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Sealing end grain to protect during soaking

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Forum topic by RipFence posted 07-04-2017 04:20 PM 456 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RipFence

77 posts in 2718 days


07-04-2017 04:20 PM

Hello All:
I am working on a couple of Stickley 336 Morris chairs with steam bent arms. Soaking dried Qsawn oak in water and fabric softener allows steam bending but I am getting pretty bad checking in the end grain. Bad as in throw it away. I’m going to try the whole process again but with some sort of sealer on the ends.
Should I use anchorseal or might there be a cheaper alternative? I was thinking of just dipping the ends in molten paraffin.
Thanks,
Jim


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

10476 posts in 3673 days


#1 posted 07-04-2017 04:25 PM

Those chairs have a pretty modest bend
as I recall. I think your problem is immersing
the wood in water. Hot steam in a box is
preferable and results tend to be acceptable.

You can try sluicing boiling water over the
boards and quickly bending afterwards while
the wood is still hot. Boat sides are sometimes
bent this way I think.

View CharlesNeil's profile

CharlesNeil

2410 posts in 3896 days


#2 posted 07-04-2017 04:43 PM

i do this all the time, first off White oak , while it bends well is tough to dry .. it likes to honey comb and split .

while shellac is not the best sealer when it comes to moisture , it is compatible , its alcohol based and alcohol and water mix, you want seal the ends down ASAP but let them dry a little several hours.
I agree , steam only … skip the fabric softener and soaking .. over kill

when bending any thing , ALWAYS bend over length … leave room to trim back .. end splits can happen

Slow the dry , get put them in plastic or whatever .. especially white oak .

I have also put clamps across the ends to help , as it dries
wood dries the most thru the ends, so sealing it and clamping it will force it to dry slower , even a plastic bag over the end will help …

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

2983 posts in 615 days


#3 posted 07-04-2017 05:17 PM



i do this all the time, first off White oak , while it bends well is tough to dry .. it likes to honey comb and split .

- CharlesNeil

Charles, what’s honey comb (other than a Jimmie Rodgers song)?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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RipFence

77 posts in 2718 days


#4 posted 07-04-2017 05:18 PM

Thanks Loren and Charles. Let me give a bit more background: The radius is 72” but I could not get any of my dried stock to take that much bend. After soaking in fabric softener it bends nicely and only springs back about 20% so I have been using a 60” radius form. This works fine except for the checking.
I have a couple of test pieces soaking now with paraffin sealed ends and will try only soaking for a day. I had been soaking for two weeks following advice I read about making hockey sticks. I’ll also see about sealing the ends again immediately after I clamp them so they dry more slowly.
Thanks,
Jim

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3073 posts in 2282 days


#5 posted 07-04-2017 09:06 PM

Jim, another option would be to resaw the pieces to about 1/4” and make a bending form with the appropriate radius then glue the lams back together in the same order. The seams will be invisible. Here is my first ever attempt and it worked great. FWIW

-- Art

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Woodknack

11780 posts in 2405 days


#6 posted 07-04-2017 09:19 PM

Heat allows bending. Steam helps get heat inside the wood and prevents scorching. I’ve never heard of water + fabric softener, perhaps that’s more advanced than my experience. The only time I’ve soaked wood was relatively thin material that was bent around bending irons.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

4205 posts in 2334 days


#7 posted 07-04-2017 10:08 PM


i do this all the time, first off White oak , while it bends well is tough to dry .. it likes to honey comb and split .

- CharlesNeil

Charles, what s honey comb (other than a Jimmie Rodgers song)?

- RichTaylor


I know you want Charles to answer but in the mean time.

Part B
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/1495/FPL_1369_ocr.pdf;jsessionid=99C9400FCB6BD2EBE2A3F11E3840E147?sequence=1

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

2983 posts in 615 days


#8 posted 07-04-2017 10:45 PM


Part B
https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/1495/FPL_1369_ocr.pdf;jsessionid=99C9400FCB6BD2EBE2A3F11E3840E147?sequence=1

- AlaskaGuy

I should have looked it up myself, AG. I had no idea it was a technical term, just figured it was woodworker’s slang. Thanks for jumping in and clearing it up.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1028 posts in 1977 days


#9 posted 07-05-2017 09:52 PM

I may be missing something, but can’t you just cut the pieces way long prior to bending, bend, and trim to size cutting the checked ends off in the process? Is there some sort of tenon or something like that on the ends that requires having the pieces be final length prior to bending?

View RipFence's profile

RipFence

77 posts in 2718 days


#10 posted 07-05-2017 10:06 PM

No reason I can’t do that and I should have done it on the first round. I’ll cut up those checked boards to see how deep the cracks go.

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