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  1. #1

    Question about slab drying

    Hi!
    I'm a newbie. What is the best way to dry a slab or round of wood without it cracking?
    Thanks for any help or ideas!
    Spudz

  2. #2
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    First of all, paint the end grain with latex paint to prevent the ends from drying faster than the rest of the wood to prevent, or at least slow down any cracking that may occur. If you are planning to saw the wood into boards, go ahead and saw them a bit thicker than you intend your final dimension to be. If your final thickness will be 3/4" then saw it to 1" or 7/8" or so to allow room for you to be able to remove any warpage during drying. Then, you want to stack the wood with stickers (narrow strips of wood) between the boards to allow for air circulation between the boards. Place some fairly heavy weights on top of the boards to help keep them flat during drying. If drying outside, you need to put a tarp or something over the wood to protect it from the elements, but it also has a side benefit of keeping it from drying too fast. That is one of the main things is to not try to rush the drying process. It simply takes time.

  3. #3
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    There's a long thread about this very topic, about 2 years old, but I couldn't find it.

    I'll bet I've dried 100 or more slabs in the last 5-6 years....12-15 without cracking.
    This is how I do it. Lay the slab down flat and wet the bark and sapwood down good with CA (super) glue. Do both sides. This does two things...it will keep the bark from falling off, and IMO helps seal and slow down the drying around the very edge.
    This one stood on end in an unheated pole barn for two years, then in my heated garage for another two. Those runs you see are from the spar varnish I put on the bark 'bout a year ago. NO CRACKS!!!



    This next two have been drying for six months. The first one (cut on an angle) seems to be doing fine, SO FAR. The next one has split wide open already....firewood. They were cut from the same tree, the same day. I cut nine of 'em on an angle. they're all intact. Hmmmm.





    I think the CA glue and drying them as slow as you can betters your odds. The rule of thumb is "1 year for 1" of thickness".

    I do know, if you put a finish on them before they're dried good, the moisture left will cause some kinda ugly moldy looking junk under the finish.

    You're gonna get all kinds of answers on this one. Try 'em all if you have enough slabs.

    Good luck....if you can 2 good ones outa 10 , you're doing something right, (and let me know how you did it)


    I don't know why the first pic is jacked up...it a slab 36" across and 2-3 " thick, WITH NO CRACKS


    Here is the best source for CA glue. www.woodenwonderstx.com About $20/pint. He's a member here & a couple other forums.


    edit: uggh, I/we need a "picture posting tutorial" for this %#$(^% place!!
    Last edited by deepsplinter; 11-25-2010 at 09:14 AM.
    Dave, from Indiana

    I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.

  4. #4
    doc when you say paint the ends how much do you mean? just the very end grain or do you paint over a wider area?
    PLEASE always try to use RECYCLED wood whenever possible.

  5. #5
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    Primarily just the end grain because the end grain allows the moisture to escape faster. Just a cheap latex paint is sufficient. There are other products available. If you have ever been to a Woodcraft store, you probably have seen the pieces of wood coated in some sort of waxy substance. You can spend the money for something like this, but from my experience and research, just some sort of inexpensive latex paint will work just fine. The point is nothing more than to slow down the drying process through the end grain.

  6. #6
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    I think the OP is asking about slabs...cross-cut logs...chips...cookies...rounds...etc. I don't know what to call 'em..

    Either way, we got it covered.
    Dave, from Indiana

    I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.

  7. #7
    Great information, thanks for the thorough response!

  8. #8
    yes in fact this chunk of purpleheart I am working with right now has a whole mess of waxy stuff on the end grain... now I know what it was for.
    PLEASE always try to use RECYCLED wood whenever possible.

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