HELP finishing a maple slab

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Forum topic by RobAshtonDesigns posted 07-31-2012 02:19 AM 2129 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2552 days

07-31-2012 02:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip maple finishing

I got access to a very large piece of maple slab ( 4”) thick and prob 3’ 6” across. I flattened it down w a router sled and i was wondering how do i finish it. do i have to wait some time for it to dry, if i do how do i keep it from splitting. can i just finish it w something special to keep it from cracking. im just not sure how to handle this. im fairly new to working with green wood

-- Rob, CT,

4 replies so far

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2397 days

#1 posted 07-31-2012 02:29 AM

I don’t think its any good to put any finish on right now..
Was it wet wood, or dry wood?
You said green, So its wet.
since its wet, maybe some latex paint on the end grain, and yeah, wait for it to dry.
When its dry, you’ll want to flatten the slab again.
Since its 4 inches thick, and you say its green wood, it will take some time to let it dry.
I like wood dried 1 inch per year = 4 years for that slab.
If its dry, Maybe keeping it a week in your shop will help make the wood accumulate to the environment inside your shop.

-- My terrible signature...

View RobAshtonDesigns's profile


19 posts in 2552 days

#2 posted 07-31-2012 02:34 AM

yes it was wet when it cut it. holy crap 4 yrs. that sucks i cant wait that long. i dont have room to store that long. any ideas how to speed up the drying pros.

-- Rob, CT,

View derosa's profile


1580 posts in 3041 days

#3 posted 07-31-2012 03:51 AM

It won’t really be 4 years but it won’t be fast by any means. Kiln drying would help some if you could find a place to take it. latex paint the ends and let it sit. If you have a tall enough ceiling try leaning it against a wall out of the way to let it dry, I did this with some 3” thick applewood and it didn’t move any more then the thinner stuff that was stickered did. If it is for outdoor use then it doesn’t have to be as dry otherwise you just need to wait. I’ve also had luck in speeding up the process by putting wet wood over the forced air hear register in the guest room for the winter. Works really well for drying but makes guests all the more annoying.

-- A posse ad esse

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3443 days

#4 posted 07-31-2012 03:55 AM


I solved my drying time issue with 3” gunstock blanks by making laminated blanks. I saw my lumber 1” thick, then after it dries, I laminate boards to make a 3” thick blank. That way I can turn green wood into finished products in about 3 months if I rush it. Most old time gunstock makers wanted wood that had seasoned for 10 to 15 years before they carved it… I’m too old to wait that long myself. I use 3 sister boards to cut blanks when the customer wants a full thickness stock. After I cut out the 3 pieces and glue them back together, you can’t find the glue line and they look like solid stocks with the strength and stability of a laminate.

If you take it to a kiln, make sure they put your wood in the kiln with other wood as much like it as possible for species and thickness. Now you know why thick wood products are so expensive. Someone has to spend time and money cutting and storing them while they dry and they also take the losses when they crack or warp. Good luck with your project.

-- Hal, Tennessee

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