How to stop log slices splitting: 4 effective methods

How to stop log slices splitting with wood stabilisers

Wood stabilisers use various methods to reduce the risk of log slices splitting as they dry. Some replace water with synthetic chemicals while others strengthen the wood fibres themselves.Pentacryl is a popular choice for drying thick slices of green wood (freshly felled wood with a higher water content).

Being plant-based, it is better for the environment than alternatives such as PEG.For maximum absorption, fill a container between a half and three quarters full with Pentacryl, and place your log slices on batons so that at least half of them are submerged.

Don’t disturb the wood for a number of days equal to the slice’s thickness in inches (e.g., 4 inches = 4 days).

You can then remove the wood slices and let them air dry, on their sides, in a warm, well ventilated area.For seasoned wood slices, wood juice is a more suitable stabiliser. The process is the same as for Pentacryl.

How to stop log slices splitting with wood alcohol or ethanol

If your wood slices are less than an inch thick, wood alcohol (methanol) will be more suitable for the drying process. Wood alcohol is pure methanol with some additives, although some people prefer to use ethanol which is less toxic.

How to stop log slices splitting the cheap and easy way

Two relatively inexpensive ways to protect drying log slices from splitting are painting them with either a salt paste or melted candle wax.Both methods slow down water loss, enabling the logs to dry more evenly.

These methods are not always as effective as using wood stabilisers, but they are easy to apply.When applying candle wax, you simply need to melt the wax in a suitable container and use a brush to paint each end of the log slice.

To make a salt paste, add about three pounds (1.4kg) of table salt to a gallon (4.5 litres) of fresh water. Stir thoroughly and let the solution stand for three to four hours.

Next, add a cup (125g) of cornflour and continue to stir until you form a batter-like paste (you may need to fine tune with extra cornflour or water).

Finally, add the whites of three eggs and stir them in completely.You can then paint your log slices with the mixture, covering both ends and the sides evenly, before allowing them to dry in a warm, well-ventilated space as with the other methods.

How to stop log slices splitting without any chemicals

A traditional method that can be used – but only for thick log slices – is known as bore-drying. This is a time-consuming procedure which involves boring a hole into the centre of each slice.

By allowing moisture to escape from the centre of the wood, there is less radial stress and a reduced risk of the wood splitting.However, the size of the hole has to be just right and this method may be suitable for some wood projects.

Why source your seasoned logs from Kneebone Trees?

When you buy seasoned wood from Kneebone Trees, you can be sure that the wood is of a suitable quality, and that it has been seasoned properly. For our customers’ convenience, we offer two sizes (‘dumpy bag’ and ‘narrow barrow bag’).

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