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Drying Cherry Limb

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Forum topic by Mike Turner posted 02-19-2017 07:36 PM 412 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike Turner

42 posts in 1996 days


02-19-2017 07:36 PM

I found a wild cherry limb while walking.It had a nice twist in it like some make walking sticks out of.It is 2” to 3” in dia.I cut it at least a foot longer than needed on both ends. I sealed the ends with anchor seal and was wondering what else to do to try to prevent it from splitting. (Hopefullly)

Should I leave the bark on?? Should I wrap it in plastic???

-- Mike,North Carolina


2 replies so far

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Lazyman

1509 posts in 1227 days


#1 posted 02-21-2017 02:31 AM

2-3” in diameter sounds a little large for a walking stick. Are you planning to carve it down to a smaller size?

I’ve never done it with cherry but you definitely want it to dry as slowly as possible because a branch of that diameter is likely to split as it dries. Most of the moisture escapes through the end grain so you may see cracks within even a few days even with the anchor seal on it. One problem is that with a length long enough for a walking stick it is going to take a while with that diameter to dry out. I think that leaving the bark on will slow down the drying process but might not help with the cracking since the cracking is caused or at least aggravated by the wood at the ends drying too quickly.

Let me say that I have not done this myself but this is what I would do. Perhaps someone with more experience than I have will have a better approach. I would probably leave the bark on and maybe melt some wax to put on the ends and perhaps cover that with plastic wrap. Store it out of the sun in a cool place and be very patient. After a month or 2 remove the plastic wrap and check for cracks. Check weekly and if any cracks start to form put the plastic wrap back on. If not, after another month or 2 scrape off the wax from one end and check it weekly for another month and if no cracking on the exposed end remove the rest of the wax from the other end. It might not hurt at this point to apply more Anchor seal. If you can keep it from cracking for several months you may be able to minimize the cracking. Just note that the rest of the limb away from the ends will still be wet for a year or more.

Note: if you skip the wax, I would wait longer to remove the plastic wrap.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Mike Turner

42 posts in 1996 days


#2 posted 02-21-2017 09:01 AM

The place where it twists around is the largest at 2 to3” ..Most of it is smaller it was just a neat piece i found and couldnt pass up.I will do like you say and give it a try.I have dried many bowls and I know sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt…I know fruit woods have a tendency to crack/split Thanks!!.

-- Mike,North Carolina

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