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What type of finish to use

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Forum topic by rmoore posted 04-26-2020 02:14 AM 407 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rmoore

329 posts in 3875 days


04-26-2020 02:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oak

I have access to some fresh cut slabs from a friend. I thought about making an outdoor table with one for him.It will be a round slab with bark all around. I know you typically want to let it dry ( about a year per inch ) before building with it, but it would be a couple of years before I could use it. Since it will be outside anyways, is there a finish I could use that would allow me to build it now and let it dry on its own?

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn


10 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

4066 posts in 3038 days


#1 posted 04-26-2020 03:30 AM

Most of the time a round Cookie cut from the trunk of a tree will crack badly
So don’t get your hopes up.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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rmoore

329 posts in 3875 days


#2 posted 04-26-2020 03:48 AM

Thanks, AJ.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View pottz's profile

pottz

20624 posts in 2224 days


#3 posted 04-26-2020 04:24 AM

you could try an oil finish like penofin which is used on decks and fences,it might work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Walker's profile

Walker

465 posts in 1712 days


#4 posted 04-26-2020 04:27 AM

I had a fallen tree a couple of years ago I cut some cookies from, with the intent to do the same as you. I purchased some Thompson’s Timber Oil. So far, the slabs and the oil are still sitting in my garage, never got around to using them. But it could be something to look into?

-- ~Walker

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rmoore

329 posts in 3875 days


#5 posted 04-26-2020 05:27 AM

Thanks, Pottz and Walker.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

7943 posts in 2627 days


#6 posted 04-26-2020 02:18 PM

Because the moisture comes out of end grain much faster than the side grain, a cookie slab will dry much faster than a typical board. It may only take a few months to find out what sort of cracking you are dealing with, depending on where you have them stored and what the weather and humidity is like where you are. I would wait a couple of months to see what it is going to do and then decide if it is worth your time or at least what you will have to do to make it look good. What kind of tree is it from?

As for the finish, it will depend some on where it will be. If under a patio where it doesn’t get direct sun and rain, you will have better luck. I would look at various deck finish or a teak oil. Film finishes will crack and chip and may actually trap moisture underneath them and cause them to mildew. Out in the sun and rain, most finishes won’t last long and neither will the table.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View rmoore's profile

rmoore

329 posts in 3875 days


#7 posted 04-28-2020 03:37 AM

Lazyman, thanks for the info. It is red oak. I would say it would be out in the open or maybe on a deck. It’s about 2 inches thick. I have some Anchor Seal I could coat it with to help prevent cracking.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1182 posts in 2459 days


#8 posted 04-28-2020 11:43 AM

since its red oak, it has an extremely open end grain. if ya take a piece of red oak- like a piece of 1 by ? and slice off a 1/8-1/4’ piece off the end and hold it up to light, youll see how it looks like a jillion little straws.
so sealing that would be a challenge. what im thinking is epoxy resin. start on the bottom side and do the seal coat as recommended on most resins. then flip it and do the top- seal coat then flow/flood coat. gonna want to do the same on the bottom i think- get the piece hermetically sealed.

it might be wise to remove the bark. might even want to put the top in a metal ring.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

7943 posts in 2627 days


#9 posted 04-28-2020 02:23 PM

I don’t think that sealing the end grain with the Anchor Seal is going to help prevent the cracking on a cookie but it may make it take longer to finish drying. Plus, it may discolor it and then you will have to plane or sand it well to get back to the natural color

One thing that I have read is that if you make a slice from the edge to the center, it may eliminate any other cracks from forming. Basically, you relieve the stress that drying causes and the cut just gets wider (never tried it myself). After it is dry, you can more easily glue in a wedge or epoxy to fill the gap or use a butterfly .

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3093 posts in 1828 days


#10 posted 04-28-2020 02:39 PM

Saturate it in oil for an extended period (days or weeks, not hours). If you can, pressurize it and heat it. Get the oil to displace the moisture in the cookie before it cracks. The oil will help the wood hold its dimensions and won’t evaporate.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

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