How to use anchorseal on logs and general questions on drying logs

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Forum topic by DW833 posted 05-16-2016 01:39 AM 3239 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DW833's profile


220 posts in 1962 days

05-16-2016 01:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodturning drying logs anchorseal cracking

I occasionally pickup ditch wood to use for wood turning. Most of what I find is maple and its variants like sugar maple. I plan on using the logs for whatever. Including bowls, lidded boxes and spindle work.

I’ve previously used latex paint to seal logs, but had poor results. At least 50% of logs cracked moderately to severely. With most of those unusable.

So I’ve purchased Anchorseal 2 for sealing the logs. I’ve heard there is a difference between the original and current version, but not sure what it is. Anchorseal 2 is all that woodcraft had in stock. I brushed one coat on a few logs to see how it works. Looks ok to me, but not sure if it is thick enough. It dried clear on most of the logs.
I have several questions on how to use it.

How many coats should be used.
How do I know if it is thick enough.
Should larger diameter logs get more than smaller diameter logs.
With multiple coats, does the wax still dry clear.
If I notice cracking after the initial application, will additional coats of anchorseal reduce the cracking.

Also, I’ve stored the logs in a shed after sealing. Don’t have much of an option on that. In Florida it can be really hot and humid during the spring and summer months. Is there anything else I should do to reduce checking/cracking on the logs.

5 replies so far

View soob's profile


269 posts in 1288 days

#1 posted 05-16-2016 02:07 PM

Are you trying to dry the log whole? ‘Cause that doesn’t really work. Use the anchorseal to slow the drying/cracking on logs, but it won’t prevent it in the end.

Mostly what anchorseal does is prevent checking.

View Wildwood's profile


2373 posts in 2215 days

#2 posted 05-16-2016 07:49 PM

Your type 2 Anchor Seal has alcohol added to it preventing freezing.

Whether using Anchor original or #2 both great end sealers. Some folks have preferences as to which is better.

Basically want to end seal because looses Moisture Content faster from ends of a log than thru sides. Have to end seal ASAP after cutting down a tree or limb. You are trying to slow down the drying process by end sealing to prevent end checking and splitting. Covering log compleltely will stop the drying process!

Drying wood more art than science but as long as understand moisture leaves wood thru evaporation, storing out of the weather, and off the ground, with air circulation you are good to go!

-- Bill

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 05-17-2016 02:30 AM

To seal the ends of “logs” to prevent the checking process, I first paint the end with anchor seal, then lay a paper towel over that, then reapply the sealant over the towel. Nothing will stop the checking, this seems to slow it down a lot.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6845 posts in 2279 days

#4 posted 05-18-2016 07:24 PM

I’m with soob… trying to dry whole logs isn’t ideal, rarely works successfully, and will take forever to dry if it’s of any appreciable size. I split ‘em to remove the pith (and get a bit of quarter sewn wood out of the deal), paint the ends with a good thick coat of cheap-ass latex paint, and set them out under a pole barn until dry enough to use. I’ve found that it really doesn’t matter what you use to seal the ends, just that they are sealed.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View bigJohninvegas's profile


473 posts in 1542 days

#5 posted 05-18-2016 11:12 PM

I live in the southwest desert. The dry hot air really does a number on wood here.
Whatever you use, it is best to seal the end grain before the log knows its been cut.
Wood you find days or weeks after its been cut is going to check, but can still be saved of course.
I just used anchor seal for the 1st time about two weeks ago. Had just cut down a dying ash tree.
Had it sealed about two hours after cutting. Two weeks later, no checks so far.
So I have tried paint and had it fail miserably. Then a friend told me to use glue. Cheap as you can find glue.
Wound up most of the time using tite bond 2 just because its what I keep on hand. It works great, and is several dollars cheaper per gallon than anchor seal.
However, now that I have used anchor seal, I may stay with it. It goes on thiner. Which means the gallon will go farther. And I’m sure it will be more saw blade friendly.
I agree with the other posts here too. Keep the wood off the ground, shaded, but allow air to circulate.
I do alot of green wood turning, and will leave logs whole when i get it fresh cut, about twice as long as what I want to turn. If its not fresh cut, then I split or section it into some sort of blank.
When I do find something I want to dry, I will cut into a block, seal it, and sticker it on a shelf in the shop.
Then forget about it for a couple years.

-- John

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