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Thread: Preserving Stump Slabs for Future Use

  1. #1
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    Default Preserving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    I every, recently I had some Poplar trees removed, and today the grinder came in to remove the stumps. He was able to cut off several that had been left high for me. Now that I have them (3), I'd like to keep them for a while before doing anything with them - undecided as to what..

    The first 2 pics are the tops weather from a little time,

    P7110010.JPGP7110011.JPG

    the last 2 show the new cut - today.

    P7110012.JPGP7110013.JPG

    approx 1 1/2" - 2" thick
    any suggestions welcome to preserve these pieces appreciated..
    or drying procedure.

    glenn

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    They look nice till they start to dry and crack.


    You can seal both sides and try drying slowly. Chances of success are doubtfull.


    Portions of them may end up usable.


    I have several sitting downstairs. Once they looked real nice!
    Egon
    from
    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

  3. #3
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    Mike

    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Even if they split, as they probably will do, you can still make some nice looking objects with it. When in Florida years ago, I went to a shop that specialized in cypress stump slabs. One interesting item was a clock. They used a black epoxy resin filler to fill all the splits, put in a clock movement and numerals, and then poured on a thick clear epoxy finish, similar to a bar top finish. They were really stunning.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    From what I've read in other posts, I think you'll want to store them outside covered from rain, and off the ground, or in a damp basement for the first year to help prevent them from drying too quickly.

    Good luck,
    Kevin
    The more I learn, the better I understand how little I know.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Thanks for the input and suggestions , I have a spot in the garage that I can use. Currently it's storage for several maple and poplar logs - 2 years now, I'll place these slabs at the bottom of he stack - stickered - pretty constant tempature in there, low humidity..The logs should provide good weight on them. Clean them and seal first. As Mike said - they can be use for something. One piece at the right side of a pic is quite thin and was curled bye the time the grinder brought them to me..

    should be interesting to see what happens.

    glenn.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    maybe you could paint them to avoid them drying too quickly, i think the point of the previous posts was to store them in a somewhat humid environment for the first while, to preven them drying too quickly and cracking.
    “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” -Bertrand Russell

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    I'll let them dry for a while in the garage, trying to get rid of the humidity in the basement, lots of rain here for 6 weeks so they absorbed a lot of moisture after being cut down. I'll keep checking and when they loose the added moisture I'll consider the paint job. The other logs I mentioned - some painted ends some not but they seems to be doing quite well. Just about time for a re-saw run. Need to build a sled first - the weeks project.

    glenn

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Glenn

    If you are unfamiliar with his wood creations look at Nakashima's furniture - tables, benches and the like.

    http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com/furniture/5/36

    He tends not to use extreme radial cuts of tree trunks but oblique slabs that are not so prone to developing the pie shaped cracks in radical cuts.... nevertheless his work often incorporates natural cracks and he uses fasterners such as 'dutchmans' as hold things together as a part of the appearance... your most 'tortured' looking slab might be the most promising in turning into a decorative piece.

    there's some information on the knowledge base section at woodweb.com 'industry website' on others experience in trying control/live with cracks from the drying of such radical slabs.

    good luck

    michael

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Hello Micheal, thanks for the link, they are rather beautiful pieces and very fine work.. I can understand why the oblique / slanted cuts would be better. Something I didn't think about when the cutters were here.

    But then again he back his truck right over his chain saw, Stihl I believe, best I leave him be.

    I'll keep a close check on these ones as they do an initial dry, still pretty humid here with the weather patterns out there are keeping it around.

    glenn

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    I did a search and found advise of storing them within a cardboard box in basement with layers of cardboard in between each slab - I tried with oak storing them the same day I cut them (likely one of the poorest choices of wood for this), they split badly and ended up as fire wood. I did not use preservative

  11. #11
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Glenn the only way to keep the wood from splitting is by replacing the water that evaporates with something that does not.

    Look at this stuff.

    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...at=1,190,42942

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Hi Thomas T, I've have heard of that procedure with cardboard, but should change it everyday until it come out dry. Did sticker them, checked next morning - and even the stickers had absorbed moisture. They had a good couple weeks of rain before harvest, just starting to dry now. will give them a latex coating this weekend.

    Hello Leo, I've read the LV procedure on this product, from what I read it's for green wood. I guess mine could be classed as green wood, quite soggy still. I'll consider it tho, Thanks for the link.

    glenn
    Last edited by mrpedersen; 07-18-2012 at 11:01 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Did look at the US site, says its a silicone based product. Also took a view at LV Canadian site, they have a wax based product - Log End Sealer - would this do the same trick? Price seems ok.

    LvCa

    glenn

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Glenn the problem with trying to dry slabs or solid pieces of log is that there are different sorts of wood in there.

    First you have the pith wood, it is different in the way it grows and shrinks more than the surrounding heartwood, splitting as a result, then you have the outside sapwood, it has more sap/water in it and less filled wood fibers as has the heartwood, again as it dries it is unable to shrink more or as much as the heartwood it surrounds, it isn't going to stretch, so it splits.

    This is all above and beyond the problems of having all of the wood dry evenly, (which is a big problem by itself), it is the way wood is build or grows, it is not because the way it is dried.

    There are a few soft hardwoods that will split less or maybe even not at all if the wood is dried slow and carefully, Catalpa and Willow are capable of having larger pieces (blocks) dried without splitting, your Poplar is also better able to dry that way, unlike harder woods that have less room in between their fibers.

    The log-end sealer is not a replacement to use for the Pentacryl, it is a sealer that slows down the evaporation of the water from wet/green wood, especially the ends of the wood where the endgrain will dry much faster than the rest of the wood, like the ends of milled logs, and also for a short time will help the wet/green turning blanks from splitting/degrading.

    The Pentacryl material does not seal the wood but gets into the wood and it rather replaces the water that evaporates, rather than slowing the evaporation of it, so that no or very little shrinkage does happen.

    Best way is to get some plastic bags that you get to wrap closely around the wood, like having the bag with the wood surrounded by wood dust or sand then cover the wood with pentacryl so it can get into the wood without you needing to have gallons of the stuff like when having it sit in a tub.

    Good luck

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Leo, thanks for the seminar, an excellent amount if info. I do have a light coat of latex on the thinnest slabs at present. Will look for some of the Pentacryil in Canada - assuming that it is available from the manufacture (US), I don't mind putting out some cash if it'll give me peace of mined for the remaining pieces.. Im assuming that they would need constant coatings over a period. Wish me luck..

    glenn

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Glenn

    Here is a link to photos of a small table stand top make of a slice of burl......
    http://www.forums.woodnet.net/ubbthr...lapsed&sb=5&o=

    No splits/cracks and the size of the slab appear to be similar to the pieces you have 18" to 24" in diameter....
    ... but the critical difference is that your pieces are radial cuts with largely simple annual growth ring patterns.... the interlocking grain pattern in a burl typically provides significant protection from contraction during drying that results in distortion (i.e. cracks and splits)......I suspect that your slab showing two stumps partially linked together might might undergo the least further splitting.....

    .... check Bruce Hoadley's Understanding Wood (sometimes you can download books for free on the internet via a google search -smiley) ... he has written about the difficulties and relative lack of success in preserving radial disks larger than about 8" diameter of even favored low density species and he talks about the use of polyethylene glycol product, PEG-1000, which I suspect is similar to Pentacryl...... years ago a person gave me half a dozen such already dried radial disks of an unknown species - the largest size without cracks were a bit less than 8" in diameter.

    I googled pentacryl and found very little in way that would encourage me that it would be successful in preventing the elimination of distortion in radial disks in your sizes.
    I wonder where are the photos on the internet of coffee table tops made of three foot diameter radial cuts ........people have often said wouldn't such a coffee table top be a conversation piece... I suspect that if the makers of this product, which I gather has been around for a decade, were able to deliver a big, uncracked radial disk of a annual ring tree log, we would have the pictures flooding the internet.

    btw, LV log end sealer, according to older posts here, is likely a rebranding of a product called Anchorseal.... check out their website www.uucoatings.com ........ both their website and LV's catalog entry show radial cuts, diagrams or photographs: without the product, checks and cracks; with the product, no checks or cracks. But this product only delays, exponentially better than latex paint, drying out of the end grain of logs and planks - it does not "stabilize" the wood as pentacryil/PEG presumeably promise. In the initial milling of logs, the sealer may be applied to the end of logs while they are waiting to be sliced into planks - and, as the LV description says, the product remains on end grain after the log is sliced into planks. Once sliced into planks the challenges of checks/cracks is much less than with the end of the log or a radial slice and the latex paint or other type of sealer is typically sufficient to prevent end cracks.

    good luck

    michael

    ....

  17. #17
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Quote Originally Posted by mrpedersen View Post
    Leo, thanks for the seminar, an excellent amount if info. I do have a light coat of latex on the thinnest slabs at present. Will look for some of the Pentacryil in Canada - assuming that it is available from the manufacture (US), I don't mind putting out some cash if it'll give me peace of mined for the remaining pieces.. Im assuming that they would need constant coatings over a period. Wish me luck..

    glenn
    Glenn submersing is the best, but read up on it here from the horses mouth so to speak.

    http://www.preservation-solutions.co...ersjournal.php

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Hi everyone, I had to take the quick and ready the other day with the latex. The tops are rough cut - chain saw - but hopefully it's a temp fix for now. Had a miserable rain storm here and some flooding in an unused well room, underground and attached to the main foundation. Happened 5 yrs ago too. So I had to guide my gals (wife and daughter) on the cleanup - good old shop vac. So all of my attention goes there since the entry is thru a basement suite, at least my tenant took it with a chuckle. My gals are pretty tired.

    Just need to find a contractor with a backhoe and some suggestions on another needed sealing job. No chemicals for this one.

    glenn

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    I know someone who makes lots of tables from round cuts like that. Depending on the size, sometimes he'll drill a hole in the center of the cut. A few years ago I watched him drill a hole 1" in diameter in the center of a 2" thick, 26" wide round cut of walnut. He still has the piece drying in his shop, there's no checking at all and the hole is almost closed, the opening in the center must be .25" now. He said someone once told him to do that, so he's been doing it since. I personally like the checking and cracks. I'm working on 2 end tables that have checked right to the center, the wood has been air dried for 3 years now. I'll be cutting some Dutchmen and ill be off to the races.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Preseving Stump Slabs for Future Use

    Hi mwallace, A hole in the center - sounds like a neat idea, kind of a pressure relief valve. Checked mine the other day, all seems to be stable - so far. Still not sure what to do with them but table tops is the favorite right now. Time will tell.

    Glenn

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