On Topic: Any suggestions for drying fresh cut X-sections of log rounds?

We recently cut down a dead standing pine (killed by pine beetle). The X-section was quite attractive with the blue caused by the beetle infestation plus a deep red central core. With the thought of making quartz clock faces we cut several slabs or disks about 2" thick. Suggestions for drying these so they won't crack? Thanks, BCinBC
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BC - this is a common occurance for woodturners. It is dicey. End cuts split, and that's all there is to it. I have experience in this as I really like turning end cuts on my lathe more than the traditional length cuts as it does add more character.
Here's what I do. I cut the roughs out and then dip them in Woodcraft's green wood sealer. There are others available at places like Craft Supply, but generally WC's is cheaper.
Since it is so thick, you will need to wait, probably about a year or more before you get fairly stabilized wood.
I have tried stabilizing with thinned shellac so I could get the project going, but I found that the wood was unstable no matter how much I put on and it still distorted and cracked anyway. Worse, I lost the definition that the spalting had from the beetle's work. The little ink lines went from being nice and sharp to fuzzy and ruined the effect.
Check out the woodturnign NG and you will get more input.
Robert
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wrote:

BC - this is a common occurance for woodturners. It is dicey. End cuts split, and that's all there is to it. I have experience in this as I really like turning end cuts on my lathe more than the traditional length cuts as it does add more character.
Here's what I do. I cut the roughs out and then dip them in Woodcraft's green wood sealer. There are others available at places like Craft Supply, but generally WC's is cheaper.
Since it is so thick, you will need to wait, probably about a year or more before you get fairly stabilized wood.
I have tried stabilizing with thinned shellac so I could get the project going, but I found that the wood was unstable no matter how much I put on and it still distorted and cracked anyway. Worse, I lost the definition that the spalting had from the beetle's work. The little ink lines went from being nice and sharp to fuzzy and ruined the effect.
Check out the woodturnign NG and you will get more input.
Robert
Thanks for your input Robert, I was hoping some magic new formula had emerged in the last few years but I guess not. Quite some time ago I bought a product from Lee Valley I believe was called PEG 20 ?which is a cousin to antifreeze. You mix up a solution of this white wax like substance in a big pail or drum, then submerse your project pieces & weight them down. Some time (months?) later you take then out & let them cure. They don't split or crack & the polymer that replaces the moisture aids in turning -if you've never tried it I would recommend it. We moved since I did this & I can't find my block of PEG anywhere so I guess I'll order some more. What I didn't like was that the pail grew a huge cap of ugly slime/mold & yes you have to be patient for the whole process -no Xmas gifts this year from these pieces. BCinBC, Canada
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