LumberJocks

How much of a natural edge?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by Quoheleth posted 484 days ago 794 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Quoheleth's profile

Quoheleth

21 posts in 831 days


484 days ago

I hope I have this in the right forum…

I’ve just completed a bench for my in-laws’ entryway. It started out as a 10’ long slab of 6/4 pecan, tapering from 12” wide to 9” wide, that was cut and sawmilled locally. This was my first rough-lumber-to-finished-piece project I’ve done. It was a very rewarding challenge to figure out the design and layout (based on a WOOD magazine design from a couple years ago) to minimize wood waste and loss. The bench was assembled with floating tenons and mortises, sliding dovetails, and dowels – no nails or screws! I have a little sanding left to do, but here’s what it looks like:

One of the things I wanted to feature in my bench was the natural edge of the slab of wood. I know I couldn’t leave the bark on, so I stripped it off and about two-thirds of the cork cambium layer (it was really, really thick!). I’m left with about 3/8” of the soft, dark-brown cambium before getting to the actual wood.

My question is can I leave a little of this for contrast or do I really need to strip it all off? I really wanted to leave it, but I don’t want it coming loose and ruining the edge I tried to maintain.

Thanks, in advance,

Quoheleth

-- "We're always ready to circumcize a few 2x4s," - Uncle Bill


7 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

688 posts in 1556 days


#1 posted 484 days ago

I know this doesn’t necessarily answer your question, but I would consider the bug factor if I were you. I’ve seen successful projects (and a few not) with the bark on in both maple and cherry, all’s great unless some bugs live in said bark and decide to crawl out when you apply the finish. Pecan is known to be a happy home for bugs. I’ve never worked with it, so no real info. Hope it helps. Beautiful table!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1069 posts in 1074 days


#2 posted 484 days ago

If the dried cambium layer seems hard and won’t peel off,l I would definitely leave it for contrast. Very nice table and the quartersawn pecan is beautiful!

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

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10551 posts in 1288 days


#3 posted 484 days ago

That is a beautiful bench! I work with pecan a lot and if it’s not kiln dried it has some live bugs (in my experience). I usually use a wire brush on my 4” hand grinder (wear full face shield) to strip the bark and cambium off. It leaves a nice live edge appearance with nice texturing if you don’t brush across the grain.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1069 posts in 1074 days


#4 posted 483 days ago

I spray all green pecan lumber that I saw with a borate spray to prevent the bugs from feasting. Powderpost beetles love the ring porous hardwoods, especially hickory, ash, pecan, and oak. Once they are in there, the only sure-fire way to get rid of them is to kill them, the larvae, and the eggs with heat.

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1385 posts in 959 days


#5 posted 483 days ago

Nice design detail on the legs and stretchers.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View Quoheleth's profile

Quoheleth

21 posts in 831 days


#6 posted 483 days ago

Thanks for the complements! I’m eager to get the first coat of poly on it and see what the grain looks like then.

As to the cambium layer’s hardness, I would put it in the ballpark of white pine/whitewood. If I press my fingernails into it, it’ll leave a mark but it doesn’t flake off like bark does. Reckon that’s safe to leave?

Now I’m worried about bugs in my wood. Or, rather, I’m worried about giving my in-laws bugs in their new bench! I guess I’ll take the Apollo 13 approach—- is there anything I can do about it at this point? If not, I’ll not worry about it and say nothing to them about it either.

I hope to be able to work on this hot-n-heavy after Easter. My MIL’s birthday is mid-April. If I could have it done by then, that would be ideal.

Blessed Holy Tridium to all,
Q

-- "We're always ready to circumcize a few 2x4s," - Uncle Bill

View Ed's profile

Ed

19 posts in 1710 days


#7 posted 483 days ago

Quoheleth,

I love your bench! Very nice design…

You should be fine with the live edge. But, kiln drying would have been the way to go.

Heating the lumber to ~150 degrees for 48 hours in a kiln kills all the insects, so you don’t have to worry about the bugs emerging later. Plus, it’s difficult to air dry a 6/4 board all the way through.

At this point, I’d just go with what you have and hope that it works out. I’ve only had a couple of problems with air dried wood, so your project may be just fine.

-- Ed

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase