turning cedar

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Forum topic by Mark posted 11-06-2013 03:52 PM 1470 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Mark's profile


1012 posts in 2456 days

11-06-2013 03:52 PM

Morning all. If you were to turn a platter from a green red cedar log, would you rip the log down the middle like a bowl blank or would you cut a slice off the end?
Thank you.

-- Mark

3 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12891 posts in 2862 days

#1 posted 11-06-2013 05:11 PM

Rip down the center.

A slice off the end can be problematic with checking. I’ve done it once successfully but the surface is all end grain and not very attractive.

-- Rick M,

View justinwdemoss's profile


148 posts in 3377 days

#2 posted 11-16-2013 12:25 AM

I’m with Rick. Rip down the center, but be careful and use your guard and faceshield with cedar. I was doing a 12” green bowl and “discovered” a large bark and sap inclusion that split the bowl blank during roughing and sent 1/3 of it shooting into the way behind me.

You can cut the blank either way you are asking about, but slicing it off the end will mean cutting through end grain. It could be incredible, but might also blowout during turning. Cutting end grain will stress the wood and cedar is not a strong wood, thus you could tear it up easily. I would recommend small cuts and sharp tools.

Whatever you decide, post some pics of however it turns out.

I did an Eastern Red Cedar 8” shallow bowl with bark inclusion with a hand rubbed tung oil finish that was displayed at the Cincinnati Museum Center last winter. Cedar is underrated as a turning and bowl wood in my opinion.

-- Justin in Loveland, OH

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2737 posts in 3403 days

#3 posted 11-16-2013 12:56 AM

I have turned some cedar fireplace bellows and found that cedar is a bit too weak for turning these so I no longer make them of cedar. I have had two fly apart on me. I have made over 50 of these but just a few with cedar.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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