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Walnut slab keeps checking

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Forum topic by yellowtruck75 posted 936 days ago 1770 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yellowtruck75

404 posts in 1672 days


936 days ago

I have several 8/4 black walnut slabs that keep checking. They are roughly 12 foot long stacked on top of each other with the bark still on it. I don’t currently have the option of standing them up. Dont have a moisture meter to check the current level. The walnut was kiln dried at the mill.

How do I prevent/reduce the checking and splitting?


12 replies so far

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2697 days


#1 posted 936 days ago

Seal the ends with varnish, paint etc… The ends will lose moisture at a faster rate, sealing will slow this down.

Place some stickers between the boards, 1×1 pieces, every 12” to 16”. This is to allow for air to circulate on both sides.

Finally, cover the stack with a tarp, loosely fit over the pile. This keeps any direct moisture/sunlight away from the pile.

Any boards that you use in the shop should acclimate for at least a week, in the shop.

8/4 black walnut…very nice!

-- Nicky

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1081 days


#2 posted 935 days ago

If they were kiln dried, they should not be checking and splitting now. Maybe they were not fully dry because if they are still checking and splitting, they are still drying.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#3 posted 935 days ago

I agree

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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yellowtruck75

404 posts in 1672 days


#4 posted 935 days ago

Should I remove the bark from the the remaining boards?

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1081 days


#5 posted 935 days ago

It will speed up the drying a little if you don’t want the bark-on look.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

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yellowtruck75

404 posts in 1672 days


#6 posted 934 days ago

I am worried about the pieces I already cut out for the rocking chair I am building. I notices a bit of checking of a blank so I sealed it with glue before I shape it into the leg.

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2697 days


#7 posted 934 days ago

Your original post said that the wood was kiln dried…

I think you really need a moisture meter to get a conclusive number (moisture content). A mistake could have been made from your supplier.

If your cutting pieces, and they are checking, then I could only guess that the boards are not fully dry.

One last thought…If you are using boards of varied moisture levels, you run the risk of joint failures. Wood will shrink as it looses its moisture. Sealing the ends forces the moisture to be lost on the top and bottom of the board, slowing down the checking.

Keep us posted here. 8/4 walnut is not cheap, and maybe you could provide a lessons learned.

-- Nicky

View KenBee's profile

KenBee

108 posts in 1240 days


#8 posted 933 days ago

I just received some walnut I bought off Ebay painted on the ends and some maple I bought was sealed on the ends with thick clear packing tape about 10 inches into the board. Which is a bear to get off BTW. All of it was completely wrapped with saran wrap type material for shipping as well as heavy cardboard. I keep all of my high dollar lumber on end and sticker stack other cheap species of wood like poplar and cedar. I use Titebond II or III glue to seal the ends of my boards rather than paint even though I am not sure that is an acceptable way to keep checking in check, but it seems to work.

-- If it won't fit get a BIGGER hammer.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1079 posts in 1081 days


#9 posted 933 days ago

Anchorseal is the best material for end coating wood. It does a great job. You can find it at UC Coatings. It is what sawmills use to end coat their logs to keep them from cracking. Well worth the money. I use a lot of it to coat my logs. It comes colored or clear. I like clear because I can see the growth rings on the ends of the logs so that I can position the log to get quarter sawn lumber, etc.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View andysden's profile

andysden

45 posts in 1023 days


#10 posted 933 days ago

I think the mill did not properlydry the lumber main reason for checking . Place the spacers right near the ends that will help stop the checks Andy

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

691 posts in 1563 days


#11 posted 932 days ago

You cannot stop the checks, they were there when you got the wood just not evident. The vast majority of surface checking is poor kiln work; a kiln operator in a hurry for a buck will throw wood in the kiln and bake it until the outside reads a low percentage then sell it as kiln dried; however, it is still wet inside and not at all correctly serviced. The outside will check in the kiln, then the checks will close up as the moisture wicks thru after it is removed from the kiln. As it then starts to dry, after someone buys it, the checks show up and you see what you bought. Kiln work is much easier said than done. All I can advise is to let it sit for a few months to dry, then machine the checks out of it and work with what you have left.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Scsmith42's profile

Scsmith42

125 posts in 1282 days


#12 posted 931 days ago

If you crosscut the boards does the checking appear after cross cutting? If so, your problem is most likely that the lumber is honeycombed, not checked.

-- Scott, North Carolina, www.quartersawnoak.com

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