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Western red cedar - Gregor1 - 07-29-2022

I bought some western red cedar today. Beautiful wood, and it smells awesome. 4/4 rough on both sides. But.....there's always a but ! I am having trouble planing it. I get a lot of tear out around the knots, regardless of feed direction. My planer blades are relatively new. Is this common with red Cedar?  I have never worked with it before. Will it simply have to be sanded down to thickness?

Thanks  Greg

RE: Western red cedar - Willyou - 07-29-2022

I have limited experience with it, but I think that is common. I've noticed that it seems a bit brittle. First, of course, make sure your blades are sharp. Then make cuts a fine as you can. You can also try dampening the surface for each pass. This sometimes helps. You may need to find someone with a stationary drum sander.

RE: Western red cedar - Gregor1 - 07-30-2022

I quit trying to plane it down. I did take one piece down to 3/4 and stopped. I don't want to ruin this awesome wood. I put on new blades, and took off as little as I could, with limited improvement. I will wait until I can locate a drum sander. There are a few on Facebook, but I hesitate to buy something like this used. According to the reviews I have read, the Jet 1836 is suppose to be pretty good, but it's almost 2k. That's a lot of dimes and nickels.

RE: Western red cedar - SteveS - 07-30-2022

I've run hundreds of feet through my jointer and planer and it usually turns out great with little to no tear out, even at the knots.

RE: Western red cedar - AHill - 07-30-2022

Try soaking the knots in alcohol before you plane it.

RE: Western red cedar - EdL - 07-31-2022

Need to know what planer you have and how many knives.


RE: Western red cedar - Gregor1 - 08-01-2022

I have a Dewalt 733. 2 knives. Just replaced.

RE: Western red cedar - Gregor1 - 08-02-2022

I took a piece of the cedar back where I bought it, and he ran it through the sander for me. Is that some pretty wood or what?  I think so.The pic does not do it justice. It's a lot more vivid. [attachment=43639]

RE: Western red cedar - Alan S - 08-02-2022

That looks more like eastern red cedar, (aromatic cedar) than western.

RE: Western red cedar - Gregor1 - 08-02-2022

Well, it is quite aromatic, so maybe it is eastern. IDK ????? First time I have ever worked with it.