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CURING ASPEN LOG

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  • CURING ASPEN LOG

    CURING WOOD; THIS WEEKEND I FOUND A VERY NICE ASPEN LOG ABOUT 15' IN DIAMETER. IT WAS OUT OF A TREE THAT BLEW DOWN LAST FALL. I WOULD LIKE TO DRY THIS LOG FOR USE AS CARVING MATERIAL. HOW DO I DRY IT WITHOUT IT CRACKING OR CHECKING? IT IS ABOUT 20' LONG AND STILL
    HAS THE BARK ON IT. THANKS FOR ANY CONSIDERATION , SLEEPINGBEAR.

  • #2
    Re: CURING ASPEN LOG

    The best way to get this log cured without cracking is to use the 'Pentacryl' or PEG (polyethelyne glycol) compounds to treat it before setting it aside to dry.

    Otherwise it WILL crack.....no ifs ands or buts! If you want to carve something from the full log, I'd suggest you carve while green, then treat with the above mentioned chems, as you carve, or accept the fact that it will crack sooner or later.

    I tried to cure several full diameter logs by coating the ends with parafin wax and then putting the logs in a shady barn to retard the drying process. It took over three years before they cracked, but crack they did.

    If you plan on getting several good sized carving pieces from the log, I'd suggest you rip the log to the size you expect to use, then seal the ends with wax and put the pieces aside for a year or more. You can also just quarter the log with an axe or maul before sealing.

    Also, with aspen, if you leave the bark on, you can expect a rapid advance of fungal deterioration. Same with basswood and white birch. Airborn fungal spores can enter small cracks in the bark, and once seated, spread rapidy in the moist interior, that is protected by the bark.

    Al

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