Softwoods Containing Resin - How to Sand?

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Softwoods Containing Resin - How to Sand?

Postby stephanmoll » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:16 am

Have turned a bowl of Himalayan (Deodora) cedar. It has a lot of sap (resin, gum) inclusions – either as pockets or as streaks. It gives the wood a beautiful and interesting structure, particularly as it is translucent and creates an amber-colored glow when light falls through it. Would be beautiful as a lamp shade. My problem though: How do you sand it? Any sandpaper pretty much immediately gums up from the sap, becoming useless. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Himalayan Cedar, Chapel Hill


Himalayan Cedar, Chapel Hill


Himalayan Cedar, Chapel Hill
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Re: Softwoods Containing Resin - How to Sand?

Postby DanRoscigno » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:29 pm

I don't have an answer, but it is beautiful.
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Re: Softwoods Containing Resin - How to Sand?

Postby stephanmoll » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:50 am

Thank you, Dan. And I got an answer from Chris Boerner at the last monthly WGNC meeting: There is no trick or special technique; you just need to use a lot of sandpaper; buy it in bulk.
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Re: Softwoods Containing Resin - How to Sand?

Postby stephanmoll » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:14 pm

Actually, just learnt something else - from a Klingspor employee who is also a WGNC member: "Fiberglass Sanding Screen Abrasive Mesh" used for sheetrock/drywall works great. It comes in various grits. The meshwork clogs up with the resin (image #2), thus removing the resin from the bowl and leaving it nicely sanded. The mesh can then be thrown away. Great suggestion. Thank you! Images 3 and 4 show two finished Himalaya (Deodar) cedar bowls.

Now the next question: How do you best finish the softwoods - does walnut oil stain the wood yellow? Does Seal-a-Cell penetrate well enough into the wood with its resin pockets? Does carnauba wax stick to and cover the resiny part and, thus, lead to the desired homogenous coating? Does the resin immediately render buffing cloths unusable because the resin gues/glues it up? How does the wood behave in the hot NC weather when the resin gets soft - will it weep and get guey?



before, after light and after complete use.


7.5'' diameter


15'' diameter
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