|Forum topic by Pete Tevonian||posted 07-07-2010 06:47 PM||1271 views||1 time favorited||7 replies|
07-07-2010 06:47 PM
I have a large “cookie” cross section of a Siberian Elm tree that I am prepping to become a coffee table. There are some areas in the slab, however, that have holes clear through to the other side. Not sure what caused them—rot, insects, wind shake, etc. But some of them are large enough to roll some marbles or even a ping-pong ball through. In other cases, the holes are just wide enough to slide a screw driver blade through. Around the bigger gaps, if you press on the wood that spans the holes or that is near the holes, you can detect some flex. Not surprising—there’s less wood there to hold them firmly.
What can I do to strengthen those areas? I’d love to keep the “swiss cheese” effect intact—it adds some character and visual interest to the slab. But I’d hate to go through the effort of finishing the table, just to have that chunk pop out or snap off at the end, leaving rough, unsightly edges or splinters.
Are there epoxy or other types of sealers or stabilizers that will lend any real strength to those fibers that surround the holes?
In one area, fairly near the sapwood edge, there was a crescent shape of soft, rotted wood that I simply pushed out with a screwdriver blade and my thumb. It crumbled away and fell out, leaving now a crescent shaped hole, maybe 1” wide and 4” long, with only 1” of wood around the outside edge. My fear is that the softer, thinner edge is going to give way either during drying, or during sanding/planing. Any way to avoid that?
Any advice is welcome.
-- Pete in Wilmette, IL