if you are talking Biblical, it’s not much of a leap to think it’s those real Cedars they were speaking of.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3808 posts in 4094 days


#11 posted 08-21-2020 11:10 AM

I think in any ancient writing or even old writing, the names of things may not easily map into something we can identify. I know that cedars are particularly associated with Lebanon. I you look at a Lebanese coin even today, a tree is depicted. I don’t know if that tree is the same cedar as mentioned in the Bible.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View richard2020's profile

richard2020

26 posts in 828 days


#12 posted 08-21-2020 04:22 PM

Here in Arkansas we have loads of red cedar. I have a mill that cuts it for me at .15 c a board foot. I just installed over 3,000 lin ft of T & G under my roof over hang. I must have around 2,500 BF on hand and love working with it.
Unlike northern white cedar it does not give me nose bleeds when working with it. Both cedars finish fine.

-- buzz saw

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1520 posts in 842 days


#13 posted 08-21-2020 04:29 PM


I know a little bit about cedars. The truth is Western red cedar is in the cypress family. Alaska yellow, port orford,red cedar all from the cypress family.
The only true cedars are deodar and cedar of Lebanon. I think there’s another called atlas cedar.
Cedar of Lebanon is kinda brittle and soft. So it not that great for structural like table legs or frame rails.
But it’s absolutely the best drawer material. Or back panels for a cabinet. It smells great and lasts forever.
I have almost used my last pieces of cedar of Lebanon I had two large quarter sawn slabs.
I’ve made a lot of drawers from them.

Clarowalnut drawer front with Lebanon bottoms.

- Aj2


True although Eastern red cedar (aromatic) is Juniper. I’ve also used Spanish cedar for guitar necks. Also not a true cedar and more like Mahogany.

-- Darrel

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