Drying walnut slab

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Forum topic by Dubs posted 07-30-2017 04:18 AM 1819 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1080 days

07-30-2017 04:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drying walnut slab tables live edge kiln home drying

I need to know the best way to dry a large slab of walnut. it is probably 5 feet across and 5 inches thick right now but would like to get it as flat as possibly and down to maybe 3 to 4 inches. i know you can put it up on stickers and in the shade with it covered or in a kiln….. im more interested in knowing what to coat the outside of the slab with to make sure it cracks the least possible. if i was to find i mill that would kiln dry it for me does anyone know about how much it would cost to dry something like this in a kiln and how long it should take? im basically needing help with the details and products to use to get it to a dry slab that i can work with. if i were to make it into a table and use resin/epoxy does it have to be all the way dry? any help would be much appreciated. im just recently started thinking about getting into the hobby of wood working and making live edge tables and other things from walnut, white oak, or red oak. since im a logger i have a ton of access to pieces of wood that are very beautiful and would normally just be what was thrown away.

i also have a few walnut round slabs that are smaller. maybe a foot across and 3 inches thick…. how long would a small piece like that take to dry.

i know im all over the place but just am needing somewhere to start and drying is the first step i imagine.. thanks for the help in advance!

6 replies so far

View Redsoxfan's profile


38 posts in 2404 days

#1 posted 08-19-2017 12:25 AM

Anchorseal is used to seal the ends of logs from checking when harvested.

-- Brian, Western MA

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4146 days

#2 posted 08-19-2017 12:32 AM

You can also use latex paint. The thinner it is the more likely to crack, leave it thick until dry then thin it down.

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1273 days

#3 posted 08-19-2017 02:26 AM

+1 Anchorseal.

+1 leave it thick while drying. General rule of thumb for air drying boards is 1 year per inch of thickness, but since this is all end grain it will dry faster (just not sure how much faster).

Personally, I prefer the color of air dried walnut to kiln dried. If this were my slab, I’d sticker it flat somewhere out of the way, cover it with old plywood or something similar let let it be for a few years. I think there is a good chance you will get some checking in that piece when fully dry. You definitely want it fully dried before you finish it or you will have adhesion problems and probably finish failure.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View aaroncarter's profile


1 post in 1059 days

#4 posted 08-19-2017 08:48 AM

Leave it thick ‘til dry
javascript obfuscator

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1369 days

#5 posted 08-19-2017 11:41 AM

There is a lot of into how to tackle it:
For example here, here and here:

View BobAnderton's profile


311 posts in 3568 days

#6 posted 08-19-2017 03:11 PM

Call me crazy, but in this case the center is gone, and the “log” is very short. I think you could just leave it sitting around inside and it’ll dry fine in not much time. 6 months or so. Moisture transpiration in the direction of the grain will be pretty quick and with the center gone there won’t be much stress. Skip the anchorseal in this case (and I always use anchorseal, with this exception)

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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