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Forum topic by yellabret posted 02-26-2013 04:01 AM 795 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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yellabret

51 posts in 1667 days


02-26-2013 04:01 AM

i have a thick slab of red oak – bad wood for movement i know, but i got the wood for free and i am not going to wait 5 yrs for it to dry. if nothing else its a learning piece.

the wood has sat out in the Houston heat for 8 months after milling, and was on the ground as a whole log for and undetermined amount of time, but long enough for the sapwood to be spalted and well-populated with the grub worm looking insects, but the heart wood was unaffected. the last 1/4 to 1/2” or so of spalted sapwood was still hard enough to leave on in places, giving it a nice look.

equilibrium around here – judging by small pieces of oak/pecan in my garage for a few years, is about 12%. in the photo you can see a bech/table/stool i am making. the legs are the an 8” log milled in half off of a log of similar age and history – semi round. when milled, last month, the MC was 19 to 23%.

you can see the cracking in the slab, i am not too worried as this is rustic furniture and i am never going to be able to dry this stuff perfectly. the slab has a jillion teeeeeeensy radial cracks that fill in with grain filler.

so my question – i know i should wait for best results, but how much or what should i expect if i finish it with grain filler followed by urethane gel coat? wont that seal in everything so no more cracking? if i left the bottom unfinished, my guess is it would still crack some. either way, is that all i have to worry about? the legs are attached with lag screws – very sturdy – it wouldnt move enough to ruin the joinery would it? (legs were not evened up when pic taken, it is not that unlevel)

i have already made several others that i did not use grain filler on and finished with danish oil, so if anything would move or crack more – how long would it take? they are indoors. i figured i’d just make these things different ways and see how they are in a few years. so if they look good in 2 or 3 yrs, am I home free?

i know i am going against the grain with standard tried and true woodworking protocol, just wondering if anyone else has done silmilar and their results….


2 replies so far

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JesseTutt

853 posts in 1575 days


#1 posted 02-26-2013 04:17 PM

“i have already made several others that i did not use grain filler on and finished with danish oil”
I doubt if wood filler would have any major affect on how the wood dries. If your previous pieces were of similar size and age I would expect this one to behave the same.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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Monte Pittman

22020 posts in 1802 days


#2 posted 02-26-2013 05:12 PM

General rule of thumb, if you put your hand on it and it’s cool to the touch – cooler than room temperature -then it probably has too much moisture in it. If it feels like room temperature, then it’s probably as dry as air-drying will get it.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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