Routing cedar or redwood? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing cedar or redwood?

Got a request for routing a board but can't remember if is it cedar or redwood. Senior moment. Any precautions or instructions? Have plenty of wood for a backer board. TIA.

John T.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 02:58 PM
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lettering or edge???

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If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 03:31 PM
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Cedar routes pretty well but it's a softwood so tearout is a big issue. Don't take a lot in single cut. It sands pretty easily so clean up is a snap.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 04:02 PM
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I work with a fair bit of red cedar as it is one of the most common woods here. The dust can be deadly to some people so use a DC when you route if possible or a dust mask if not. As said it tears out easily so I like to nibble away at corners first where it will be a problem and take a slim portion of profiles on the first long cuts. On a thin cut the edge of the bit is cutting close to parallel with the grain but when you have the bit as deep as the bearing lets you go the cutting action is getting closer to 90* across the grain and cedar splits easily on the divisions between grain layers. As soft as cedar is the knots are hard as hell and bad for chipping router bits. An uncle was trying to rout a batch of knotty cedar with a Freud bit and it chipped it right away. He switched to a cheaper bit with C3 carbide instead of C4 and had no troubles finishing the run with it. The C3 grade is more impact resistant.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 07:39 PM
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Redwood is something I use a lot for outdoor projects. The last for decades, finished or not. But I can't imagine trying to route it. It's just too soft to work. It wants to split if you look at it wrong.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-05-2020, 09:45 PM
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RedWood is nice wood to work with, I made an Adirondack loveseat rocker out of it, Also a bookcase, liqueur cabinet out of it, along with a end table for a deck. It machines beautifully, and finishes nice too.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 07:13 AM
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Cedar ain't my favorite material to rout. Redwood is way more forgiving.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-06-2020, 01:10 PM
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I used Lowe's finest fence pickets cedar for the grid in my thread "Planter/Trellis" on 08/05/15 with minimal tear-out.
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