how does one preserve wood "slices"?

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Forum topic by Tugboater78 posted 02-25-2015 01:12 AM 1249 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2431 posts in 1610 days

02-25-2015 01:12 AM

Fiance is addicted to Pinterest, and has some ideas for our upcoming nuptials. Couple of them involve decorations requiring crossgrain log slices, that will be saved for house decorations afterwards.

My instinct tells me these will fall apart once dry and not even sure if there is a way to keep them together short of some epoxy infusion.

Any ideas or suggestions would be gladly welcomed.


-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

12 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile


14928 posts in 2108 days

#1 posted 02-25-2015 01:26 AM

There has been a discussion about how to dry/finish cookies on the Forestry Forum with a lot of ways that haven’t worked. The latest attempt that shows promise is treating them with Pentacryl and then urethane. The species of wood seems to make a difference with oak cracking the worst.

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

View Mykos's profile


102 posts in 1213 days

#2 posted 02-25-2015 01:26 AM

How thick are the slices, and what wood ? A 1/2” thick slice of cedar will crumble like a biscuit but a 4” slab of elm would be very durable.

View Tugboater78's profile


2431 posts in 1610 days

#3 posted 02-25-2015 01:33 AM

I believe most of her ideas require will be 1”-3” thick , no particular species in mind i think.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View rick1955's profile


251 posts in 849 days

#4 posted 02-25-2015 01:33 AM

Pentacryl does work. Go to the website. I’ve seen it first hand. A guy at work did exactly what are doing. I turned him onto Pentacryl. His slices were 3/4” thick.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1049 days

#5 posted 02-25-2015 09:44 AM

I used birch slices for the nuptuals. They have to be thick though, I had 1” for smaller and 2-3” for our cake stands.

I used a a lot of BLO, once the oil fully penetrates you’ll be good for some time. It is now 6 months past and they have shown no cracks. But of course we live in a pretty stable climate in terms of humidity, so your mileage might vary.

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View mark4345's profile


66 posts in 1841 days

#6 posted 02-25-2015 10:01 AM

I did exactly this last year. I did a couple experiments and what does not work is cutting and leaving the slices to dry. Also cutting and coating it right away with polyurethane to seal the slice did not work. The slices pretty much self destructed with both methods over a few days.

Pentacryl is the way to go as stated before. Another option would be making the slices a day or 2 before the event, and they should be ok, they won’t last long though.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1168 posts in 1132 days

#7 posted 02-25-2015 11:41 AM

Could some of the techniques discussed here perhaps work?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1353 days

#8 posted 02-25-2015 12:47 PM

You could tell her all your dorky woodworking buddies are already doing the cookie fad and maybe she’ll change her mind… I’d try that.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 1628 days

#9 posted 02-25-2015 12:53 PM

In some sense, my response probably won’t help much. I didn’t do much of anything to preserve most of the slices for my reception. The first two pics below are of a walnut cake platter I sliced out (very poorly with my first chainsaw with a chain that pulled sideways badly), router planed, sanded, finished with polycrylic (IIRC), and backed with a couple inch smaller piece of 1/2” plywood and finally felt. It cracked a bit and has started to warp a little over the past 501 days (I think I’ve got that right) but is living life as a lazy susan now. The rest are some species that I didn’t off-hand know or worry about. I went to a friends house and they ending up getting out the tractor to pull about a 2’ diameter by 5’ chunk out of a log pile and then sliced it up for me. They got a bit moldy so I applied hydrogen peroxide a few times to tame that. Also screwed three little dowel feet on each one to make sure it wouldn’t rock. Otherwise they were left as cut. Still have four of the 16 or so in my garage and while they were always rustic rather than refined, nothing much has happened to them.

So, I am not prepared to tell you not to do anything to the slices since I would hate to be responsible for them falling apart on you, but if rustic is good enough then you might get away with it depending on the species. If cracks are acceptable and it doesn’t totally disintegrate, a plywood backing can go a long ways too.

Oh yeah, congratulations!

View JoeinGa's profile


7360 posts in 1425 days

#10 posted 02-25-2015 01:05 PM

altendky… are you married to a crazy cat lady? ( I noticed the decal on your tailgate) LOL

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 1628 days

#11 posted 02-25-2015 03:06 PM

I wouldn’t go so far as crazy, but some would. At least she is a veterinarian so they are all well cared for, even if a little pampered.

View rick1955's profile


251 posts in 849 days

#12 posted 02-25-2015 06:35 PM
30 years ago it was PEG but it was waxy and didn’t take a finish. Pentacryl will thin slices of thick cookies and if done correctly will not split.
It’s not something you can do in a weekend.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

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