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grsjax

Western Red Cedar

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I was giving a couple of large pieces of cedar from a guy that cut one down.  He didn't know what kind it was but it appears to be western red cedar.  Nice wood, light tan in color with a mild cedar smell and a fairly fine straight grain with a few small knots.  My question to the forum;  Has anyone used western red cedar in building models?  If so how did it work out?

 

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For at least one response - I have no actual experience with this species of wood.  From the lack of reply, I guess that few have any experience either.  The information that I read in the Wood Database points to it being a poor choice for any part of an actual ship model.  It may make an interesting base.  It may work for making jigs and other support components.

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As an indicator of the characteristics the term Cedar is all but useless.   It includes several genus groups and may be more than one family.  Being an aromatic conifer may be all it takes.

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If you red cedar sample is straight grained and cured it will work nicely for planking and decks. It can be carved fairly easily too as that is the primary wood for totem poles and NW coast native art. Be sure to use a mask while sanding and machining the wood as it is an irritant. Also the sanding dust can be irritating to the skin. Yellow cedar trees look similar but the wood is a nice yellow-crème color. It has the same irritants the red cedar does. It is better to carve because straight grained wood is non-splintery and will take detail nicely. While harder  than basswood it doesn't fuzz like basswood when sanded. Yellow cedar best for carving and planking, Basswood best for sheetwood and carving. Red cedar good color and nice for planks and decks. More irritants than the other two.

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I built a canoe of WRC and it's kind of splintery so I doubt it would make good planking for a model. Funny, I used it for planking the canoe. It bends well, but can be brittle if that makes any sense. The grain wasn't what I would call tight. 

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