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Preventing cracks in cedar

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  • Preventing cracks in cedar

    I have cut several 1" thick slices of cedar across the trunk in order to make clocks and plaques with the pieces. I need them to dry relatively quickly but I realized that they tend to crack and split throughout. Is there something to seal them with to prevent cracking, even though they are still green? I need to begin work on some of the pieces in a week.

  • #2
    Re: Preventing cracks in cedar

    It would probably take at least 2 weeks to kiln dry 1" material if you have sealed the cut surfaces to prevent checking. Air drying would take many months to get it to a useable MC.

    How dry do you need it? (eg what are you making with it?). For interior use it needs to be down to 12%. For furniture grade stuff (cabinets, furniture) you need to shoot for 8%. Otherwise you will have significant shrinkage as the wood continues to dry.

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    • #3
      Re: Preventing cracks in cedar

      there are sealants to seal the end grain with, but a few layers of latex paint will help, on the end grain,

      part of the cracking is the ends are drying faster than the middle,

      so by sealing the end grain you make the moisture migrate through the surface more evenly,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
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      • #4
        Re: Preventing cracks in cedar

        BHD, If I read him correctly he has cut across the log-like firewood- and has 1" thick round pieces. I don't think he wants latex paint on them.

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        • #5
          Re: Preventing cracks in cedar

          If what you have are some ~1" thick pizza style slices off a log they should dry fairly fast. You open grain at each end only 1" apart, but by fairly fast I do not mean 7 days or even 14, not without a kiln or some other mechanical means to remove the moisture. Just remember that whatever you do to extract the water faster than air drying WILL cause shrinkage and with it checking and cracks which it sounds like for your project are not desirable.

          You could try placing them in the dust collection bag of a dust collector or if you have a pre-separator you could put them in there too. The chips and sawdust will draw the moisture out of the wood pretty fast.

          You could work with the checks and cracks as part of your project. Fill any gaps with epoxy tinted dark. You could also try wood filler to which you have added some tinting.
          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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          • #6
            Re: Preventing cracks in cedar

            Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
            BHD, If I read him correctly he has cut across the log-like firewood- and has 1" thick round pieces. I don't think he wants latex paint on them.
            missed that thanks, I was thinking that he had wide planks,

            about the only way to keep them from cracking is to put a substance that will fill the cells and keep them from shrinking, http://jlrodgers.com/pdf/stabilizing_green_wood.pdf, as they dry,

            the other way that may work but to quarter or cut in to eights, it and let it dry and then re square it and glue it back together,

            the deal is the cells are arranged like a bulls eye on a target, there are more on the out side, and less in the middle, and if each cell shrinks the same it has to split as there are more cells on the out side, and less on the center, and some thing has to give,

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

            http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=686

            http://owic.oregonstate.edu/pubs/peg.pdf

            http://www.rockler.com/blog/index.cf...23DAC0E0A1171A

            http://www.google.com/search?q=Stabi...rchBox&ie=&oe=
            Last edited by BHD; 01-22-2011, 10:11 PM.
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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