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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default Red cedar project

Currently working on some Christmas gifts out of fresh Eastern Red Cedar. I typically buy already finished boards but I'm doing something a little more personal with pieces from a tree on my property. I need some help with general advice concerning red cedar. The sap is seeping out of my cut pieces and I don't know how to get rid of it without staining my pieces. Also, I want to retain the bark on the piece but I'm not sure the best way how. Anyone out there handled these issues before?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 01:19 PM
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Welcome Casey. The only solutions that I know of for the sap is to air dry the wood for a minimum one year or try heating it in an oven. Heating in an oven risks cracking the wood and the sap will stink so that usually rules that option out for most people.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Welcome Casey. The only solutions that I know of for the sap is to air dry the wood for a minimum one year or try heating it in an oven. Heating in an oven risks cracking the wood and the sap will stink so that usually rules that option out for most people.
But Red Cedar Stinks good !!!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 03:46 PM
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Having never tried it myself, I'm not speaking with any authority on the topic, but I know a number of wood turners who boil green wood in water to speed up the drying process. They claim that it reduces the cracking and distorting that often occurs with natural drying. This link may be of interest.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 06:08 PM
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Drying Wood

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 07:45 PM
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Welcome to the forum Casey.

Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia

Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 01:38 AM
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Hey, Casey; welcome!
I. Hate. Pitchpockets. I wish I had an answer to your 'sappy' question
I run into that issue with Douglas Fir, here in B.C. The wood is notorious for it. Other than purging the sap out with something like Acetone, and that'd be a no-guarantee effort, I've got nuthin'.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 12:25 PM
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Welcome Casey-
I've had the same problems with some large deodar cedar slabs that I bought for use in building tables. After aging for over a year in my southern CA garage and solar-kiln drying at 140 degrees F for 2 days I built a coffee from a beautiful, figured deodar cedar slab. I had to take it back from the customer a year later when they complained that it was "sticky".. IT WAS A MESS!!! The sap had oozed up thru 4 coats of shellac and 3 coats of poly. After this fiasco I spoke with a builder in San Francisco that was selling some smaller deodar cedar pieces and he freely stated that they might get sticky when they got warm or were placed in sunlight. His father had built the family a dining table 30 years ago that got sticky every year! Just can't win.
Let us know if you find a cure that actually works. I'm resigned to turning my investment in these slabs into construction lumber, in which role it should do nicely.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 12:37 PM
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We have a lot of cedar in our local mountains, and even with the drought, many are seeping sap when it warms up. Not my first choice to work with.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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