Preserving Bark

I've been asked to make a base for a statue using an approximately 12" diameter x eight inch long piece of red oak log. They would like the bark to be maintained.
Any thoughts on treating and finishing?
Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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First off, is it try enough to have a finish yet?
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You know it's gonna split. Lee Valley used to sell this polyethylene glycol (PEG) wood stabilizer for green wood. I dags it and Rockler sells it.
Do a Google search on "Polyethylene glycol wood" so you avoid getting the info on the laxative.
Luigi
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During WWII and since - PEG was used to preserve M1 and M1A stocks from green wood.
The stocks were placed in a 55 gallon drum and it was filled full.
It replaces the water content with PEG and when it evaporates it leaves polyethylene in the place where water was.
Martin
Luigi Zanasi wrote:

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Tom Watson wrote:

It is important to hew the wood with a very dull axe. This is due to this old dictum:
Always prefer the situation wherein the bark is worse than the bite.
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Chances are, the bark will dry and fall off in from two to ten pieces. Then you can spray it with insecticide to kill the bugs and worms. After that dried, try going it back on.
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wrote:

Don't think this is too practical. It's gonna fall apart unless the entire log is encased in some kind of thick transparent epoxy. Insects can be killed and moisture driven off by baking the log. Do you have a moisture meter?
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wrote:

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.
The preserved bark idea is a dog that just won't hunt.
I snagged a cut of walnut from the scout camp this morning that had been sitting under an overhang for a number of years. I took it home, whacked it to height with the chainsaw and used a chisel to knock off the sapwood, leaving a decent approximation of the rustic look that had been expressed to me.
The moisture content is about 9% per the meter and that is good enough for me. There are radial cleavages, as one might expect but I'm of a mind that this only enhances the 'rusticity'.
Thanks again.
Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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Tom Watson wrote:

First, the wood almost certainly must be felled in the winter, after the leaves have fallen and before the sap starts running. Sap starts running for tapping in February. I'd say October to December the tree needs cut. This will get the least amount of variance in drying between bark and wood. The slab will need to be dried slowly and a good wax coating on the end grain should help.
Alternatively, I guess you could soak the slab in polyethylene glycol PEG) or some such. Still, I think it is not a sure thing, but certainly possible.
I've seen lots of wood projects with bark remaining for many,many years. After the wood is dry, you will need to put a finish on it, including the bark, to seal it best you can.
Here is an example:
http://tinyurl.com/mzb9b7
If they can do it, so can you:-)
PS, I'm no expert in this, just my opinion based on some experience with harvesting standing wood.
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Jack
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