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Keeping Bark on Wood

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  • Keeping Bark on Wood

    OK dunno if this will work but I got some firewood delivered today - slabs not logs. In amongst it are quite a few pieces of thinnish - around 1/2inch - slices with bark around the slice. As far as I can tell most of the wood is rock maple with a few pieces of birch in amongst it ...

    It crossed my mind that some of these slices might be good for scrolling - a couple of questions though ..

    Will the bark fall off when the wood dries completely? And if so is there any way I can stop this happening?

    Can I put a slice of wood with bark on it through a planer? Bark is on the edges only on the pieces I'm wanting to tidy up ...
    Any suggestions/advice welcome ...

    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

  • #2
    CA glue (Super glue) is your friend when it comes to keeping bark on...

    Don't own a planer so can't help on your second question.....
    ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

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    • #3
      Hi Ian, I would try runnig a piec through at a very light pass first. If the bark is still tight to the wood you should be okay. If it is starting to come loose I would use the above suggestion of super glue. I have done this before and my experience has been a hit and miss. Steve
      If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
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      • #4
        Thanks Steve - the bark seems reasonably tight on most of them - I'll give it a go tomorrow with a piece - I would only want a light pass anyhow on most pieces - don't want to thin them too much ...

        Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


        • #5
          Ian, check the bark good, if its full of grit, dont run it through your planer until your knives are getting worn out, because dirt and sand and all that good stuff hides in the bark. But yes, plane in with the bark on is fine otherwise. Even yella glue will hold the bark on if it comes off, and if the wood is pretty green yet, you may have warpage troubles as it dries, so weight it down good. Dale
          Dale w/ yella saws


          • #6
            best time to cut that wood for the bark to stay on is in the winter time...this is when the hard ring is born and so the bark is stuck on the hard ring, where as in the summer, the bark is on the soft fast growing ring...hope that makes sense. Plane away, but yeah...the bark and dirt is tough on the blades. Soak the entire piece in penetryl to prevent the checking and warping.
            Jeff Powell


            • #7
              Originally posted by workin for wood
              best time to cut that wood for the bark to stay on is in the winter time...this is when the hard ring is born and so the bark is stuck on the hard ring, where as in the summer, the bark is on the soft fast growing ring...hope that makes sense. Plane away, but yeah...the bark and dirt is tough on the blades. Soak the entire piece in penetryl to prevent the checking and warping.

              I've got no idea when wood was cut, Jeff - I just rescued a few bits from the firewood.

              It seems to be fairly dry - I didn't try planing any yet but did run the sander over it with a coarse grit on and it kept the bark so far ...

              What's penetryl?

              Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


              • #8
                It does seem to be hit or miss. I have some wood from a flowering plum tree with the bark on and it seems to be held on real tight. I have trued one side on the jointer and then thru the planer and the bark stayed on ok.

                I do have to change the blades on my jointer and planer, but it wasn't because of this wood. I must have run something else thru them to nick up the blades. I try to be so careful to make sure the wood is clean, but it seems that they still get nicked up no matter what you do.

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                • #9
                  Jeff - Is it penetryl or penetrol (which would be a paint conditioner)? And just what is it. I just recently cut several 3/4"-1' thick circular slabs off a freshly cut tree stump to see how it would dry in my shop. Edges started splitting within a week. I'm thinking I could still utilize the pieces after several more months of drying.

                  AAAhh - Got off my lazy butt and did a little research. Jeff, you probably were referring to 'Pentacryl' which is a siliconized polymer. Used to prevent cracking and splitting of green wood. Found a site with the information. Now I get to cut some more wood and do it right this time.

                  Thanks for the information Jeff.
                  Last edited by Paul S WI; 01-10-2007, 12:47 PM.

                  Paul S.


                  • #10
                    sorry, my bad memory...Pentacryl is the chemical. It is the only way to dry a circular slab without it cracking...those slabs are pretty much guaranteed to crack like a spiderweb all the way through and become useless for anything but door wedges. There are some other products out there too. Pentacryl is not cheap, but it does pay for itself. I'm thinking about picking some up and giving it a try for turning some "green" bowls, so they don't crack, warp and distort. You can expect your slabs to warp and distort, it has probably already begun, but won't get really bad for a few more months. You didn't cut your slabs thick enough to account for the distortion. It is probably too late for you to do anything with those slabs now Paul, but now you know what to do next time. You need to apply the chemicals immediately.

                    also, do a search for anchor seal , that's a cheaper product
                    There's one called PEG ..i think lee valley sells that

                    Can't afford a chemical, get johnsons paste wax and wax it heavy ...the key is to slow down the drying as much as possible...then speed up the drying as much as possible to avoid the warpage. wax it like a mad man and in 8 months, scrape off the wax and point a fan at it to push air through the stacks. Put your wood in a freezer, and that will really slow down the dry time, preventing damage, but it takes twice as long.
                    If you are drying black locust or white oak in slab form, there is nothing in the world that will stop those two from cracking.
                    Jeff Powell


                    • #11
                      I have been doing crafts for years with slabs of wood and I don't put any chemicals on them. The only way that they don't crack is to dry them standing on ends. I line them up on the floor in a well ventilated place and let them air dry. I've never had one crack.
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