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Wood slabs cracking

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Forum topic by Corgimom posted 10-21-2018 09:14 PM 314 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Corgimom

1 post in 27 days


10-21-2018 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stabilizer slabs

So I bought a some newly cut wood slabs and the person recommended a stabilizer and I was going to go buy some and was told by a friend it wasn’t needed. Well a week goes by and while it’s drying outside…it’s cool and chilly out. I noticed some small cracks. It’s over a week old now and don’t know if it’s too late to buy stabilizer or to find something to fill in the cracks like a hardener…And if I use a stabilizer, there are so many options. The outer edge looks dry but not sure if it’s still considered green and to use the Pentacryl or wood juice? I would appreciate any help. These are to be used to be painted onto and make cheese boards. Thank you


4 replies so far

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lumbering_on

564 posts in 665 days


#1 posted 10-21-2018 09:20 PM

You will get cracking if you air dry wood, that’s something you can’t avoid, at least not in my experience. However, if you paint the ends with something such as Sealtite 60, you can minimize the problem.

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BattleRidge

64 posts in 391 days


#2 posted 10-22-2018 01:43 AM

Cracking is typically caused by the ends of the board drying out faster than the sides and inner portions. An end coating of Anchorseal can help to seal the end grain and allow for a more even drying throughout to limit some of the cracking. Anchorseal Classic (vs Anchroseal 2) seems to be the better of the two and can be purchased direct from the manufacturer. For best results though, the ends of the wood should be coated as soon as possible after cutting. A variety of other products can sometimes help, though with varying results.

https://uccoatings.com/products/anchorseal/

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Lazyman

2561 posts in 1563 days


#3 posted 10-22-2018 03:23 AM

The cracking is usually worse near what was the center of the tree as well so sometimes you can reduce the cracking by removing the rings around the center (AKA the pith) of the tree if that is possible. If you leave them outside, make sure you don’t leave them in the sun. The sun will accelerate drying and make the cracking worse even when it is cool outside.

I just tried Anchor seal 2 for the first time recently and I have been amazed at how well it works to prevent cracking. Once the cracking has started, it may not be as effective but I would still give it a try to reduce further damage.

-- 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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msinc

557 posts in 679 days


#4 posted 10-22-2018 03:44 AM

Well…....here’s another point of view on this issue: I have been milling, drying and using wood for most of my adult life. I am 56 now. Wood is going to do whatever it wants/needs to do. If you have wood that has a lot of stress in it then it will split, crack, warp, bow and otherwise move the way it wants to and there is not much constructive you can/want to do about it. Here is why, yes, you can “minimize” quite a bit when it comes to wood, sealing it and stacking it with a lot of weight to keep it straight, etc. But it sure seems like it will always comes back to haunt you later. Look at it this way; wood that cracks and warps in the sticker pile is wood that wont crack and warp after it was made into something and sold!!!
I have probably milled well over a hundred trees in my lifetime so far that I have stacked and dried and used personally. The boards that stay flat and straight after a year or so of seasoning are the ones I want to use to build with. Those that have a bow or warp, without exception, will bow and warp some more after they have been dried and further milled to be flat and square on four sides {FSFS}. Those that stayed flat and straight generally tend to stay that way when used. One other rule of thumb, and this one hurts, is that highly figured boards, like the ones we all want to build with are the worst offenders and least predictable.
All that said, you cant just toss the ones that have warp or bow, but you have to use them on projects that “address” the problem. In example, you wouldn’t want to use boards that refuse to stay flat and square for picture frames, but they will probably be fine on a tongue and grooved table top.
I know this is not what you want to hear, I also know that you will take some stressful wood and go ahead and make something out of it. Sadly, I also know you are going to waste a lot of time and effort building something that just will not stay straight….I have…..too many times to list!!!! Best of luck.

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