Wood cracking

We have a pile of pearwood discs around 10-12" diameter, bark still on. The y're starting to dry and cracking badly, cracking from outer edges running partway toward the centre. I take it the outer wood is drying faster than t he inner. How can I stop them cracking?
NT
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Burn them
Jim K ;-)
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On Friday, 7 October 2016 14:28:01 UTC+1, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

hey're starting to dry and cracking badly, cracking from outer edges runnin g partway toward the centre. I take it the outer wood is drying faster than the inner. How can I stop them cracking?

Timber has to be dried at a controlled rate to prevent cracking. The end grain can be painted to help in this.
Timber shrinks as it drys. Cracks appear because the outer has dried too much before the inner,
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On 07/10/16 16:20, harry wrote:

no they dont.
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     snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com writes:

A wood turner up the road from me waxes the ends of freshly felled timber he gets, so they can't dry out through the ends.
I suspect it's also important to dry slowly, at least initially, i.e. outside but out of the rain, and not in a heated house.
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On 07/10/16 16:28, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I am afraid that wont work either. For sure even drying helps, but even drying wont eliminate the fact that wood is by its nature anisotropic, and shrinks differently in three dimensions. Up the bole, radially from heartwood to bark, and tangentially around the bole.
If its going to dry at all, it WILL split if its thick.
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On 07/10/16 14:27, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, that is not the reason. The reason is that wood shrinks least along the grain (up the trunk) then least radially (the diameter of the trunk, and most tangentially or circumferentially.
Which is why wood warps cups and splits in the way it does as it dries.
How can I stop them cracking?

There is in fact only one way, and that is to soak them in a particular chemical - whose name escapes - me sold specifically for that purpose.
Ah. polyethylene glycol (PEG).
Otherwise section the logs and use the wood in parts, as described here.
http://www.customwooddesign.com/turninggreenwood-1.html
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On 07/10/2016 14:27, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

paint both sides in something that will slow the drying process. (there are propitiatory products for this, but vinyl emulsion would probably be enough)
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ISTM that prayer would do if all you are after is propitiating the gods. Much cheaper.
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On 07/10/16 18:58, Tim Streater wrote:

Well I can assure you that nothing works except soaking in PEG.
When wood cells dry, they shrink at different rates in different directions.
It took many many years before people worked out how to create wood planks that did not split, and even then they still cupped and bowed and warped...
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On Friday, 7 October 2016 19:16:26 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Thanks, I've been looking into PEG treatment.
NT
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On Friday, 7 October 2016 19:16:26 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

In days of yore timber was sawn radially. http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/good_wood/radial_t.htm
Next best thing is quartering. http://www.quartersawnoak.co.uk/
Most timber is just sliced these days. Hence the splitting and twisting. But speedy.
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On Sat, 8 Oct 2016 08:52:18 -0700 (PDT), harry

Talking of quarter-sawn timber...
Being the cheapskate I am, I've generally been able to buy my musical instrument making wood from fairly common sources and then stored it until it's air-dried to the standard of ready-to-use tonewoods. For instance, the last lot of mahogany I bought: I selected the sliced planks that were accidentally on the quarter and took them out of a pile of other planks.
I'm having trouble finding quartered softwood in common situations: I suppose nowadays the sapwood is stripped off for manufacturing boards as most of the planks I see are the more pest and rot resistant heartwood.
I found a couple of random "Railway sleepers" from B&Q were cut on the quarter but they had been pressure treated and I don't really want that. Does anybody have any suggestions for finding softwood boards that will be priced at normal prices but might include occasional accidentally quarter-sawn timber that I might select out?
Perhaps I ought to add that I only use the odd plank or two at a time: I don't need a lorry-load!
Nick
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On 09/10/2016 00:12, Nick Odell wrote:

The simplest way might be to buy a wide section of decent softwood e.g. 2"x 8" and slice it down the middle. A waste of an expensive cut, but it would give you the equivalent of a quarter sawn 2"x 4"
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On Sun, 9 Oct 2016 06:47:08 +0100, Stuart Noble

That's the sort of thing I'd be willing to do. The equivalent doubling up of the cost per length is still a much cheaper option than buying purpose-cut. Most wide boards I've looked at seem still to be heartwood (from bigger trees) and if they don't go right through the centre you are more likely - using your illustration - to get two 2x2s to use and throw away the middle 2x4.
I wondered whether certain grades of scaffold plank would be any good but I'd been unable to find out much visually because of the metal strip at each end.
Nick
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On 09/10/2016 09:01, Nick Odell wrote:

Scaffold planks are normally whitewood. Technically more stable than the usual redwood, but impossible to get a decent finish on. Blunts cutters and gums up abrasive cloth. I was once sent a sample of fast grown 8"x 1" redwood from the Scottish borders somewhere that was as dry as a bone and flat as a pancake. Failing that, try and find some Finnish stuff or a discarded Ikea headboard where the wider 1" sections are actually superb quality. I hauled one out of the council wood bin at the tip this morning :-)
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On 09/10/16 13:10, Stuart Noble wrote:

Or contact specialist timber suppliers.
The sort that actually saw up logs and season them.
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On Sun, 9 Oct 2016 13:32:42 +0100, The Natural Philosopher

Yes, but this is sort-of the point. I can go to a specialist timber supplier who will saw up logs, season them and charge me mightily for doing so. Or I can find everyday stuff being sold at an everyday price and pick out the planks that are special to me and store and season them myself. I've still got enough mahogany(see above) and rosewood (odd offcut billets that I resawed) and even a board of ebony that just turned up in bargain bin in a timber yard but I've running short of softwood.
Nick
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On 09/10/2016 15:35, Nick Odell wrote:

I would expect your best bet would simply be to trawl through a few DIY sheds or builder's merchants, and sort through what they have until you find a good one.

OOI, what do you use the softwood for?
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On 10/10/16 11:38, John Rumm wrote:

Sounds like musical instruments to me.
Rosewood and ebony for fingerboards. Mahogany for necks although I prefer maple.
Bodies are often fruit wood, but sometimes softwoods (evergreens pine/spruce/larch/fir etc etc).
The problem is no one grows softwoods for 'woodwork' - it's all structural lumber and as such the quality is poor and the cost is low.
Sometimes parana pine has been used for finer work, Douglas fir and cedar a little, but that's it.
Softwood is too unstable generally to be useful beyond structural work, where a mm of movement goes unnoticed.
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