Found Wood and Checking

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Forum topic by MOJOE posted 07-14-2010 04:56 AM 1683 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4557 days

07-14-2010 04:56 AM

So I bandsawed up some found wood the other day, and didn’t have any anchorseal to paint on until the following evening. Even after one day, it started to check a little. My question is this…..would it have been better to leave it in log form for a while, allow it to dry a little more and then saw it?

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

10 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5688 days

#1 posted 07-14-2010 05:36 AM

Is the checking on the side or on the end. It’s hard to keep the ends always whole. Normally trees are cut down and into boards so you didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View swirt's profile


6823 posts in 4260 days

#2 posted 07-14-2010 05:45 AM

Probably it would have been better to wait until you needed it … that assumes that the forest or where ever you found it was a more humid environment than your shop.

I guess the answer may also depend on whether you are talking about bandsawing out a bowl blank (something I know nothing about) or bandsawing out some boards.

-- Galootish log blog,

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4557 days

#3 posted 07-14-2010 12:17 PM

The checking looks to be all end-grain. I really just sawed into blocks with no purpose in mind. Truth be told, I only got the bandsaw a couple weeks ago and was just kinda playing around. I didn’t really expect to find such beautiful wood in the trash pile at a new home site. Kinda got caught off guard. None of the pieces are all that big, mostly sized for pen blanks or bottle stopper blanks. I will say, there is a piece with really nice figure that is about 2×3x5 and I hope it is salvagable. I would like to slice a veneer off it for a box top and then cut the remainder into 2 pieces for small clocks for my kids.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4352 days

#4 posted 07-14-2010 01:46 PM

Don’t know if you did or not. Did you let it aculmate to your shop? I also would have let it set until I wanted to use it my friend. Checking happens and so does cracks. I’ve had it happen when turning bowls a few times, even when I thought the wood was dry.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 07-15-2010 12:21 AM

Yeah, leave it whole until you can coat it after you cut it fresh. Not only will you keep a little more good wood, you will use less end coat as a fresh, wet piece will need less. Nice snag on a neat piece of wood!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View MOJOE's profile


571 posts in 4557 days

#6 posted 07-15-2010 01:23 AM

thanks for the advise, I almost picked up another piece from the median of North Oak Trfwy this evening. Must have fallen off a truck. Looked like a piece of locust about 10” in diameter and 2 feet long. Too much traffic at 5pm though. I will be sure to allow the next to sit in the shop a while.

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View mtnwild's profile


4596 posts in 4815 days

#7 posted 07-15-2010 02:24 AM

That is some beautiful wood.

My advise is, if you are going to work the wood you have to be patient and prepared. Figure to find green wood and have some sealer on hand. Seal it and put it away. It’ll be worth the wait. Could be years before it’s ready.
I’ve heard turners use green wood, but they plan on movement and change. Cutting too soon will not be good for planks, for boxes and things. Too much change might happen to the wood.

Well, that’s what I think. Think long term.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 4290 days

#8 posted 07-15-2010 04:45 AM

Looks pretty nice to me and sounds like you had fun playing with your saw anyway!

I get most of my wood green and have tried all kinds of different approaches on this front. For certain, once you cut it from log form into blocks, slabs, etc. it will start to move very quickly unless you are in a super humid environment.

One not on keeping wood in log form – short amounts of time don’t seem to really matter, but on wood with a lot of spalting like this, I have seen it get kind of “punky” if left too long in log form (think 6 months to a year type of durations and in the southeast with a fair amount of humidity, etc.)

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4214 days

#9 posted 07-15-2010 04:58 AM

Amazing find! Who would throw that away?

I have used latex paint to seal ends of green lumber, it works too.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 4342 days

#10 posted 07-15-2010 07:07 AM

Water Oak won’t “acclimate” to your shop without severe degrade if it is climate controlled. Anchor seal will not prevent degrade in wood that is already experiencing drying artifact. Anchor seal allows the wood to continue drying albeit at a slower rate.

It is an exercise in futility to end coat logs after several days of drying as the checking has already occurred. For blanks it is best to fully wax seal until ready to use or store in something that allows slow moisture content release (paper bag).

Thick stock will almost always have some degrade in hot summer months

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

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