#2: Eastern Red Cedar

Bird number: 2
Date: December 4, 2011
Wood: Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Source: Antlers OK

Debra’s uncle is a wood worker. He builds tables and such, and mills his own lumber. He milled almost all the lumber that he used to build his house up in Oklahoma. When he found that I had started carving, he was kind enough to give me some pieces of wood, including two large chunks of cedar. This is probably eastern red cedar, Juniperus virginiana.

The wood has that distinct cedar odor, and feels quite nice in the hand. I typically put an oil and wax finish on my carvings, but didn’t want to do that to this one, because I didn’t want to mask the cedar odor.

I had a heck of a time getting a good finish on this wood. Every time I thought I had it sanded smooth, I’d find another spot that wasn’t quite right. I finally gave up and called it good, but I’m not particularly happy with it. Perhaps I’ll go back to it after I’ve practiced a bit on other pieces of cedar.

This type of cedar is often used for fence posts because it’s very rot resistant. Because moths avoid the wood (I guess they don’t like the smell), it’s often used for lining closets and chests. Many people like the cedar aroma, but some are allergic to it. Sure is pretty, though.