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what type of finish should be used on Aromatic Cedar

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  • what type of finish should be used on Aromatic Cedar

    I made a stand up puzzle out of aromatic cedar because of the different color grain. It's easy to cut, sands easy, but can be brittle.
    I was wondering what type of finish would be best for it. Would a finish also keep it from splitting easily vs. not finishing it. I read two different sides, where one says don't seal with an oil based finish (turns gummy over time) but use lacqur or shallac. Others say oil finishes are ok.
    I'm almost finished sanding it and will post a picture when done.

  • #2
    I have made hundreds of cedar boxes and I finish the outside of them with Lacquer. Acrilyc spray from Walmart also works well.
    Hegner Polymax- 3,Hegner Multimax-3,
    "No PHD, just a DD 214"


    • #3
      There is nothing you can use short of baling wire and duct tape to change the integrity of the grain in a particular species of wood. if it is brittle it is going to always be brittle. I would not use aromatic cedar for puzzles for that very reason stick with the more traditional hard woods, cherry, poplar, walnut you will find Oak is very splintery..
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


      • #4
        I think I will try the lacquer.
        Here is the Picture (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ) I used to make the pattern, the pattern and the unfinished puzzle. Because the board was not wide enough I had to make the grain go horizontal. I shortened the ears because the person that wanted the puzzle had a short eared one. It is brittle wood, but I thought I would give it a shot. Some mistakes though.
        Thanks for all your advice
        Attached Files


        • #5
          As a decorative puzzle I think you did very well. You mentioned the grain direction, but in my opinion you have the grain direction placed perfectly. the grain flows along the dogs body. as for durability though,I can see some advantages to having the grain running vertically instead of horizontally, but even with that the puzzle would still have fragile areas.As for the mistakes you mentioned, keep them to yourself because it looks very well cut to me, and the pattern is very nicely done as well!
          If i were finishing that I would use a "rustoleum" brand "ultra cover 2X "clear spray in a semigloss or gloss. Its reasonably priced, available at my nearby Menards store, and doesnt seem to yellow the wood at all.
          Dale w/ yella saws


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