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Got a Chunk of Tree Stump...What Do I Do Now?

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Forum topic by tool_junkie posted 10-02-2014 01:03 AM 1282 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tool_junkie

296 posts in 1996 days


10-02-2014 01:03 AM

So, I was at the city recycling facility today to dump some yard waste when my eye caught this piece of tree stump and I brought it home:

It measures 17” wide at the widest point and also about 17” tall at the tallest point. I would like to turn it into a few live edge side tables and all I know right now is that it needs to dry first. So I need your help in determining the next steps in this process. The questions I have are:

1- What species of wood do you think it is?

2- What is the best way to dry it? It is really wet and has quite a bit of sap on the edges of the bark.

3- What would be the best environment to dry it in? For the time being I have put it in the garage which is not temperature controlled and in a month or two we’ll have snow.

4- How thick of a table top would look appealing? I am thinking may be 3” thick? What do you think?

As always, I highly appreciate your help.

Thanks!


13 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

13520 posts in 1324 days


#1 posted 10-02-2014 01:06 AM

Eastern red cedar.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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OhioMike

73 posts in 1629 days


#2 posted 10-02-2014 01:13 AM

I’m guessing Box Elder. It will likely have some serious cracks within a week or two. Hopefully someone knows of a way to keep it from cracking without sawing it down the middle because that might ruin the design of your table.

Mike

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firefighterontheside

13520 posts in 1324 days


#3 posted 10-02-2014 01:20 AM

The fact of those existing cracks may help out. They will open up more but may not be very noticeable.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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Jimbo4

1432 posts in 2230 days


#4 posted 10-02-2014 01:23 AM

Aromatic red cedar. Seal it – quick !

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

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tool_junkie

296 posts in 1996 days


#5 posted 10-02-2014 03:01 AM

hmm… so, is this probably not a good find (since it is expected to crack and probably lose stability)?

And how should I seal it? Just put the sealer on both ends of the whole chunk of wood? Or should it be sliced in smaller pieces first and then sealed up? What about drying it?

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firefighterontheside

13520 posts in 1324 days


#6 posted 10-02-2014 01:29 PM

I’m thinking you should leave it whole, seal both ends and put it somewhere dry and forget about it for a long time. I think if you cut it up it’s gonna dry too fast and the checking will be worse. They say one year per inch for drying time. Put it in the back corner of the garage.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#7 posted 10-02-2014 01:39 PM

Someone posted his successful method of drying cookies last week. He sliced em and stacked them with cardboard between them instead of stickers. And they didn’t crack!

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

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Jimbo4

1432 posts in 2230 days


#8 posted 10-02-2014 03:40 PM

This is a good find tool_junkie, if you live in a humid climate. My brother brought me a truck load of wet aromatic red cedar, +/- 1500#s, from humid Oklahoma to dry New Mexico. We stacked in it the back yard, and in about a week it stated to check. I quickly cut off the ends and sealed it heavily with Anchor Seal, kept two large pieces and gave the rest away at a turning meeting. It can be turned wet, but will crack in the process on the lathe.

-- BOVILEXIA: The urge to moo at cows from a moving vehicle.

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tool_junkie

296 posts in 1996 days


#9 posted 10-02-2014 04:26 PM

gfadvm,

Can you please give me the link to the post you mentioned?


Someone posted his successful method of drying cookies last week. He sliced em and stacked them with cardboard between them instead of stickers. And they didn’t crack!

- gfadvm

Thanks Jimbo,

I am in Iowa which is humid during summer, freezing cold and dry during winters and anywhere in between the rest of the seasons.


This is a good find tool_junkie, if you live in a humid climate. My brother brought me a truck load of wet aromatic red cedar, +/- 1500#s, from humid Oklahoma to dry New Mexico. We stacked in it the back yard, and in about a week it stated to check. I quickly cut off the ends and sealed it heavily with Anchor Seal, kept two large pieces and gave the rest away at a turning meeting. It can be turned wet, but will crack in the process on the lathe.

- Jimbo4

As far as the sealer goes, where can I find Anchor Seal? Is there another sealer I can use?

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Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#10 posted 10-02-2014 04:41 PM


Someone posted his successful method of drying cookies last week. He sliced em and stacked them with cardboard between them instead of stickers. And they didn t crack!

- gfadvm

That is interesting, someday I will try that.

You could also try steaming or boiling but it’s hard to keep keep cookies intact since they crack from the pith outward.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

704 posts in 1450 days


#11 posted 10-02-2014 05:14 PM

tool_junkie – Anchorseal II can be purchased from woodcraft and Amazon in gallon and I believe pint or quart sizes, it does indeed work wonderfully as I sealed up some 1 1/2” thick cherry slabs I carved from some 6ft logs I split awhile back and have no checks to the ends after drying for 11 months.

-- Nick, "Choking to death on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover." - JG

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#12 posted 10-02-2014 09:25 PM

Tool Junky, Sorry but I can’t even remember if iy was here of on the Forestry Forum but I’ll look around.

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

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EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2592 days


#13 posted 10-02-2014 10:28 PM

Hi… I am unsure how others feel about this, but if I have a short log like yours with a lot of inclusions … seal the ends with whatever.. (I use foundry wax only because I have a ton of it) and then tightly wrap a card board box around it and let it sit for a about two years, but turn it over about every few months. I really want the exterior to dry slowly and still let the inside express it’s moisture, the cardboard acts like another layer of bark. For spalted woods which are really moist and rotted I seal the ends and then wrap in old blankets or sweat shirts. After two years you can go back and slice them, but i’d still let the disks dry with cardboard between until your reach the appropriate MC for your work.
Cedar does crack easily though, even after drying.. a got a very old and dried disk from a friend’s basement but about a month after it was in my shop.. with the difference in air moisture and temp it split one day with a huge and loud crack. Sucks… oh well. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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