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Thread: Western red cedar carved top

  1. #1
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    23

    Default Western red cedar carved top

    Hello folks
    Iím making a Celtic mandolin , flat back , carved top , maple back and sides , Western red cedar top .
    Iím used to using spruce for the tops of my instruments , I have not had any issues with the finish up till now . WRCedar is a different deal , Iím struggling to get the top sanded
    to a point where I can even start to get some kind of base to work from, it just seems so soft I canít seem to stop it tearing up . Iím looking to end up with a French polish finish.
    Maybe thatís the wrong way ? Any ideas would be great .....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    320 and 400 grit paper with a light touch and patience. Scraper with a light touch works,too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Scraper, then steel wool

  4. #4
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Quote Originally Posted by Levi S View Post
    Scraper, then steel wool
    Thanks guys , Iíll give it a try

  5. #5

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Try a coat or two of shellac, then sand. Repeat as needed. This has worked for me with cedar, and it won't hurt your redwood.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    As said above 320 or 400 grit. I use a firm felt pad for sanding, which keeps the corners from digging in.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    So Oregon
    Posts
    882

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Steel wool will leave shreds in the wood. Many steel wool makers oil the wool pads, bad idea. I highly discourage using steel wool.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Scrapers are a challenge on Red Cedar as well. They do work but tend to tear if not kept to a pretty good bur edge. 220 to 320 to 400 grit works pretty decently.

  9. #9
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    Gentle sanding is slowly getting there

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    DeKalb, IL
    Posts
    3,486

    Default Re: Western red cedar carved top

    make sure you back the sandpaper with something pliable but stiffer than your fingertip and bigger. It will lead to a better surface, including transtitions from one profile to another.
    .

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