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Thread: Now what do I do?

  1. #1
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    Now what do I do?

    I found this in the firewood.

    This morning on my band saw - I cut away the stuff that didn't belong there.

    I ended up with this.

    It's green.

    I slapped on a coat of bush oil just to show it off on that face.

    BUT - I REALLY want to preserve it.

    Should I coat the entire thing in candle wax?

    I really would like to preserve the natural edge.

    This is NOT a turning blank - not sure what it is yet - it will tell me in time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    That's beautiful. I'd like it for my headstone! Certainly will be hard to keep it from cracking though. Sorry I don't know the answer.
    "We the People ......"

  3. #3
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    No help on saving it...but could name it 'The Wood Gods thumbprint'....here's hoping someone has the right answer!
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
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    Forgot to mention - it is 3" thick.

    If I can save it - nice.

    If not - oh well - it will heat the house.

    It didn't cost anything.

  5. #5
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    Anchor Seal would be best.

    Wax is probably second..

    I've had some luck with a combination of two-three heavy coats of primer and then bagging in a double garbage bag (not sure which helped the most) - gotta watch the mold in that case (air it out every couple of weeks at least for the first couple months and then say monthly or so thereafter and I think the paint helped that some as well).

    In the old days they'd bury it in a manure pile for a few years to slow the curing process on difficult woods (you probably don't have one of those though )

    Its likely to warp some if it doesn't crack.

    At 3" with something ring porous like that you're probably at ~2 years from dry enough to use (if it wasn't ring porous or cut like it is it'd be longer).

    Weigh it now and you can get an idea when its dry by comparing the weight and seeing if there is continued weight loss.

  6. #6
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    I don't know what "ring porous" means.

    I have heard Anchor Seal a few times now.

    I want to try to preserve the bark natural edge so I don't want to Paint it.

    At 1 year per inch - I am figuring 3 years to dry it.

    Is Anchor seal clear?

    What about if I give it a good coat of spar varnish???

  7. #7
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    Varnish would seal in the moisture, that is not what you want.

    Couple of ideas

    First you want to seal the ends mostly, any end grain will lose the moisture faster, and this will create stress in the wood, resulting in cracks.

    Second idea, go by a couple of gallons of DeNatured Alcohol, DNA and then make up a tub, it can be made from plywood, lined with a large trash bag, for example, put the slab in there and then flood it with DNA, put a weight on it to stop it from floating so it is completely submerged, leave it for 24 to 48 hours then take it out and wrap the whole thing up in a large paper bag, or just wrap layers of brown paper over it, even newspaper will work. The DNA soaks into the wood and replaces the water in the wood, the DNA will then evaporate quicker, but more evenly so you should not get as much cracking, or at least that is the plan. Leave it wrapped up in the paper for 3 to 6 months.

    Other ideas, get some paper, brown is good, and saturate the end grain with white wood glue, the water soluble stuff, then put the paper on the glue like you are wallpapering a wall, let it dry, this should slow down the end grain drying and stop stress cracks. Then down the road remove the glue and paper with a little warm water.

    I hope this helps!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Stu - I hear what you are saying. The DNA process is too much DNA - that is really expensive stuff.

    The end grain sealing - hmmm

    Really - there is end grain.

    This piece is cut from the tree where a large branch just out - so - there is end grain top and bottom - but the pretty face is also end grain - from the branch.

    I wonder if this is an impossible task?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    I don't know what "ring porous" means.
    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/te...tructure-types

    Basically there are pores between growth rings but the wood is often more open pored as well. In this case because of a combination of that and the fact so much of this is cut across the grain I would expect it to dry substantially faster than 1" per year (if it was cut differently or out of different wood it might take more). How much faster? Dunno.. but faster; measurement is your friend. That also means that the risk of cracking is higher..

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    Is Anchor seal clear?
    Its a pasty wax in a carrier (some sort of volatile but not sure what). Not really clear more like candle wax and it will soak in a smidge (maybe 1/4" in this type of wood). Any of the protectors you'll need to take off so I guess I'd give that a 50/50 for any other technique. Practically its likely that the slab will warp enough that you're going to loose around that much to flatten it anyway..

    There are some other methods that work by replacing the water in the wood - the DNA Stu mentioned is popular. There is also Polyethylene Glycol - although I suspect you'll have a hard time getting enough fast enough to save this piece. The other one I know of is some types of dish detergent (costco brand reportedly is the easiest to get in volume that is known to work) + water / soak - http://www.ronkent.com/techniques.php has details.

    Your #1 goal right now is to SLOW DOWN the water loss. If you can't decide on anything else stick in a double layer of plastic garbage bags taped shut which will at least stabilize the situation a little - trust me every hour you hesitate on taking some/any action is another hour closer to it being firewood again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    I wonder if this is an impossible task?
    You have little to loose by trying.

    I give your odds of preserving the bark itself as close to zero. You MIGHT save it with the PEG or the dish detergent trick - I don't think anything else has much of a chance.. You might be able to re-assemble it post drying with sufficient epoxy.

  10. #10
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    If you stacked it after doing what ever method of slowing the drying, would it help prevent warping? I mean stack it like you do lumber when drying or mayde some type of camping device built around it before wrapping.
    "We the People ......"

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