How to finish/treat logs for outdoor seats
Hey all, long time no visit.

A big silver maple came down in my backyard about a week ago. Landlord said it looked menacing and had it cut. And the tree guys cut it into perfect segments with pretty smooth cuts, And I instantly thought of sitting around a fire pit at a friends' house. I nabbed the six best, ranging in diameter from 18 to 22 inches in diameter. They've just been sitting for a week, and have begun to crack at the path, obviously. But I wanted to make a decent attempt at treating them with something so that they last a while as seats. The tree was looking kind of sad, but the wood is solid. It is not as wet as I expected, but seemed to be alive.

I'm wondering what I should treat it with to try to stop the cracks from radiating and destroying the logs. When I turned logs into bowls, I halved them, removing the pith, and coated in wax, but that won't work with whole rounds that will be in the sun and be in service as seats. In my time away from woodworking I have forgotten a lot. I got some Teakwood finish because it says that it penetrates deep and hardens "in the wood." I know anything film like poly likely won't stick until it's dry, and probably blister and yellow and peel anyhow. Short of immersing these things in antifreeze for six months, is there anything I can do to mitigate the chances of splitting and provide enough "finish" to allay surface deterioration?

Thanks in advance,
You can turn an awful lot of stuff on that lathe. Or, if you are like me, you can turn a lot of awful stuff on it. -clovishound
Maple has really, really poor weathering resistance. And rounds of any kind are going to split; not much you can do about that. I think about the best you can do is figure out how to keep the bottoms off the ground and coat them heavily with Anchorseal or even melted wax.

I've had good luck with Pentacryl Green Wood Stabilizer . It's expensive but it does work. I agree with John about keeping he log off the ground. Possibly just resting it on a pressure treated unobtrusive stand.
homo homini lupus
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Yeats
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Quodcumque potest manus tua facere instaner opere Ecclesiastes
Oh yeah, good catch on the Pentacryl. I forgot about that stuff. Never used it but have read that some green wood bowl turners have with success.

Thanks for the tips. They're already on the tall side. Was hoping not to have the drag the chainsaw out, but may do so to shorts them and give them some pressure treated feet. The budget probably won't allow for pentacryl.
You can turn an awful lot of stuff on that lathe. Or, if you are like me, you can turn a lot of awful stuff on it. -clovishound

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.