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Thread: Sappy wood problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    947

    Sappy wood problems

    Built a cedar chest 5 years ago. The wood in the chest is almost 10 years old. The chest cannot be used because the sap is still oozing. I resawed the cedar and laminated it to cherry. Perhaps this opened up a lot of sap. Can anything be done to stop the oozing? What should I do differently next time so I don't have oozing sap problems for 5 years.

  2. #2
    Are you sure it is sap oozing? If you put certain finishes on aromatic cedar in a cedar chest it will react with the the finish and it will ooz. I'm not sure what causes it but 2 of my customers have had it happen to them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    947
    There is no finish on the inside of the chest. Just bare wood to let the cedar breath. The cedar was resawn five years after purchase and laminated with cherry. The cherry received a poly-u and stain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Eau claire, Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,084

    Naptha or lacquer thinner

    Glen, I have had some sappy issues while turning pine or tamarac and when I want to stop the ooze I clean the sap up with some Naptha or lacquer thinner. If it is in a crack or crevis an old toothbrush can be used to get in the cracks and remove the sap. On the turnings I then fill with CA and sanding dust to level it out. In your case just getting the sap out of the knots may do the trick, but the CA glue would seal it off. It kind of sucks to have to go in and do it when the chest is complete, but as they say; hindsight is 20-20!

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
    To turn or not to turn that is the question: ........Of course the answer is...........TURN ,TURN,TURN!!!!
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  5. #5
    You're in bit of a catch-22. You want the cedar exposed to allow the benefits but need it sealed so you can use the chest. At this point I would trade off the open cedar for a usable chest. A couple coats of shellac will do the job and once dry, shellac is not known to impart odors.

    Next time I would use a properly dried (which for me means a trip to the lumber yard) aromatic cedar which is widely used for this purpose. I hope someone wise in the ways of material preparation can give you some help that will allow you to use your own cedar as I too get more satisfaction form using my own prepared stock vs. store bought when possible.
    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” -- George Orwell


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ogden, UT
    Posts
    947
    Thanks Jeff, your method just may work, and it will keep most of the cedar exposed so the aroma will still come through.

    I would wait ten more years of oozing sap before I shellaced the thing. This piece is heirloom quality and shellacing the cedar will make it not so.

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