Preserving Burnt Redwood Bark

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Forum topic by norrisgirl4 posted 08-22-2018 05:33 PM 751 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 516 days

08-22-2018 05:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question advice slab redwood slab redwood redwood bark bark burnt bark preserving bark polycrylic epoxy coffee table slab project

Hey everyone! I need some help. I am brand new to woodworking so I need advice on how to preserve the burnt bard on a redwood slab. I am going to make a coffee table out of this beautiful slab and mount it on iron legs. This slab is from Coffee Park in Santa Rosa and it has a story so I want to preserve the bark on it. The Story (if you’re interested): I have a lot of family in Santa Rosa, CA that were impacted by the huge fires there last year. My brother is a fire fighter in Santa Rosa, and was one of the first on the scene of this fire. On of his buddies had a home in Coffee Park that was burnt to the ground. The redwood in his yard was still standing but needed to be cut down. So one of the slabs will be my coffee table from Coffee Park.** I have worked with polycrylic before and love how easy it is to use so I would like to use it for this coffee table. But I am concerned that it will not coat the bark enough to keep it snugly attached to the slab. So this leads me to think that I need to use epoxy. I’ve heard that epoxy doesn’t do so well with heat. I can’t guarantee that this coffee table won’t get warm, my living room gets pretty toasty from the wood stove in the winter. Is it possible to do epoxy just on the bark and do polycrylic over the rest of the slab? What do you think will work best? I like how the polycrylic soaks in well and keeps the rustic look on the wood without looking like a thick plastic coating (I see epoxy finishes looking like that). In some spots the bark is very snug on the slab, and in others it is slightly separated. Do I need to kill my dreams for keeping the bark on? I’ve seen in some videos people taking off all the bark and then gluing it on and then doing an epoxy over the whole slab. But since the bark is snug in some spots it will be difficult to get the bark to come off in one easy piece. Here are a few pictures of the slab:

Thanks in advance for any advice!

5 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2371 days

#1 posted 08-22-2018 06:15 PM

While the bark is still intact, get some “crazy glue” and pour it in between the bark and wood. After it won’t soak any more, if needed, pour some fresh glue in there and immediately top it with fine sawdust and tap it down.


View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2371 days

#2 posted 08-22-2018 06:20 PM

You can do the same thing using a diluted wood glue but it takes a longer time to dry and may seal the wood grain which will have to be sanded down to bare depending on how much of it get soaked into the wood.


View Aj2's profile


2648 posts in 2401 days

#3 posted 08-22-2018 07:56 PM

I would take the bark off.
To me it’s a log cabin look and a Christmas sweater grabber. ::)

-- Aj

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11996 posts in 4032 days

#4 posted 08-22-2018 08:13 PM

Here is a video of doing exactly what you want. Just the first few minutes is all you need.
Stabilizing bark

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View norrisgirl4's profile


3 posts in 516 days

#5 posted 08-22-2018 11:54 PM

Thank you Gene Howe for that video link! That was helpful. And thank you mahdee and Aj2 for your input.

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