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  #11  
Old 03-05-2013, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

I read that northern basswood is much better than southern basswood.
Sadly, I bought western red cedar 5/4 deck boards before I knew what to look for.

More recently, I bought two beautiful WRC fence posts (straight-grained and knot free.
No, 4" wide drawings don't really fit a planed 3.5" post!
I am learning that 40+ rings/inch is every bit as tough as birch if no moreso.

The lesson? Don't buy too much at a time or expect to build furniture as a Plan B.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2013, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

Western Red Cedar and Eastern Red Cedar are totally different.

Eastern RC is almost identical to what we call Rocky Mountain Juniper in the West. It carves IMMEASURABLY better than Western Red cedar.

Yellow cedar (Alaskan cedar) is again totally different - and wonderful to carve.

Eastern White Cedar is again different. I have only done a little in this wood, but for working decoys it should be good.

If you are beginning - avoid Western Red Cedar. Even if you are not beginning - give it a miss.

I have no idea why my friend Robson Valley persists in frustrating himself with this material. I am not nearly masochistic enough to fool with it.

For me its best (actually only) purpose is kindling for camp fires.

Last edited by Rick Wiebe; 03-06-2013 at 11:06 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2013, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

Y'know, in your part of the world you should be able to get Tupelo for next to nothing. Up here it is fabulously expensive.

You need to talk with some other duck carvers, because harvesting the lower trunks of the Tupelo tree for carving wood is a bit specialized. The lower part, just above the water, is soft, and light and doesn't fuzz up like Basswood does when carved with rotary power tools, but higher up the wood is harder and often used for upholstered furniture frames.

There is absolutely no point in bringing this subject up at Lowes! You need to find other carvers. Even small mill operators may not know about this, but they are worth a try. They often are a wealth of knowledge about local trees.
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2013, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

Rick, I thank you for the endorsement.
Maybe, I'm two sandwiches short of a picnic.
In your many years of carving, I suspect that you may be right.
They will never take me away, I'm normal.
However.
I believe that I have learned western red cedar for carving in the past 10? years.
It is not a wood to start with, but I appreciate every other wood so much more.
As I am moving into birch so much more now, that is dream wood to carve.
But.
It is just "wood" to me. I see nothing it it, no inspiration at all.
That alone, is a disappointment.
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  #15  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

To those who are carving all kinds of species of woods, where are you getting your stock from and do you buy it in large quantities? I can get Basswood local but it's like $4.50 per board foot. And I need 4"x8"x12' stock, which is $144, and that will only get me roughly 9 blocks, which is $16 a decoy, without the cost of paint, tools and other material. That's a good amount of money and I need to find a better source. We have tons of Cypress here in Florida, and I've got a family friend who makes cabinets out of Cypress and he has a ton of stock at his shop. He gave me this board for free the other day.......




Not sure if Cypress is a good wood to carve, but I'm going to give it a try. I can get this stuff fairly cheap, compared to the Basswood. I sure wish I had a good "hook up" on some good carving wood.
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  #16  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

I have a couple of decoy birds from Ducks Unlimited banquet auctions, there is a lot of wood in each one, for sure. Unless you're sitting on top of the wood, we will always be on the hook for the transportation costs.
Birch, 1.5" x 6" x 5' long, cost me $3.00 yesterday and I get to select the sticks I want.
I shudder to think what that might be in the city.
If I buy a ton of compressed wood pellets at the mill, I'd pay $185.00. After that gets hauled 200 miles east to my place, I pay the retailer $215.00.
A shake block of western red cedar is about 6" x 8" x 24", clear and straight grained. I can buy fresh ones straight from the logging contractor for $5 each as that's what they get. I don't know what the value is, 500 miles away at a shake mill.

If cypress is local and abundant, you might as well try it for long enough to sort of "learn the wood." The piece you show looks nice.
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2013, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Is Cedar good wood to carve with?

I'm with RV.

Try the cypress. A lot of people carve cypress knees, which are the roots of this tree (I think it is called "Bald Cypress" and grows all over the South in wet places.

Give Tupelo a try though,
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