Red Cedar Stool Carved From Stump - Help

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Forum topic by JacksonDogCarvesToo posted 12-04-2014 02:28 PM 1787 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 1664 days

12-04-2014 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: red cedar stool carving hairline cracks

Hello, I am a very novice (as in this is my first project) woodworker. The project was to take an old red cedar stump and to turn it into a sitting stool. I used a Stihl chainsaw for most of the bulk removal, which went along smoothly. Then did some more removal using a simple 4” chisel. Then I figured I would wait for the wood to dry… but accidentally left the piece in front of an HVAC vent. This morning I could hear the cracks forming and now I have multiple hairline cracks running around in very bad places.

Since I didn’t know what to do, so far I just removed the piece from near the vent so it will dry slower, then using wood glue I tried to inject or press with my fingertips to get the glue as deep into the hairline cracks as possible.

Any suggestions on how to prevent this thing from splitting apart on me as I continue carving/sanding/etc?



9 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


4290 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 12-04-2014 03:52 PM

I would suggest just go ahead and do your thing on it, let it dry all the way before doing any repair.


View JacksonDogCarvesToo's profile


11 posts in 1664 days

#2 posted 12-04-2014 08:05 PM

How long do you think it would take to dry all the way? Also, can you see the pic I posted of it, I think I am having trouble because I don’t see the pic.

View JacksonDogCarvesToo's profile


11 posts in 1664 days

#3 posted 12-04-2014 08:05 PM

Nevermind, I see the pic :) So, here’s another, this time with my namesake.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3979 days

#4 posted 12-04-2014 09:43 PM

Drying this type of green wood can be a very big challenge without splits shakes etc.I would have a bash at making a small kiln from some sheets wood or even sterling board mdf etc,and a dehumidifier.It seems so I have been told to be relatively easy to do with eventually after trial and error taking notes etc.I wish you well I myself bought a nice dehumidifier to do just that but I have not started it yet.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View koraile's profile


98 posts in 2056 days

#5 posted 12-21-2014 05:21 PM

You already had the answer there :) use Wood glue, the water based one, putt on a decent amount, 1-3 times on all the end surfaces, it wont penetrate more than 1-2 mm exept from where there is cracks, i do this on logs and burls to prevent cracking, it also makes me able to leave it in a dryer enviroment that normaly, the glue will hold the ends together and prevent fiber lenght cracking. The only drawback is that if you dry it faster, as you can With this technic, is that the Natural Wood fats/Oils dry more out of the Wood, and it gets harder to work in, but wery Nice to avid the cracking.

Dont apply to the sides, and if its a woodtype With thick barch i would take the chainsaw or a big iron and make length cutts int the barch so i get open Wood on the sides, the moist have to have a way to leave the tree.

-- Bard son of iver

View JacksonDogCarvesToo's profile


11 posts in 1664 days

#6 posted 12-23-2014 12:00 AM

Ok, thanks for the tips… from this and what I’ve been studying lately on how to work with palm tree ‘wood’, I think it may be a good practice to keep a small bucket of very watered down wood glue on hand that I can paint onto logs/pieces prior and while they are drying.


View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1915 days

#7 posted 12-23-2014 04:00 PM

Jackson, I guess the real experts aren’t weighing in because this is so far afield, but I’ll take a whack at it.. First of all, it’s a nice looking rustic stool.

There is a large, meaty area in there that will, likely, take a good while to dry. Depending on your specific conditions, it may take 6 months to 24 months, or more, to air dry. As SCOTSMAN said, it’s nearly impossible to keep a whole log like that from splitting, and accelerating the drying would probably only increase the problem.

Painting the ends of boards with glue, latex paint or specially formulated wax, etc. will slow the drying from the ends which is where the checking occurs but it should be done as soon after cutting as possible. I doubt painting glue in the cracks will help. The wood is going to do what it will do.

Good luck with your project. Merry Christmas to you, your dog, and the rest of your family.

View koraile's profile


98 posts in 2056 days

#8 posted 12-24-2014 01:20 PM

Well its been working well in my Family, we have been using the tecnich for 3 generations, i started out at 5 like my father and grandfather did, but we have only been Professional woodcarvers for 8 generations in a straight line so what do we know :)
And yes, i do calculate With a drying time of at least 2 years, if i want the Wood to be good. And what can i say, gluing it to prevent cracking Works, Depends a bit on the material and the intended use ofc, but it do work.

-- Bard son of iver

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 2836 days

#9 posted 12-24-2014 01:42 PM

This is the best stuff for what you need to do:
I like to put two coats on the end-grain, waiting a bit for the first coat to soak and dry.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

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