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White Cedar

June 2 2017 at 10:17 AM
Joe  (Login jbusch)

Hi Guys, does anyone have experience caving northern white cedar? I have unlimited access right now to these trees. My in laws farm in WI had a tornado move though the are and took down more of these old cedars than we can count. I brought 4 sections home and it looks nice, very light and carves great. It is softer than I am used to so will get that part figured out but my concern is how this wood reacts over time. Right now if you asked me I think the stuff is great but wanted your opinions and to hear the "bad". They are mature trees but not giants. 16-22 inch diameter.

 
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AuthorReply
Lonnie
(no login)

Re: White Cedar

June 2 2017, 3:11 PM 

that is about all Jim Denkins uses for wood. Nice soft wood, light when it dries. Only concern I would have is knowing it went down due to tornado. When it bends and or breaks the fibers of the wood split, you could get 1/2 way done with some thing and something could fall off. Not sure what the technical word for the splitting of fibers up the entire length of the tree is. But that is why the loggers do not take downed trees. Unless they are chipping it for paper.

 
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joe
(Login jbusch)

downed trees

June 2 2017, 3:50 PM 

Thanks Lonnie, the guys up there told me the same about the trees that were snapped in half. Most of them up rooted but a lot were broke in half as well. I will keep that in mind picking. I never thought much about it so that helps and may save me some time hauling and carving.

 
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lonnie
(no login)

Re: downed trees

June 2 2017, 4:51 PM 

Your welcome, hope the info helps you.

 
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Erv
(no login)

Re: downed trees

June 2 2017, 7:50 PM 

I've heard that called "ring shake". When I've run across it, it is usually in one area of a ring of the tree and you can shore it up after you carve it with deck screws. If you are worried about cracking, I'm trying a product from the CedarCide company called CedarShield. Check out the website and see what you think. I'm not sure about the results yet. There is also another product worth checking out from the Seal It Green company called Tree Carver. It's expensive, but would be worth it on nice pieces that you really care about. Just add a little to the price of the sculpture to cover it.

 
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Mike S.
(no login)

Re: downed trees

June 2 2017, 10:33 PM 

I,ve had one small tree of it and wish I had more. It is very light weight and seems to take detail pretty well. Seemed to get one big crack and become stable and quit cracking pretty fast. Not sure about how it lasts outside.

Mike S.

 
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dennis
(no login)

test for where the cracks will be

June 3 2017, 8:39 AM 

test for where the cracks will be including any ring shaking cut a small slice 1/4 inch or smaller, leave it in the sun, (have a cup of coffee Steve b would say) then examine the slice it will show you where it will shake you can decide where the front of the carving will be, may take a little longer for any ring shaking to show,

ddd

 
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joe
(Login jbusch)

ring shake

June 5 2017, 10:04 AM 

I carved a bear and heron in two pieces of it now. The bear is great. Not a check in it yet. The heron is taking one good check right along the beak. I plan to glue and pin a fish into the mouth so hope that helps hold that crack from being too big of an issue. So far I love cutting this stuff. It seems to hold the detail well and is so light. I have pretty much been carving oak, ash and walnut. This stuff is crazy light. I feel like I am carving a compressed foam or something of that sort. haha

I will try cutting a thin slice in a few of these as I move along with it. I think that is a great idea. I did this with a piece of oak I had and know what you are talking about. I have 5 good pieces of this cedar right now. All from one big tree. So far so good but will see what the others do when I go get some more. Good to hear you guys like it as well.

I will look into those products for sealing these carvings. I have been using Cabots timber oil on the last couple and really like that stuff in Natural. Leaves a nice cedar amber and almost applies like a watered down elmers glue. A lot different than TWP. Have to apply fast.

 
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joe
(Login jbusch)

cedarcide

June 5 2017, 4:43 PM 

Hi Erv, thanks for the ideas. I might try the cedarshield some time. The Tree Carver product is crazy expensive but Cedarshield did not seem so bad. Let us know what you end up with for results using it? No UV but looks like it would apply great over a soft finish for maintenance down the road.

 
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Sean
(Login pinebaroncarvings)

Re: White Cedar

June 3 2017, 8:11 AM 

White cedar is my favorite carving wood, I love it. Nice and lightweight, smells great, looks great when it's finished, I personally never had a problem with it cracking too badly. They don't grow too much here in pennsylvania, at least that I can find, but once in a while I'll get one that was grown as an ornamental tree. Wish I could get it more often.

 
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joe
(Login jbusch)

finished pieces

June 20 2017, 10:20 AM 

here are a couple of the pieces that I have finished with the white cedar. I really like working with this stuff. I have been mostly carving with oak. What a difference this wood is with my tools. I can go fast like ricky bobby. haha




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