Q. I'm new to lathe work. How does one stop freshly cut logs from cracking?
A. Michael Dresdner: "Paint the ends immediately after cutting with either a thick coat of paraffin wax or paint, and store them in an area that is not too dry until they start to loose some of their moisture. There are special paints specifically for this job available from most woodworking and turning suppliers, and although they certainly won't guarantee that logs won't crack, they go a long way towards helping."
A. Rob Johnstone: "Logs crack as the moisture within them is removed. This causes the wood fibers to shrink towards the center of the log. One good way is to soak chunks of green wood in PEG. It replaces the water and so reduces shrinking. This stabilizes the wood. You could also harvest standing dead trees& and therefore relatively dry wood. If it is dead and dry and has not cracked already & it will not be likely to do so."
This article originally appeared in the Woodworker's Journal eZine.
Click here for information on this free, twice monthly online publication.
Copyright; 2010 Woodworker's Journal
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval devices or systems, without prior written permission from the publisher.