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Thread: I'm in Love - With Spanish Cedar

  1. #1
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    I'm in Love - With Spanish Cedar

    I had never worked with Spanish cedar until today. I bought a plank yesterday to make a new window sash for someone. Today I cut a piece to rough length; my jigsaw sailed right through it and the smell was very pleasant, almost like Sapele. Then I jointed the 12" wide piece. So smooth and easy and my shop smelled great. Planing was just as easy with no chip out no matter which way I ran it through. At $8.06/bf for the 8/4 stock it's not cheap but I'm loving working with it. Where have you been all my life?

    John

  2. #2
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    The only time I used spanish cedar was inside a humidor. I was a bit disappointed when little sap/oil) (?) dots showed up latter. A touch up with sandpaper cleared it up.
    Last edited by Richard Coers; 09-09-2021 at 9:01 PM.

  3. #3
    It is a nice wood to work with except for the bitter taste it leaves in my mouth- literally.

  4. #4
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    I also like Spanish cedar.
    I like all the aromatic woods the one that are friendly to cut even better.
    Aj

  5. #5
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    Process a few thousand feet of it and I bet you won’t like the smell and bitter taste in your mouth that Kevin mentioned. The smell stays in the DC for a long time. It’s a very stable timber good for windows but a little soft for doors.

  6. #6
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    Move on to Honduras mahogany, all the best aspects of Spanish cedar and none of the worst.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #7
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    Love the smell. Hate the taste.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Move on to Honduras mahogany, all the best aspects of Spanish cedar and none of the worst.
    My wallet said Spanish cedar was the right choice.

    John

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Jenness View Post
    It is a nice wood to work with except for the bitter taste it leaves in my mouth- literally.
    Haven't noticed it yet but I've only cut a few pieces. Some folks complain about walnut, Sapele, and other woods, too, but so far none have bothered me.

    John

  10. #10
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    That's been my take so far, too, Joe; not hard enough for doors although it seems just as hard as the Douglas fir I've seen lately. Sure great to work with though.

    John

  11. #11
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    Works good for distressed doors John but it dents easy. It’s softer than fir. It’s been a few years since I bought it but it was $3.50 or so a few years ago. Sounds like it has gone up a lot. The smell made my long time employee sick so we stopped using it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    My wallet said Spanish cedar was the right choice.

    John
    For some other mahogany substitutes this article might be interesting:
    https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...s-the-lowdown/

    JKJ

  13. #13
    It's good to experiment with woods and find what works for you.

    I made guitars in my spare time and spanish cedar is often used in guitar necks and bodies. I'm very found of Sapele for trim work, furniture, and a host of other things. It's 30% less expensive than genuine honduran mahogany. Honduran dents easier and it's not as hard as Sapele or African Mahogany as they call it. Sapele can take more outdoor abuse in the elements. Very pretty under a natural finish, too.

    My go to wood for projects as of late is good ole cheap Poplar. It cuts easy, sands and glues easy. If you going to paint a soft wood for furniture and trim, I don't see a need to pay anymore that 3-4 bucks a BF for soft wood.

    Spanish cedar isn't the prettiest wood out there for $7-8 BF. It's a bit bland looking. Hence you don't see a lot.

  14. #14
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    Honduran depends a lot on where on the mountain it came from, I bought some recently that is about as heavy as white oak and very hard. It shows a lot of mica and is pretty waxy feeling.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Honduran depends a lot on where on the mountain it came from, I bought some recently that is about as heavy as white oak and very hard. It shows a lot of mica and is pretty waxy feeling.
    Interesting. The material for those Chinese motif chairs of yours was of reasonable weight and pretty clean. Same supplier? Growing conditions really do matter!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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