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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I built a cedar chest for my son and his wife. I used glued up cedar panels for the interior of the cedar chest and glued 1/4" oak plywood to exterior and dressed it up with oak corner and trim moldings. It was probably my best wood working finished product. They left, for Iraq (they are both in Army Reserves) shortly after receiving the cedar chest. When they arrived home a year later, they found the interior of the cedar chest oozing a very sticky substance around the entire top and from screw holes in the top cover holding down the padded seat. I can not determine if it is sap or somehow the poly urethane finish. It is very stick to the touch. The wood was supposed to have been kiln dried. I am at a total loss! I tried to wipe the ooze off with mineral spirits to no avail. Acetone seems to work, Any ideas what could have caused this or what it could be?
 

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by chance, did you use any oil based stain on the oak and that is where this goop is showing up? I've seen oak look good and a day later the wet spots start showing up on the grain... even after a poly coat. glad to see they both made it home. Thank a veteran for your freedom.

P.S. did you ship it right away when you thought it was dry?
 

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I don't think it's any fault of the finish you have applied, but rather, cedar resin. Sometimes, you get boards that will seep this resin and there isn't too much that can be done about it. You can rub the spots off with denatured alcohol but they probably will come back again. Putting a finish over the cedar won't help either.
I probably would tell the kids to wrap their stuff in plastic before storing anything so nothing gets ruined.
 

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Hi george - welcome to the forum.

Rob is right its the resin in the cedar. ERC is rarely kiln dried. Not saying it hasn't been but it's not likely since it air dries to very low levels in weeks, and sawyers familiar with the wood would not normally bother to kiln dry it unless to kill the bugs in the sapwood which, are not usually a problem once the wood dries they usually leave since there isn't enoiugh sapwood left on the boards, and they don't like the heart.
I have a pile that I cut last month dead stacked near my barrel heater in the shop and I stuck my pin meter in it friday to check the moisture and it read 5%! It will take some back up once the heat quits getting used but ERC does not need kiln drying to get low MC.
It can release resin crystals for a long time after drying . . . . . has any of the seepage began to crystalize?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WOW! Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention the little shiny crystals "like sugar" all over the wood too.
It sounds like you guys nailed it!

I am in the process of building two more cedar chests. Any suggestions as to how to prevent this?
 

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I don't know what to tell you other than let it dry longer. I've never had any of my ERC blotch quite that bad.

Nice chest; but that really detracts from it. Maybe try to get wood from a different source that stuff seems extremely "sappy".
 

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I don't think it's any fault of the finish you have applied, but rather, cedar resin. Sometimes, you get boards that will seep this resin and there isn't too much that can be done about it. You can rub the spots off with denatured alcohol but they probably will come back again. Putting a finish over the cedar won't help either.
I probably would tell the kids to wrap their stuff in plastic before storing anything so nothing gets ruined.
I've used the Cedar Safe brand for over 20 hope chests and occasionally I've seen the resin crystals. They just brush off with a stiff brush.
I always let the strips air dry and acclimate for about 30 days before use. Never had a problem with this product.
 
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