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View bues0022's profile

Drying thick trunk slabs

by bues0022
posted 11-12-2012 03:08 AM


29 replies so far

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#1 posted 11-12-2012 07:15 AM

Well, let’s just get this out of the way, you’re going to end up with cracked wood regardless. If you understand the structure of wood, you’ll understand what’s going to happen and why it’ll crack.

Also, that oven will dry them way too fast.

Your best bet is to save several disks that are in order and piece them together (woodglue) from the uncracked pieces. You may get lucky and have one that doesn’t crack… but I doubt it. There are products on the market that can possibly stop this from happening, but not on a disk this large.

Some woods don’t crack as much as other. Oak is not one of these. I had an oak disk go 4 months without cracking (24” diameter). One day I came home from work and it had opened up about 1” on the edge.

What is this flattening cut you’re talking about?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1207 posts in 1219 days


#2 posted 11-12-2012 12:40 PM

Put about 3 or 4 coats of anchorseal on each face. However, like Doss said, cookies crack, especially oak.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View jap's profile

jap

1239 posts in 797 days


#3 posted 11-12-2012 01:20 PM

but the crack can add character…in the right projects

-- Joel

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7186 posts in 2047 days


#4 posted 11-12-2012 03:06 PM

there going to crack, nothing you can really do to stop it, the anchor seal might help some, but…still gonna happen, you should coat them with some cheap oil base paint, sticker them, keep them in the shade and forget about them, check on them after a year to see how there doing, if there still looking ok, then forget about them for another year and then check the moisture and see where there at…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2431 days


#5 posted 11-12-2012 03:14 PM

Basic rule of thumb is one year per inch of thickness on lumber. This will depend on species and drying environment.
I don’t know how much longer it will take to dry a cookie with Anchorseal coating it on both sides.
Best wishes on the “not cracking”. : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#6 posted 11-12-2012 03:36 PM

Rick, I have mentioned Pentacryl before but didn’t bother mentioning it here b/c I really can’t vouch for the success on something this large and possibly unruly.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#7 posted 11-12-2012 03:46 PM

Rick, are you in bot mode?

I know what they state, but they also state “oak”. The characteristics of all species of “oak” are not the same.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#8 posted 11-12-2012 04:36 PM

I maybe should have been more clear with my cracking point. I had dried some pieces in my friend’s oven previously, and when they cracked, the board essentially split in two. Some radial cracks will not make me loose any sleep, as long as the piece doesn’t fall in half. As some mentioned, the cracks can give character. Depending on the size, I could epoxy them, or put in a bowtie, inlay some turquoise, etc. Lots of options.

I was looking for the most effective way to dry these pieces. It looks like I’ll have to clear out a spot in my garage, stack and sticker them. I’ll look into coating the surface to help keep cracks to a minimum, but it will happen, such is life.

How would these kiln dry? Kilns don’t take an inch per year, right? Is there any safe way to rig something up to help them dry faster? I know I won’t be working these any time soon, but if I can do something to these so I can work them in a year instead of two it might be worth it.

My “flattening” cut = I have a router sled made so I can flatten out large pieces of rough-cut lumber. (poor-mans giant planer) For example, one cookie is 6” thick on one side, and 4” on the other. I can hog off a bunch of material, bring total thickness down to 4” to help it dry. It won’t stay completely flat during drying, so after dry I’ll face it again to make it flat.

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2431 days


#9 posted 11-12-2012 04:40 PM

6” thick on one side, and 4” on the other.
I would attack that with a sharp chainsaw before trying to route that much material off : )

safe way to rig something up to help them dry faster?
I just used an old 20” box fan to keep the air circulating around the last wood that I air dried.
It was in my garage ,not outside : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#10 posted 11-12-2012 04:44 PM

It’s a “lip”, and I figured it wouldn’t be that but, but your suggestion is noted. I’ll be back out there this weekend and might try that first. Good idea.

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#11 posted 11-12-2012 05:17 PM

Yeah, I didn’t know what you were talking about with a flattening cut. I thought you were about to try to chainsaw a piece flat. LOL

I use a router sled for my slabs by the way. It’s effective enough. I have 6.75” power planer to help knock it down quickly though.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1207 posts in 1219 days


#12 posted 11-13-2012 02:41 AM

Wood dries fast from the end grain. A fan on oak will probably make the cookie dry too fast, and it will split worse. Slow is good with oak. Most kilns will not dry those cookies. Takes too much time.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View RussellAP's profile (online now)

RussellAP

2966 posts in 1030 days


#13 posted 11-13-2012 03:45 AM

How did you cut these slabs? Are they vertical rings or horizontal? How thick are they? No matter what, it sounds like you’re going to be letting these sit for at least a year before they go to the kiln. Some will crack, but that’s life, just saw it off and use what’s left. Most of us who buy rough cut are used to the waste, but we get a great price on wood that way.
If they are still wet there is some stuff you can put on the end grain that will help, but my sawyer doesn’t mess with it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#14 posted 11-13-2012 04:19 PM

How much surface area does a quart of Anchorseal cover? I can’t seem to find it online. I have just over 6000 square inches to cover (42 square feet). Will one quart be enough to soak in and coat all surfaces? Will a parafin/minera spirits mix do the same thing? (cheaper)

I am also wondering about location to dry them. The most convenient is my friend’s garage/shed that is only heated from time-to-time over the winter when he’s out there working. Otherwise it’s pretty frozen (MN winters). Should I talk him into keeping them inside his house in his basement? Keep them frozen all winter out in his barn? What’s the best condition to dry them under?

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1008 days


#15 posted 11-13-2012 06:33 PM

Does it really go down to freezing in the garage? If so, that’s probably not a great place for them.

I found some info that said a quart of Anchorseal covers 25 sq ft.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#16 posted 11-13-2012 07:49 PM

It’s a detached garage, so it definitely freezes hard when he doesn’t have the heater on.

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#17 posted 11-13-2012 08:24 PM

I found that site earlier, but it looks rather expensive.

I read somewhere about a 50/50 paraffin wax/mineral spirits mix – thoughts on effectiveness? Or by the time I buy everything and mess around with heating etc. will I just be better off with the anchorseal?

(anyone in the Minneapolis area know where the best deal is on this?)

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1207 posts in 1219 days


#18 posted 11-14-2012 02:36 AM

Anchorseal is the best stuff. It is designed to do just what you want to do. Get the original formula, not the green formula. You have to call them to order it. UC Coatings. There is no instant pudding.

Drying green oak in a heated space is asking for trouble.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

View chopsticks1's profile

chopsticks1

4 posts in 99 days


#19 posted 09-09-2014 12:37 AM

Can you use both Anchorseal and Pentacryl on same piece? Which would go first? Anchorseal? Also, if drying outside, does a hard freeze in the winter crack the wood? I read you can seal and then cover with plastic to keep it like it’s soaking in sealant…any thoughts. thanks

View bues0022's profile

bues0022

216 posts in 1903 days


#20 posted 09-09-2014 04:38 PM

What we ended up doing was coating cut edges with anchorseal, and now it has sat in an attached tuck-under garage for two years. In another couple it might be ready.

-- Ryan -- Maple Grove, MN

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

59 posts in 174 days


#21 posted 09-12-2014 01:19 PM

View chopsticks1's profile

chopsticks1

4 posts in 99 days


#22 posted 09-12-2014 03:36 PM

I have seen that page, thx

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

666 posts in 1381 days


#23 posted 09-12-2014 04:18 PM

The only thing I’ve heard of that might keep such a thing from cracking is to soak it in PEG (polyethelene glycol). The PEG will replace the water in the matrix of the wood so that the wood does not shrink and crack. Archeologists use it on old ship timbers they find in the sea. Woodturners use it to stabilize green wood. You can buy it at Rockler and other places – including Amazon.

http://www.rockler.com/polyethylene-glycol-peg-green-wood-stabilizer

Instructions here
http://go.rockler.com/tech/RTD10000%20812.pdf

A quote from the instructions :
“Even large treated disks, 4 inches thick by 40 inches in diameter, will dry in six to eight weeks in a heated room.” (after soaking in PEG for the recommended time).

I’ve never used it, so I can’t say that it would work for you. It sounds like you would need a lot of it, so it may not be economic.

View splatman's profile

splatman

80 posts in 142 days


#24 posted 09-13-2014 05:44 AM

To limit the amount of PEG (or whatever) you’ll use:
Build your soak tank 2” larger and 2” or 3” deeper than their thickness. A flexible plywood ring attached to a plywood 1/2-sheet on a table will do. Line it with a few layers of plastic sheeting. Place some small wood blocks on the bottom, to raise the disk a 1/2” or so.

View OldWrangler's profile

OldWrangler

719 posts in 338 days


#25 posted 09-13-2014 06:22 AM

Something I had good luck with several years ago. I had a big round slab of Walnut, 22” in diameter and it was green. Even being only 2” thick it weighed a “ton”. I got a strap hold down with the rachet crank (the kind like you use to anchor a motorcycle in the bed of a pick up). Put that around the outside and crank tight until it won’t tighten any more. Then coat both open sections with a good soak of Minwax Wood Hardener. Just pour it on and spread it before it is absorbed. My Walnut never cracked and I was able to use it for a lazy susan a year later. I just put it in a dry spot out of the sun and covered with saw dust or shavings. Mine I set in a box like a pizza comes in covered with shavings and put it in a corner of my garage. But this was Walnut and not Oak but really worked. An old carpenter suggested it. He passed before I could learn his whole big bag of tricks.

One of his favorite educational tidbit was “table legs don’t have to be the same, they just have to look the same. Since you never see them all close to each other, they can all be a little different.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View rick1955's profile

rick1955

59 posts in 174 days


#26 posted 09-13-2014 11:39 AM

Pentacryl has replaced PEG and it does work. Some friends wanted dry some “cookies”. They dried them with no cracks or splits. PEG is waxey and you can’t put a finish over it. With Pentacryl you can.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

666 posts in 1381 days


#27 posted 09-13-2014 01:17 PM

I like the ratchet strap idea! I would think you could go tighten it every week or so for awhile.

I didn’t know about pentacryl. PEG, I have read, does limit your choice of finishes, but there are some that will work.

Also, to limit the amount of PEG (or whatever) you need, you can add smooth rocks etc. which will raise the liquid level but not absorb the stuff.

View chopsticks1's profile

chopsticks1

4 posts in 99 days


#28 posted 09-13-2014 03:08 PM

Good to hear everyone’s opinion/experience. Thanks.

View chopsticks1's profile

chopsticks1

4 posts in 99 days


#29 posted 09-28-2014 06:22 PM

Is there something you can spray on bark to preserve it on a cookie?

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