Keeping slabs of fresh cut wood from splitting

Hi; my wife and I cut round slabs of wood from felled tree trunks. We then decorate them and sell them as crafts at craft shows. We have found a problem that the slabs tend to split. We used to polyurethane them, hoping to keep the moisture in and keep them from splitting. That did not work. Tonight we tried Seasonite wood treatment. I don't know if this will work. I'll see in the next few days, I suppose. Anyone have any other suggestions? Thanks!
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Brian White wrote:

The only thing I've ever heard of that supposedly works is PEG. Polyethylene glycol. My understanding of the stuff is limited, and I haven't used it, so try google for more details.
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Won't split, but nigh onto useless beyond that, as it's a slippery polymer with deliquescent properties. Polycril and others seem to offer more hope, because what doesn't crack can hold paint.
PEG is a great thing for carving mallets if you're also a turner. Keeps them sort of damp, providing a bit of the elbow-saving "dead blow" concept.

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Where could I get Polyethylene Glycol? I looked on search engine, but found very few leads for places to buy it. Thanks!

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Gone out of vogue with the passing of Ed Moulthrop. Got mine at WoodCraft, but no longer.

found
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George writes:

Guess where? Fast check shows Lee Valley carries the stuff. It's fun to use: you have to break it up in small pieces and heat it, then mix it with warm water in a non-metallic container (I knew I'd find a reason for the existence of these damned plastic garbage cans!).
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Brian, You are really trying to fight the nature of wood to try and keep them from splitting. I would suggest that you try woods that dry the easiest, basswood, boxelder, catalpa, maybe ash. Use the techniques that woodturners use; put the fresh cut slabs in paper bags, maybe with some wet chips from the chainsaw to really slow up the drying. I would also look into the technique some use that involves soaking the wood in dish washing liquid and water mixture, then drying it out. Go to rec.crafts.woodturning to get the methods there.
Rich

then
hoping
work.
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then
hoping
work.
A few wood species will split no matter what you do to try and stop it! Most are ok if you treat the ends right after cutting. Good woodworking stores will sell a product that you paint on the end grain to tryand even out the drying process. The local store near me makes their own product, but I know others who simply use paint to seal the ends.
A good book on understanding wood is also worth the $. http://tinyurl.com/285px
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wrote:

It will take a while to get your inventory in play but here is one method my uncle used and it works.
Place your slab in a plastic garbage bag, attach a label with pertinent information (date, type of wood, etc.)and tie the top to seal the contents. Each day take the slab out of the bag, turn the bag inside out, put the slab back in the bag, and repeat. It may take over a year to dry but it you will end up with a slab that has equilibrated slowly. If you go on a trip or forget to process the bag you have lost nothing but time as the wood will remain stable.
If you start a few bags at whatever frequency you need them then when the first ones are ready you will have a steady supply in the pipeline.
Don't forget to examine the bag for leaks occasionally.
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 09:30:13 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@wcta.net wrote:

I'm struggling with this too. The plastic bag trick works somewhat. Turning green wood is a totally different experience with all the splitting and cracking that can happen. When I'm done (for the day) I remove the piece from the lathe, half fill a large plastic bag with the green (moist) wood chips, surround the piece with the chips, and twist tie the bag. The chance of cracks and splits is reduced.
I tried painting the ends of freshly cut logs, but after a year all of them split. I tried this with cherry, oak, pine and apple.
Cutting green boards and stickering them is the traditional method. You want the wood to dry, but not too quickly.
If you even want to bend wood, green wood is the way to go. I made curved chair backs this way.
I appreciate the price I pay for rough-sawn *dry* wood.
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