I’m trying out a few of the cedar picket jack-o-lantern boxes. I’m using a 1/8" upcut, but finding a lot of the chips aren’t actually clearing. I have a dust collector & boot on the system, but I’m still having to do a lot of cleaup at the end (including scraping the cuts to get the damp dust off.
While I’m sure that the wood not being kilned at all is the cause for a lot of this, what if anything can be done to keep this stuff clean?
Dry it first.
Meaningfully doing work w/ green wood is the purview of woodworking w/ hand tools.
Damn, I had a feeling as much, but hoped there was a technical solution.
Try going to some more building supply stores and see if you can just find some dry wood. Cedar is relatively light in weight when dry. If you have a moisture meter better but if not then just pick up the fence pickets and select the lightest ones.
Cedar is used in places where rot is a problem. The reason is cedar is full of natural oil that helps cedar not rot as fast as untreated pine. So there is always some of that oil left and perhaps that is what is gumming up your bits. A 1/8 inch bit does not have very wide flutes to carry chips up and out. So if possible use a larger bit and that would help with chip clearing. Remember your viewing audience will likely be seeing your art from the road and/or sidewalk. So fine detail is kind of a waste even if placed on the porch for visitors to see up close.
If it really is moisture in the wood you can experiment with cutting your pieces to size and then drying in a microwave oven. Just use precautions and make sure you dont set the oily cedar on fire.
Also remember to check your dust filter. My first indication of a dirty filter is reduced chip clearance.