Bleeding Sap from Spanish Cedar

Tips for dealing with sap that seeps from cedar. November 10, 2005

Has anyone had any experience with sap bleeding out of Spanish cedar? Is there a way to extract the sap before installation into a humidor?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor A:
I've had that problem. I don't know of a way to extract the sap, but if you wipe it down with denatured alcohol it will get rid of it, although it may leach out again. The wood needs to be sealed. All Spanish cedar doesn't do this - some pieces do, and some don't.

From contributor B:
Warming the timber with a hot air gun or hair drier will cause the sap to bleed more and faster. You can then wipe it away as contributor A said. There's no guarantee that you'll get it all out. If you use the wood indoors, you can seal it with shellac. If it's going outdoors, don't seal it, but use an exterior wood stain like the Sikkens Cetol range. These allow the sap to bleed through the finish without causing damage. The sap hardens and crystallizes and can then be brushed or scraped off.

From contributor C:
To set the pitch in wood, you have to heat it. That is best done in a kiln at 180 degrees. Any heating above whatever temperature it raises to during service should retard the bleeding. Keep in mind some non-air-conditioned rooms at 100 degrees outside temperature can be much hotter inside.