Finishing a cookie slab of sycamore

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Forum topic by Revhard posted 04-15-2018 02:47 PM 2129 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2220 days

04-15-2018 02:47 PM

Good morning! Im stumped… I got a 42” round sycamore slab and need suggestions on filling cracks and finishing with a natural look. So far ive flattened, added 3 dutchmen, and sanded to 400.

I do and dont want to use epoxy for cracks. I do because it would be the first time using it and i dont bcs its end grain and would just drink it costing me $. What other alternatives do you recommend?

For finishing, im thinking of just using dewaxed shellac and MAYBE minwax poly as a final.

What would you do? Your opinions and suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

5 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

3051 posts in 1660 days

#1 posted 04-15-2018 03:01 PM

Rev – surely that much epoxy to fill the crack will not send you to the poor house.
either bandsaw cut a matching wedge and put that in the crack or fill with epoxy
and sawdust of matching color for a filler. if you have sanded it down quite a bit,
you should have a lot of dust you can use.
also – what is the moisture content and how long has it been drying and how ???
I think that if less than 6 months, you are going to experience more cracks along the way.

jus my humble Dos Centavos



-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View Rich's profile


8320 posts in 2087 days

#2 posted 04-15-2018 03:31 PM

You can probably fill that with a pint, maybe up to two. Epoxy won’t soak into the end grain very much so I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s pretty viscous. Where you can run into real waste is trying to seal the bottom so it doesn’t run out. The weight will make virtually any tape sag and you’ll wind up with a pond of epoxy underneath.

I work extensively with mesquite, so I have gallons worth of experience with epoxy. For starters, you’re lucky that the area is contained and not a bunch of checks out the edge. That makes confining the epoxy easier.

I’ve tried everything, starting with painter’s tape, which adheres to the glue and makes a mess, then clear packing tape, which peeled off beautifully but didn’t adhere to the wood all that well. I finally found that a product called stucco tape is the answer. 3M makes one and Shurtape makes one that’s available at Lowe’s. The key is that it should look like vinyl, not woven like duct tape. I’ve seen both labeled as stucco tape, but the woven one will not work well.

Apply the tape in a wide area, not just a strip along the crack. You need that to keep it tight. I find using a stiff brush to work it down onto the wood helps it to follow all of the contours.

Finally, make your first fill about 20% of the space. Let it get firm, then finish the pour. That helps keep it from running out. If there are crevasses coming off the main openings, you’ll see the second pour drop. Just let it go, wait for it to firm up, then top it off. It takes patience, but it’s the best way to go with a piece of wood like that.

I also like to use black pigment that System Three offers. Others on here say they’ve used things like TransTint dye, so I’m sure that works too.

Good luck. I’m sure it’ll come out great.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View WyattCo's profile


93 posts in 1602 days

#3 posted 04-15-2018 03:40 PM

I often use Alumilite casting resin to fill large voids a cracks. It’s also a wood stabilizer.

View Klondikecraftsman's profile


52 posts in 1550 days

#4 posted 04-15-2018 04:10 PM

Depending on the intended use, I would consider filling with resin at least part way. Possibly inlay some colored material.

-- It is a sin to covet your neighbor’s wife, but his woodpile is fair game.

View Revhard's profile


41 posts in 2220 days

#5 posted 04-15-2018 04:36 PM

Thanks for the advice guys

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