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Old wood needs hardening

2668 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bobj3
I have a shelf from my Father-in-law's shop, and I am making 4 small Reindeer for my Wife and her siblings.. Mementos of their Father.. The wood is a rough sawn 2 1/4" x 6" board that I believe is cedar.. It is a very soft wood..

I'm finding it hard to sand this wood smooth, and am wondering if there is something I can apply to harden it up..
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I've used cyanoacrlate (thin) on boards with loose knots that I didn't want flying around when I ripped stock or if I wanted to keep the knots in the wood. And I use it to hold bark on log band saw boxes. It doesn't color the wood much. You could try that on a sample and see if it works for you.
Minwax also makes a wood hardener. I don't know alot about it but I know people that have used it sucessfully for turning projects for soft wood. Cedar is prone to fuzzies etc. when sanding. Give it a try and like Berry said, CA works great for stabiling knots and cracks.

I use western red cedar for a lot of flutes. (smells great!) and no machine sanding. Not because I don't think you should.... mostly because I don't have a belt sander or palm sander or anything that would power-sand. So... all by hand. 150, 200, 320, 400, 600, 800. It gets shiny. :)

Cause those are the sheets I HAVE right now :)
Takes a little elbow grease but they come out really slick.
oh that's weird... my reply is showing up BEFORE 2 other replies that were posted BEFORE I posted mine... :)
Like Berry said, if you have Knots, soak them in CA and then sand it will do a better job of stabilizing them than anything else. Use the hardener on the rest of the boards but superglue the knots and any cracks.

reikimaster said:
oh that's weird... my reply is showing up BEFORE 2 other replies that were posted BEFORE I posted mine... :)
Yes, replies are coming out all screwed up..
Cedar will always be cedar,a soft weather resistant wood. I have had good results hand sanding cedar.


It seems to be doing ok when I use the belt sander on it, but for areas I can't get with that I'm trying a couple flap sanders chucked in the drill press.. The hand sanding is my problem.. I'll have to try some finer sandpaper on it..
I don't have problems with knots, so some Minwax sounds like a good bet..
Thanks guys..
You may want to take a look at the System Three products

Made to make wood a bit harder and to stand up to the elements.

Rotfix Wood Restoration Repair by System Three corp.

Bj :)
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