Drying an Oak slab?

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Drying an Oak slab?

Postby cheddarman » Fri May 10, 2019 5:53 pm

Good afternoon one and all and thank you for letting me join your forum.

An Oak treee came down in the last gales and is currently being sawn up for removal. I spied a rather nice looking piece that I thought would make a very nice, small coffee table and the gentleman doing the work very kindly sliced a piece off for me. It is about 3" thick but my problem now is, how do I dry it out without it splitting or the bark coming off?

Any help will be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

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Re: Drying an Oak slab?

Postby promhandicam » Sun May 12, 2019 8:19 pm

Welcome to the forum. With regards to drying your piece of oak, I would leave it outside, under shelter, and hope for the best. Oh and you will need to be patient - the rule of thumb for air drying is 1 year per inch of thickness. The likelihood is that the bark will come off and there isn't a lot that I am aware of that you can do to keep it on as the timber will shrink as it looses moisture. Hopefully others will chip in, but that is my 2p worth.

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Re: Drying an Oak slab?

Postby will1983 » Mon May 13, 2019 4:45 pm

You need to get the cut ends sealed up with some old gloss paint pretty sharpish if you want to stand some chance of it drying without splitting.
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Re: Drying an Oak slab?

Postby woodsmith » Mon May 13, 2019 5:47 pm

It's very very difficult to dry a piece of wood like this without it splitting. However if you are very patient you could try wrapping the wood in newspaper and then putting it in a plastic bag, which you seal up. After about a month take it out of the bag, replace the paper and put it back in the bag. A month later the same again and again until the newspaper is completely dry, ( this could well take a couple of years and it will probably develop quite a bit of mould during this time but just ignore it.

Otherwise just put it somewhere well ventilated but out of the sun, it will split but this can be filled decoratively with an epoxy type filler.

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