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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Drying logs without cracking?
Drying logs without cracking?
Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-03-27 07:43 am   Permalink

I bought a lot of logs a few weeks ago, but a bunch of them have started to split.
The weather has been changing radically over the last week, humidity as well as temperature. I put the logs in the gardenshed, coz' I want to keep them out of the rain. but still they split. One log split so bad you can put your full hand inside the crack.
Is it best to take off the bark to help the drying or does that make it worse?
Different type of wood, different approach?




 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4963
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2007-03-27 08:52 am   Permalink

I have been told that you want the logs to dry slowly and you want to remove the bark to help them dry. So, I would assume and nice constant temp and humidity would be best, like a basement. But that's not how they do it in the kilns. That's fast drying, so there is somethign else going on.

A professional furniture restorer tells me the real problem is the center of the wood. If you could drill out the center of the logs, they would not split. If they are half rounds, then taking the center of the log out of the back would help. He explained that the outer parts of the wood move and change shape as they dry and that actually happens throughout their existence. Even a fully "dried" table, will expand and contract as it gets more and less "wet" as your home does. So, the reason your logs crack is they are attached to this solid center core and have no room to move. If you take out that core, they can expand and contract as they lose or gain moisture and size. The center of your log is still one size as it is still more damp, and the outer part is another size as it gets dry, and they don't move together and you get cracks.

So what is the answer? Hell, I don't know! But, if you can get them in a basement and in a controlled enviroment where they will dry slow and even, that's better. Debark them for sure. If you can drill out the center of the log, that's good too, however, if you plan to carve round pieces, you can't exactly do that. If you plan to carve then in half rounds, go ahead and cut them in half and cut out the center of the log. That's probably your best way. Debark the log, split it in half, cut out the core in back and put it in the basement.


 
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HOUSE OF KU
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 15, 2005
Posts: 538
From: TIKILAND, USA
Posted: 2007-03-27 08:54 am   Permalink

Aloha , The best thing to do is to coat the cut ends of the log with paint or other sealer and let the wood dry slowly through the bark. You might check Notch's thread under redwood log for similar answers... Freddie

[ This Message was edited by: HOUSE OF KU 2007-03-27 08:56 ]


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3375
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2007-03-27 10:23 am   Permalink

Its a roll of the dice... depending on your climate. I was reading on Belgium's climate and it sounds like you get as much variety as we do in the Midwest. Even more if you are closer to the water. Even after you think your logs are dry they will act like a sponge. Even after you think your tikis are stained and sealed they will act like a sponge. They will take on moisture and they will dry out. Season after season, year after year. I have things that I carved 5 years ago that are just starting to crack.

You can take steps to minimize splitting and cracking. Many have been mentioned. Many times you can do all these and still get cracks and splits.

A big part of the whole picture is the type of wood. How tight or loose is the grain? Is the wood very pourous? Some woods dry quicker than others.

I've had pieces of ash that never split. Pine dries out quickly and splits easily. Cedar too.

Trees hold a lot of moisture. The wood swells. As the wood dries out it looses mass. It pulls back on itself, splits, cracks.

Even kiln dried wood cracks and splits and twists. I have some 1" x 2" s that look like corkscrews. They were straight a week ago. I buy wide boards now and cut them down.


Best is to keep a lot of wood on hand, start collecting and have it seperated by how long its been seasoned. Use the wood that has dried the longest. Usually by then you can work around cracks and splits and put them to the back.

[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer 2007-03-27 10:23 ]


 
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Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-03-27 7:44 pm   Permalink

Thanks for the advice Swanky, House of Ku, Lake Surfer.
This is the log I mentioned earlier, I de-barked it and coated the ends.

Nice doggie, hoping to get a piece of the action...

This wood is very light, much like pine. Although it's cracked it feels like it has already lost about half the original weight, in water no doubt.

My basement is to warm because of the central heatingsystem installed there. Outside temp has gone up from 45F to 63F in a day or two.

I was thinking of putting a liquid rubber coat on the ends, maybe it doesn't push as much into the pores?

The sudden changes in temperature here in Belgium is one of the main causes. And yes, I am fairly close to the water. Recently I had the sickening pleasure of watching this giant go down at work.



No surfing here. Luckily nobody at all got hurt during this incident, it just slipped very quietly onto its side.


[ This Message was edited by: Yubaba 2007-03-27 20:09 ]


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10358
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2007-03-27 8:27 pm   Permalink

Woah, What a tragic thing to witness, sad end to a beautiful lady.
Too bad your wood split so bad. Low humidity sucks the water out of a logand the internal pressure differences cause it to split. Do you know what kind of ree it was from?Looks like it may be linden or bass wood here. very soft and unstable. Good luck.
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Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-03-27 8:46 pm   Permalink

I thought it was linden, has a soft pinkish core

 
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hewey
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4278
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2007-03-27 8:47 pm   Permalink

I dare say that log is too far gone - unless you make 3 small tikis! But at least you can try and save future logs. For a log I had (a palm) I taped plastic bags over each end. This worked great, but they went a little moldy. Sanded off no problems though.

What happened to the ship to cause that?
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Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-03-27 9:17 pm   Permalink

Aw well, the wood is not lost, I just have to change my plans for this one.

The flipped over ship is a Grimaldi Liner called Republica Di Genova.
I haven't been on those docks for a week. But last I heard was that something went wrong with the ballast tanks, possibly it kept pumping water 'till it started to roll.

We'll be fishing Italian Salad dressing all year, since about all the cargo went to the sinkhole.


 
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Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-03-27 9:21 pm   Permalink

The Italian Salad dressing




[ This Message was edited by: yubaba 2007-03-28 06:52 ]


 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3375
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2007-03-27 9:39 pm   Permalink

Wow.



I don't even want to begin to imagine how much all that damage is going to add up to.

Amazing pictures.


Sorry about that log... it does look too far gone. Turning it into three is a good idea.


 
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Yubaba
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 41
From: Belgium
Posted: 2007-04-20 4:50 pm   Permalink

I've decided to coat the ends of the logs with a liquid rubber, had a jar left after a roof repair and it seems to work quite wel.
Maybe a little too wel since a couple have started to sprout tiny branches.

I decided to strip the bark and it came of so well it nearly fell out coz' of the juices still in the log. that's about a week ago, hot weather and no cracks yet.





 
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