I've done some searching, but haven't managed to come up with any evidence of anybody having ever tried this…
My parents had a pair of ash trees taken down a few years back due to the Ash Borers getting to them, and I milled up quite a bit of the wood for future projects. This was the first tree I really got a good look at after Ash Borers have done their thing, but in looking at other pictures online it appears they really went to town on this tree. I'll try to add some pics later.
I'm gearing up to make some Epoxy River Boards at the moment and dug out some of this ash now that it's had a few years to dry, and it occurred to me that a clear epoxy river board made from some of this live-edge ash that shows all the Ash Borer "tunnels" might look really cool…
As I said I did some searching but can't find any images of anybody having ever tried this before. Has anybody ever seen something like this? I'm curious how it might look, but am a little hesitant to experiment with it due to the cost of epoxy. I'm a bit worried that much of any tint to the epoxy will prevent you from seeing much of it. Also worried it might look "unpleasant," rather than "interesting."
So what do people think? Neat idea? Or not gonna turn out so hot?
Yup - I did remove the bark right after milling the logs. What you're looking at is what's left of the cambium, or the layer between the bark and the sap wood. That's what the Ash Borer likes to eat. On the bright side, having the cambium half chewed away makes it REALLY easy to peel the bark off…
As for epoxy… it's just something new and different to try out (for me… I know the trend has been around quite a while now). I hadn't really looked at these pieces through that lens before, and was curious if anybody has ever tried it, or seen it done.
It would immortalize the structure, kinda like insects set in amber. I turned a natural edge bowl with some kind of mushroom, and over time they shriveled up. I wish I had something to keep that structure intact. Yours won't shrivel, but might damage over use. Just have to ask: Are you sure there are no other live bugs left?
One thing I have noticed is that some youtube projects end up with bubbles. That would not be good in your pieces. Look into degassing. I don't know if you can make small batches, but maybe try a smaller cast, like drink coasters, and see if you like it. There you could try tints as well.
I'm a polymer guy, I have no misgivings about mixing epoxy polymer with cellulose polymer
As long as you can remove any bubbles it will look fine. No different than the typical turnings guys do with epoxy over big leaf maple burl. Like most things in life when done properly it looks good…the issue many don't have the skill or ability to do so.
EAB no issue as only attacks ash trees and only eats the phloem tissue (inner bark).
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