Questions on working with a big piece of Eucalyptus

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Forum topic by mikeeuc posted 11-21-2015 04:06 AM 392 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 343 days

11-21-2015 04:06 AM

I was driving my car the other day and saw some construction workers cutting down a huge Eucalyptus tree. I lugged one of the pieces home and its about 3 feet across and 2 feet high. It still has the soft bark around the outside of it. It’s such a beautiful piece of wood and I’m not a skilled woodworker so my plan was just to sand it and make it level and then just apply some lacquer to it and keep it in my backyard or put my record player on it.

It was just cut down so its pretty moist and ideally i’d like to preserve the outside soft bark. Any thoughts on when I should apply the Lacquer and about how long I should take to dry it out? And to that point, does it need to be very dry before I apply any lacquer to it? thanks for your help.

3 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1569 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 11-21-2015 07:45 AM

First of all, lacquer is not a good choice for finishing anything that will be kept outside.

Really, there are no good options to use to apply a transparent finish to any wood item that will be kept outside.

Yes, it needs to be “quite” dry before applying any finish.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View jdh122's profile


878 posts in 2240 days

#2 posted 11-21-2015 02:05 PM

It will crack quite a lot as it dries unless you treat it with Pentacryl.
You’ll also find that sanding endgrain to level the piece will be a lot of work, although it is doable.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View AZWoody's profile


680 posts in 647 days

#3 posted 11-21-2015 02:13 PM

Not sure about the bark but most of the eucalyptus I have dealt with peels off pretty easy as it dries.
Underneath though can be some interesting textures and features, so in my opinion it wouldn’t be that bad.

I have milled a lot of eucalyptus on my saw mill and I have a lot of little pieces that I have sitting around and it will crack a lot. You can paint the ends to seal them but the nature of eucalyptus as lumber is pretty squirelly.
I use it, but there is a lot of cull and a lot of void filling.

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