Question about white ash, and mabye just lumber in general

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Forum topic by Vance posted 10-23-2015 01:22 PM 868 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1941 days

10-23-2015 01:22 PM

Recently I posted photos of a white ash log that I was given and had a mill slice into 2” thick boards. This past week, the same guy gave me another and last night I had it cut the same way. The first log, I sealed all the ends as while there were some cracks, they weren’t that bad. This new log however has a couple pretty bad splits that i need to address, somehow.

So my question is this: is wood like metal in that with sheet metal, when you have a stress crack, the old rule of thumb is to drill a small hole at the end of the crack and then weld it up. This will prevent the crack from spreading further. Now obviously I can weld wood, but would drilling a hole, sealing everything up at that point and maybe clamping the two split pieces together to prevent the stress from continuing down the board?

Or, should just cut the board off at the end of the split and then seal all the ends, the one wide piece and the two narrow pieces?

This is some REALLY nice wood and I’d like to save as much, in as big of pieces as I can. I’ve included a photo of the board in question, front and back to illustrate my issue.


6 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1282 posts in 1698 days

#1 posted 10-23-2015 02:21 PM

If that was my piece of lumber, and didn’t need the full length, I’d cut it about 1/2” north of the crack, and seal the ends.

If I didn’t need the full width, I’d cut down the middle of the crack. ............... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1183 days

#2 posted 10-23-2015 07:48 PM

I wouldn’t try and stop the splitting either, that has long-term failure written all over it. I would do as nubs suggests and cross cut above the crack or rip cut the whole board. IF you like the look of the live edge and have a project that accommodates it, there is nothing wrong with tossing a few butterfly wedges in the crack and making it work for you.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1941 days

#3 posted 10-23-2015 08:54 PM

I should have mentioned that I primarily build electric guitars so live edges are out. However, I do kinda like the idea of using this in a manner where I could use a butterfly wedges in an area that would only be cosmetic and not structural. That could be pretty cool effect!!

Thanks for not only the advice but an awesome idea!!!!

View pintodeluxe's profile (online now)


5624 posts in 2782 days

#4 posted 10-23-2015 09:09 PM

Painting the end grain helps a little if done earlier enough. That board looks beyond what paint can help, so you’ll have to cut around the defects.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View knotscott's profile


7982 posts in 3344 days

#5 posted 10-24-2015 04:08 AM

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Vance's profile


37 posts in 1941 days

#6 posted 10-24-2015 10:46 AM

Knotscott, that is beautiful.

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