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Keeping green wood from cracking?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by SmokinPiney, Feb 25, 2009.

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  1. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

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    I know it's the total opposite of what this forum is about but does anyone know what i can use to keep some slabs of wood from cracking? I cut up a dozen slabs of beautiful elm to make backers for some of my deer skull mounts. Someone told me to use polyethylene glycol to keep the green slabs from cracking? Any idea if it works and where to get it? I've also heard of using mineral oils, and even bees wax???

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  2. Superlite

    Superlite New Member

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    A good product is called Anchor Seal, I think you can get it from Baileys. We have put regular oil based paint on and they cracked like they didn't have anything on them. Don't know about polyethelene glycol, but I think you can get Anchor Seal with ethelene glycol (anti freeze) in it. Best of luck
  3. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    When you're seasoning a log for carving, you want the moisture to exit through the bark over a long time. I've seen both varnish and acrylic paint used for that purpose by painting the cut, and waiting a couple of years. I'd think a slab would be near impossible to prevent some kind of checking.
  4. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Melt some paraffin wax and cover the areas you wish not to crack.
  5. Woodrat

    Woodrat New Member

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  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    This is complicated but often can be accomplished. The key is not to let the wood dry too fast, and yet if it dries too slow it can mold and spoil. How thick are your slaps? How wide? I have successfully dried white pine up to 18" wide and thicknesses of 1-3" with no splitting; same thing with red oak but widths up to 12" and 4" thickness.

    Anchor Seal or a like product on the end grain will greatly reduce drying and splitting, as most moisture exits through the end grain.

    A very good book is Drying Hardwood Lumber, USDA, available on-line:

    http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr118.pdf
  7. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

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    Kimball,Michigan
    I have had good success with shelac fo sealing the ends of your logs.If you can get the bark off this will help the moisture exit the sides,better yet is if you can rough cut the logs to your dimentions so there is more surface area per board for quiker drying.
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