Expert workers of wood --
I work at a YMCA summer camp and in preparation for expanding the size
of our dining hall, we had to cut down a 100 year old black walnut
tree. From the stump that was removed, I cut a slab directly across
the grain that is 6" thick and a whopping 55" in diameter.
I would like to preserve this slab and finish one side so that I can
document the history of the camp (it's about 100 years old as well) in
the annual rings. (I think I've seen this idea once at a National
Park as a kid.) I'm obviously worried that the slab will crack into
several pieces or crack so much as to be unappealing.
A search of google shows that questions along this line have been
asked and answered in the past. Some links to threads posted in this
group are (after a search on slab):
Does anyone in the group have any direct experience with a project
like this? Does anyone who posted a question about such a project
have any report about whether the slab checked and how badly?
I have been applying pentacryl to the slab on both sides. I may try
to enclose the slab in a plastic bag of some nature to slow down the
rate at which the wood will dry. Is it a bad thing if the wood
freezes before it's dry? Storing it inside might be hard since it's
relatively big and really heavy.
Can anyone tell me if bolting a 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick piece of
aluminum (say 40" dia) to the back of the slab is a bad idea? The
idea is that the plate would mechanically constrain the slab and keep
it from splitting.
There is a beautiful table pictured here:
It seems like this slab is a cross-grain cut and it doesn't exhibit
any checking. What's the secret?