Reply by Dan Krager

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Posted on Need help with simple 'craft' project!

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Dan Krager

4037 posts in 2260 days

#1 posted 11-06-2012 02:32 AM

Anj, there is not enough information given for me to be helpful.

” me about a 4 in piece of the bark,...” So you only have a piece of bark?

If on the other hand you have a 4” piece of trunk, then you have something to work with. If you are skilled with a router, you could carve what you want using a 90 or 60 degree veining cutter. Cutting into end grain you don’t have a lot of grain induced pull. Cutting end grain with a gouge is OK if you have exceptionally sharp gouges. You might be able to stamp out what you want with a hammer and punch like a screw driver. Pretty crude. Or if you know of someone with a sand blaster, you could cut the mask and let them blast it. A grave marker supplier is so equipped.

I you are concerned about preserving this trunk slice, then there are several options. First, if you can replace the moisture in the wood with something permanent, then it won’t shrink and split. The only guaranteed successful process I know about is soaking it in polyethylene glycol, a lengthy process of several months where mold becomes an issue. Secondly, you can put several coats of finish on both sides of the trunk slice, but this will not prevent the splitting that will eventually occur, just delay it a little. You could encase the whole thing in epoxy plastic so the moisture is permanently trapped, no splitting for a very long time. You could pre-empt the splitting with three radial cuts (think band saw) and when the wood dries the cuts will open up instead of splitting unpredictably.
Just a few thoughts.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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