Sealing Log Ends

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CLetts

New User
Carl
If I want to seal the ends of a log, do I need to buy the wax or will latex paint work?:dontknow:
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
AnchorSeal is best. I would rate thinned (up to 50% water) Titebond II second best and that is easy to find. It works as well as AnchorSeal, but is a little more of a pain to apply and gums up machines a little. I rate wax (paraffin) after that because it is a major pain to apply well and then it is "fragile" - if you bump the ends you get cracks in it that leak air. Latex is a distant 4th, better than nothing. If you use latex, don't apply it immediately or the water in the log thins it. Later the same day is better. This is all first hand; I have used all the above measures with varying degrees of success.
 

CLetts

New User
Carl
Thank you, sir! Do you know if the borg's sell anchorseal or should I just get it online?
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I have never seen it at the Borg, but Woodcraft carries it. We did a group buy on it a while back that was a great deal, which is how a cheap skate like myself finally tried it and figured out it really is better.
 

CLetts

New User
Carl
well that just figures! I was in Woodcraft-Raleigh yesterday...guess it's an online purchase and just live with the shipping charge. Thanks very much for your help!
 

Bugle

Preston
Corporate Member
Andy, how long do you think it will take a 6" to 8" diameter, 2ft long wild cherry log to dry using Anchor Seal. My neighbor's wild cherry lost the top in a wind and she wants it down...I'll be glad to oblige!
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
If it were mine, I would take the bark off and split it with a froe (cause I have one; a wedge if you don't - just don't use a hatchet or axe unless you are really sure you will get it in one blow) and figure it would be the better part of a year or longer, depending on where it is stored.
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Andy, how long do you think it will take a 6" to 8" diameter, 2ft long wild cherry log to dry using Anchor Seal. My neighbor's wild cherry lost the top in a wind and she wants it down...I'll be glad to oblige!

Depends on what you want to use it for, and what you consider "dry". For turning, you probably want it a bit more moist than for flat board use.

The anchorseal seals the end grain of the log. This prevents the wood on the ends from shrinking faster than the interior wood above it, which if not controlled, leads to splitting and checking (and wild black cherry is very prone to that) The high rate of moisture loss is because the wood loses water much faster through the cross-cut grains than the sides.

If you strip the bark off while it is still moist, the same splitting will occur on the sides. Best to wait to strip the bark until you cut it either into bowl blanks or boards, Until that time, you want to keep it off the ground (bugs love to get into it), and in the shade (the sun will cause it to dry too fast, even with the bark on).

With the bark on, it will retain the moisture for years.

If you are going to turn it on a lathe, coat all sides with anchorseal right after you have cut it into the turning blank, unless you are going to turn it relatively soon. After you turn it down some , it will need to dry in a controlled environment to prevent it splitting. As I am not a turner, I will leave the appropriate methodology to those that are.

If you are going to make small boards out of it, you will not have to seal the sides because the relatively thin thickness of the boards will allow the moisture to escape at a relatively even rate (providing it is stacked sheltered from rain and sun with spacers called "stickers" in between the boards). However, you won't get many boards out of that small a log.

Not an expert. Just based on my experience. I have three 5 footers (about 10" diameter) sitting in my yard now sealed with bark on that I got from the neighbor last week. Don't have a lot of hope for them tho because the tree was growing at a 45 degree angle to the ground, so probably is loaded with stress. Time will tell.

Go

PS. Andy's method of splitting with a froe is also very viable, because it also allows the wood to dry at an even rate if sheltered. (same as cutting it into boards). Again, it depends on what you are going to use it for. However, I can almost guarantee you that if you just square it up to a 5" x 5" square cant, and air cannot get to all sides evenly, the most exposed side(s) will split on wild black cherry. (I have a prime example right now that the wind blew off the cover and I didn't notice it for a week).
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
Besides getting it evenly exposed, I suggest splitting a log that size because they often (IME) get a lot of loss from center pith cracks if left in log form. Smaller logs (saplings and branches) seem to handle it better and on larger ones the loss is more acceptable because of all the remaining wood. Having said that, I have a black locust log about 7" X 7' sealed with bark on. I am checking it every now and then and if I see a check I will beat the froe into it - splitting it where it wants to and then take the bark off. I hope to get bow blanks out of it, so following grain with a froe instead of sawing it up is a good idea. But so far this stubborn log hasn't cracked. I may have to pick a spot soon so I don't have to try to split it dry.
 

Bugle

Preston
Corporate Member
If it were mine, I would take the bark off and split it with a froe (cause I have one; a wedge if you don't - just don't use a hatchet or axe unless you are really sure you will get it in one blow) and figure it would be the better part of a year or longer, depending on where it is stored.

I assume that when you split it and remove the bark, you coat the entire log with Anchor Seal?
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I assume that when you split it and remove the bark, you coat the entire log with Anchor Seal?

It depends on your intent. That would dry very slowly and in fact the reason for doing that is that you want to use it fairly wet, like to rough turn a bowl, but not right away. If I wanted it to be dry in a year, I would not coat the sides unless there was exposed end grain from a rift in the split or a branch cut off. End grain wicks moisture away too fast and results in the checking. Side grain does not. It lets moisture escape slowly, which is what you want. Understand that no method has a 100% success rate. IME, properly sealing the ends will get you into high success rate (I am guessing over 80%, but it varies with source wood) all by itself. The other things you do might help increase that more, but mostly it is intended use that drives decisions about what else to do after the ends are sealed.
 
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