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Working with Pentacryl.

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Forum topic by GoodsCustomCarpentry posted 1277 days ago 4761 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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GoodsCustomCarpentry

8 posts in 1293 days


1277 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: pentacryl wood slab white oak conference table live edge

I recently began an exciting new project for a local customer. The project involves turning a 290 year old slab of white oak into a conference table. The slab was cut at 90 degrees horizontally to the tree and measures 7’ 11” at its widest and 6’ 9” in height and a full 6” thick (which will be trimmed down to just 2 inches when planed and sanded smooth/level.) The tree was a recently dead tree and was cut from a local forest preserve( the customer). Knowing that slabs like this are prone to split, crack, and check; I decided I would try a product called Pentacryl. Pentacryl is a wood stabilizer and is recommend to keep wood from splitting. I used a gallon of the stuff so far while the slab has been air drying for about 2 months. I have noticed a 3-4 inch crack started right in the middle of the heartwood, but other than that the slab is split free. Has anyone else ever used Pentacryl or completed a project like this? If so I would appreciate any tips or ideas.
Thanks,
Jeremy

-- The official wood butcher of the HUB CITY!


12 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1577 days


#1 posted 1277 days ago

I have no advice to offer (sorry) but I sure hope you share with us an update on this project as it proceeds. It looks like a fascinating project.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2802 days


#2 posted 1277 days ago

Perhaps you may be able to stop the splitting by drill out the pith at the heart of the log.

About 1 1/2’” should do it. This will relieve the stress.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View GoodsCustomCarpentry's profile

GoodsCustomCarpentry

8 posts in 1293 days


#3 posted 1275 days ago

-Thanks Rick for the website. Thats actually the people I ordered the first gallon of Pentacryl from.
-Dick do you mean I should drill all the way through the slab or hollow out the pith from the bottom? Does that really work? Any other suggestions?
Thanks,
Jeremy

-- The official wood butcher of the HUB CITY!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2802 days


#4 posted 1275 days ago

Check out this Google search I made. There are many explanations about removing the pith.

They explain this better than I could.

Here’s a product that has peeked my interest. I wonder if any LJs have tried it. Cedarshield.

If you look at this site, it has some video demonstrations.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1468 posts in 2590 days


#5 posted 1275 days ago

Just wondering why you want to take it down to 2”

Lee

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

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GoodsCustomCarpentry

8 posts in 1293 days


#6 posted 1274 days ago

Well Sawdust2 here is some of the ideas I had and if anyone has a better idea I am certainly all ears.

#1. The slab weights approx. 300 lbs the way it is right now, so it’s not very easy to move around or feasible to leave that way as a finished product. #2. One idea I was thinking about was to cut it half, since the slab is a full 6 inches thick, Then I would have two 3-2.5 inch slabs…more wood for the working! #3. The other idea I had was leaving the outside 3-4 inches a full 6” thick, and just hollowing out the rest of the underside to remove some of the weight.
Thanks,
Jeremy

-- The official wood butcher of the HUB CITY!

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1468 posts in 2590 days


#7 posted 1274 days ago

While the idea of making 2 slabs is nice I think it would result in more stress relief and actually cause more problems. But if you have access to a mill that can cut it it is sure a consideration.

You say it is recently dead so stress is still a big factor.Which I think you recognize vis-a-vis the Pentacryl.

Ii think paring out a goodly amount of the center is a good alternative. But take a tip from turners and leave a generous amount of wood while it dries for 10-12 months. You might want to get a supply of brown wrapping paper to control the drying process.

I’d also be doing some homework on dealing with that much end grain.

Does the pic show the best side?

Then you have to deal with the interesting art aspects of natural edging and whether or not to keep the bark.

Fortunately you will have time to work out these and other possibilities. I’m going to keep track of this as long as you keep posting your progress.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2577 posts in 1520 days


#8 posted 1274 days ago

You could always add a “bowtie” to hold the split together and to add character to the piece?

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View woodsmith's profile

woodsmith

69 posts in 2294 days


#9 posted 1108 days ago

I have not tried pentacryl yet but it get good reviews. Most turners soak the wood in it for a little while depending on how big it is, my question would be how do you get enough on that big chunk of wood and how long do you have to keep it on it. Keep us up dated on your project.

-- woodsmith

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12942 posts in 1195 days


#10 posted 1108 days ago

How on Earth are you going to resaw that board into two slabs? I’m guessing a horizontal bandsaw of some sort. It’s a wonderful piece of wood and although the heft is attractive to us that like heft, I agree with you that a 300lb+ table might be unecessarily difficult. After all, you’re not building a workbench. I can’t help you with the splitting but I’ve heard of punching the pith before. I wish you luck & hope you’ll keep us updated.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 1162 days


#11 posted 1108 days ago

There was a discussion about the same thing on Wood Web’s Sawing and Drying Forum. It was established that even if you soaked the cross cut piece in a swimming pool full of Pentacryl it would never penetrate enough to prevent cracking. It was also established that since the piece will crack the best approach would have been to saw it into pie shaped pieces, let it dry, and trim and fit the pieces back together.

-- Barbara

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

317 posts in 1352 days


#12 posted 1107 days ago

I have nothing to add but want to thank you all for the education

-- Ken

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