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
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.
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!).
If God had wanted me to touch my toes he would have put them higher on my body.
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
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 $.
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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
Don't forget to examine the bag for leaks occasionally.
On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 09:30:13 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org 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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