Ask WWGOA: How to Stop Green Wood from Cracking as it Dries

Question:

In prepping blanks for bowl turning, I cut them out of logs for face turning. I am using a freshly felled American Elm stump and a year old Walnut trunk for stock (felled a year ago). The blanks range in size from 6-8″ inches round and 4-6″ thick.

Both the Elm and Walnut blanks are cracking against the grain as they sit in my garage. It’s been very humid and rainy since I’ve cut these out. As a test, I put half of them in my basement (50-60% humidity) and they cracked the same as the garage-stored blanks.

I don’t even have time to rough them out, they crack so quickly. What is causing this cracking? How can I prevent it?

Submitted by TroyM

Answer:

The problem is that the wood is drying. If the drying is not controlled very carefully, the blanks will be prone to cracking. This is especially true on thick pieces such as you’re probably cutting for your bowl blanks.

The best way on how to stop wood from cracking is to seal the blanks as soon as you cut them. A commercially made product such as Anchorseal is the perfect answer for this problem. It’ll completely seal the blank and keep it wet until you’re ready to work with it. You can brush it on or, if you want to make it really easy, pour the Anchorseal in a tub and dip your blanks. This is my approach. Brush off the excess, let the sealer dry, and you’re blanks will remain sound for a long time.

You can purchase Anchorseal from woodworking specialty stores like Woodcraft.

George


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Discussion
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6 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: How to Stop Green Wood from Cracking as it Dries”
  1. nurseboy9999

    I can`t purchase the anchorseal in Winnipeg to coat fresh cut wood to prevent cracks will wax melted on the malpe cutoff work as well

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Please contact us at 1-855-253-0822; our Customer Service Team would be happy to assist you!

      Reply
  2. Michael Gregory

    I have 10 gallons of pentacryl for sale for $100. Is it possible for me to make this known to the readers of your website?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Sorry but I do not have any experience with Sandalwood. I’m guessing that this approach would work for reducing cracking, but I doubt that it would help much to remove the smell. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer to get their guidance on this.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply