I remember from a woodworking class back in the 60s that at one time
ethylene glycol (antifreeze)was used to prevent checking in the end grain of
fresh sawn lumber. I have been using it on poplar that I have been sawing
all summer and it seem to work OK, but I still get some cracking, especially
in one inch boards, and wonder what the best/economical/readily available
product is. I can buy antifreeze anywhere but I'll have to order and wait
on shipping for another product.
Poly (*) glycols of high molecular weight. Polyethylene glycol or
increasingly polypropylene glycol. Monomer glycols (e.g. antifreeze)
Secondly this is an immobile substitute for water, not an end sealer. If
you just want to seal the end grain to reduce drying speed then use
something mor eimpermeable instead. Best is probably an emulsified wax
like Endseal or Anchorseal.
FWIW - antifreeze is very nasty stuff to have around - animals will
lick it cause it tastes sweet - destroys their nervous system - gets
into drinking water when filtering through the earth. May take a few
years but this stuff is bad news. Worked on a project building a
schooner in Milwaukee - our mast stock was coated with a heavy wax like
substance which was very similiar to paraffin - worked well apparently.
I have had good luck using a liquid made of mineral spirits or
turpentine with parafin wax disolved in it by heating. The parafin
will stay disolved in the solvent even after cooling. When the mix is
painted on the end cut the solvent evaporates leaving a parafin seal.
I have used up to a 60/40 mix of solvent/parafin with good results.
Obviously be very careful when heatng the mixture as it is flammable.
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