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Thread: Red Cedar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    Red Cedar

    If I use some Red Cedar boards for closet shelving etc., can I leave it unfinished? Or is it recommended that I finish it with something? If so, what?

    THANKS
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Southeast Pa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    If I use some Red Cedar boards for closet shelving etc., can I leave it unfinished? Or is it recommended that I finish it with something? If so, what?

    THANKS
    It's my understanding that in closets cedar need to be left bare to take advantage of it bug repelling features, in fact I have seen recommendations to sand it from time to time to release the smell and properties anew.
    Now I know none of this to be fact...
    Garry

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Butte Montana which is 1/2 way between Purgatory and Heaven
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    If it's Eastern Red Cedar it's considered aromatic cedar. If it's Western Red Cedar it's not listed as aromatic. Eastern Red will eventually lose it's wonderful smell , but it is recommend to lightly sand with a fine grit and it will refresh or return its aroma.

    I do a lot with Juniper, a member of the Western Cedar family. it absorbs finish quickly. I have found that I have to put several coats of poly on before I get any build up. Western Red is oily, but is rot resistance.

    Check the net, there are some pretty good articles defining Eastern Red, Western Red, White Cedar, Juniper, etc and their uses

    Jiggs Elphison

  4. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    I think I'd leave the cedar unfinished. As Garry mentioned, the cedar aroma fades over time, but can be refreshed with a few swipes of sandpaper. Be aware that cedar is pretty soft, so it'll likely get some dings and other marks serving as a closet shelf. Not that it's a bad thing, but I just wanted to mention it.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Eastern or western makes no difference in my book. It would be left unfinished. The unfinished red adds to the room no matter what it is.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

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