Reply by Pete Tevonian

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Posted on Needs tips for making/inserting structural butterfly keys

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Pete Tevonian

78 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 08-07-2012 02:26 PM

Actually, I did use Pentacryl. It’s my first time, both drying wood myself and using pentacryl, but it does seem to work well. The entire slab is dry now, with only a total of 1/2” of gaps when all cracks are combined. And none of the cracks reaches the center of the slab. I did add two Walnut butterflies soon after I posted this thread, about 1” thick (or halfway through the thickness of the slab). As Chris warned above (although too late for me, :) ) the top did shift a bit after I added the butterflies. The bottom, unbutterflied side seems like it expanded a bit more than the butterflied side, so I have about 1/8” to 1/4” of curve across the 49” length. Not terrible, and actually, when screwed to it’s base it comes flat again. But it does seem like a full-thickness butterfly, or matching keys on both sides, would have been advisable.

The sad thing, in looking back at this thread, which I posted… 712 days ago? Can that be right??... is that I’m STILL working on this project! AAAAA! Time in the workshop is rare, and I’m doing a lot of thinking, planning and research so that I hopefully don’t screw up these unique pieces of wood. But I’m close! The base is just about done—needs a couple more coats of oil/varnish, and a bit of polishing. And the top has been grain-filled and is drying, waiting for more sanding, and the oil/varnish finish. I’ll post pics when I’m done.

-- Pete in Wilmette, IL

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