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Thread: Log Slices

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Hamlin, New York
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    Log Slices

    I am trying to make some clocks out of slices of willow logs. They are about 14 inches in diam. and about 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Can anyone tell me the proper procedure to dry out the wet wood? I was told to wrap them in paper bags in a cool dry place. I tried that and they keep cracking. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Since outer rings and sapwood have more moisture in them than the center rings, cross sectional slices of logs will always crack and split when drying. Soaking the section in a PEG solution can 'freeze' the wood in hardened plastic like state, but that might not be what you have in mind. www.woodweb.com has more info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    New Zealand
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    Not easily

    Problem is the wood will shrink different amounts radially and tangentially to the grain. Maybe 5 % one way and 8% the other (depends on species). So you have a circle that is 5% less diameter but the circumferance is 8% less. So it splits. Paper bags, anchorseal, wax etc will slow the drying, and sometimes help by giving the wood time to adjust itself, but most woods just crack open once it eventually gets dry.
    Some species can be done if they are low shringage, sorta flexible and resistant to splitting, but most bust apart.
    You may get better results by cutting the slices at 45 deg thru the log. You will get oval clocks, but you have a better chance of drying them.

    PEG works by replacing the moisture in the wood thereby stopping it splitting so thats another option.

    Ian

  4. #4
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    I don't remember where I read about this technique but if you let the disk split and cut a corrosponding slice out of the next disk and glue it into place, with careful matching of grain and sanding it will be hard to see the pieces.

    Richard

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wolf
    I don't remember where I read about this technique but if you let the disk split and cut a corrosponding slice out of the next disk and glue it into place, with careful matching of grain and sanding it will be hard to see the pieces.
    (scratches head) Wouldn't adjacent slices from the same log tend to split at the same place?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud
    (scratches head) Wouldn't adjacent slices from the same log tend to split at the same place?
    Lee, I don't know. Anyway, it's not like the piece disappears, it only moves.

    Richard

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Wolf
    Lee, I don't know. Anyway, it's not like the piece disappears, it only moves.
    Ah, ok, got it now. Sounds like blending the grain on the sawn face would be pretty easy...the edge may be a somewhat uglier problem.

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