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SPANISH CEDAR

Cedrela spp.
(some Toona species also on this page)

Generally Cedrela odorata of the family Meliaceae, the mahogany family, but also Cedrela huberi, Cedrela sintenisii and others as well.

This wood is not Spanish at all, nor is it a true cedar (which would put it in the pine family), it's in the mahogany family and grows in South America and the West Indies. It DOES smell something like cedar, which is probably how it got the name.

Cedrela odorata is favored for cigar boxes because tobacco worms don't like it and it has moisture absorption ability that is higher than less dense wood. I personally find that a strong tendency to fuzz up when worked make it unsatisfactory for craft use but some reports say it is favored for that use. A high durability and resistance to moisture-induced defects make it useful for outdoor construction even though it is light weight and isn't very strong.

The Cedrela species that go under various "cedar" names are not only in the Mahogany family, they have some characteristics that are similar to the mahoganies, particularly the look of the end grain. Toona species are the same, both in that they are in the mahogany family and also have similar end grain. Also, several Toona species, although not sold as "Spanish" cedar, do have cedar in their common names and grow in similar areas, so are included on this page.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


sample plank and end grain listed as Cedrela odorata --- the color correction is a little off on this one; the wood is slightly less orange that what shows up here and in fact had I seen it from a distance I would have thought, based on the color, that it was mahogany (which isn't all that odd, really, since it IS a mahogany).


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of curly Spanish cedar / Cedrela odorata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of spanish cedar curly (cedrela odorata) 1--- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The curl is much stronger than what shows up in these pics.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of spanish cedar curly (cedrela odorata) 2--- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The curl is much stronger than what shows up in these pics.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of cedro (Spanish cedar) / Cedrela fissilis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I note that for ALL of the pics of this sample, the color correction was a bit weird --- in order to get the wood color to come out right (which I did) I had to make the white background look slightly greenish.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Argentine rose cedar / Cedrela fissilis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Spanish cedar is another name of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Argentine rose cedar / Cedrela fissilis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Spanish cedar is another name of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Argentine rose cedar / Cedrela fissilis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Spanish cedar is another name of this species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Peruvian cedar / Cedrela fissilis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of two laminated pieces of cigar box cedar / Cedrela huberi --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The slight difference in colors between the labeled side and the unlabeled side is because they are actually two different pieces of wood.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Spanish cedar / Cedrela huberi --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. Note that the first face was sanded to 240 grit and the second face was not and this accounts for minor differences in color between the two (the second face still has a patina) and the better resolution of the detail characteristics as seen in the first one.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Chinese cedar / Cedrela sinensis --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This species is NOT called "Spanish cedar" but as it is a cedar in the genus Cedrela, I have put it on this page anyway. NOTE: this wood is strongly ring porous which is completely unlike the other Cedrela species on this page. I don't know if that is an indication of a mis-identification or just that some Cedrelas are ring porous, but not the ones that are sold as "Spanish cedar".


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a plank of Spanish cedar / Cedrela spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. For more detail on this plank, see the sample directly below.


both sides of a sample plank of Spanish cedar / Cedrela spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This sample was cut from the plank directly above


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above




A note about the next three sample pieces, all from the same vendor. Cedrela montana is from Ecuadore and my database just lists it as having several Spanish common names all including the word "cedro" (cedar), but this vendor has it listed as Spanish cedar and since that's a bit of a catchall for the genus Cedro, I've gone along with it.




end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of lightly mottled red mountain Spanish cedar / Cedrela montana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn red mountain Spanish cedar / Cedrela montana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This piece is perfectly quartersawn and the unlabeled face shows the nice, small, ray flakes one sometimes gets with Cedro species.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

end Cedrela montana samples




both sides of a sample plank of Burma cedar / Toona ciliata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Australian red cedar / Toona ciliata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Australian red cedar / Toona ciliata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Australian red cedar / Toona ciliata --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Spanish cedar / Toona calantas --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample of Spanish cedar. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.


planks --- the 2nd pic has too much red


HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the left plank directly above


small plank sections with very accurate color


planks w/ color show just a tiny shade too red


veneer sheet of Australian red cedar / Toona spp. This sample was contributed to the site by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. HUGE enlargements are present.


veneer sheet and closeup --- colors are accurate


This veneer sheet was loaned to me by John Koehn whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


Spanish cedar veneer --- HUGE enlargements are present. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION D


quartersawn Spanish cedar veneer from COLLECTION E --- HUGE enlargements are present. Some of the darkening may be dirt but I think it's mostly just an age patina. This is one of the pieces with really obvious water stains

web pics:


plank with wet and dry sections


planks listed as Spanish cedar / Cedrela odorata


planks --- some of these have been moistened for the pics


plank with a red color that I do not find believable


plank with wet and dry sections


turning stock and end grain


a pair of bowl blanks dry and then wet


crotch slabs


plywood


veneer


figured veneer


pomelle veneer and closeup


4 shots of various pomelle figure veneer, all from the same vendor


quilted veneer from the same vendor as the pomelle veneer above --- clearly the vendor can't decide whether to call it quilted or pomelle --- to me it's all pomelle and not quilted but that may be a distinction without a difference.


fiddleback veneer


planks from the BogusColorVendor so the color is highly suspect


guitar blank, moistened for the pic