…when I plane Atlantic White Cedar.

It’s a joy to work this stuff. It’s not really a cedar, but a cypress tree. The Latin name is Chamaecyparis thyoides, here’s a website with some details about the tree http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_1/chamaecyparis/thyoides.htm

I rarely get to handle it. Where we buy logs this timber is usually snatched up by boatbuilders. But once it a while we get some. This one was a small-diameter tree, riven out ages ago. Then I let the rough-split bolts dry outside until I needed them. The riving process is just as it is for oak or other hardwoods. Select a straight-grained log, break it into sections with wedges and a maul, then use the froe to split out the rough billets.

twisting the froe

I have seen it used on lots of 17th-centuryNew England furniture, often as chest floor boards, drawer bottoms, but sometimes panels – like the rear panels in this Plymouth Colony chest.

These panels are easily 9” wide, thus a pretty large tree. Oak framing, pine floor boards, and cedar rear panels. (photo is a scan of an old slide…hence not the best.)

Here is the same chest, this time the side of the till is cedar:

The stock I have is quite narrow, so I am using it for the moldings I need for the German chest I am making…first up is just planing the stock flat and straight. It’s like proverbial candy-from-a-baby.

It’s more fun than you can imagine. I’m near the end of this log, but I will keep my eye out for more…

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