How do I clean wooden slabs? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-29-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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How do I clean wooden slabs?

I have two cherry root slabs which I want to make a river table from and need to know the best way to clean the sides of them in order to have the epoxy to grip properly without making the wood too wet.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-29-2019, 09:04 PM
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Chisel away the bark and live edge first ofc. The "best" way ive seen is sand blasting, but barring that, one of those steel wire brush drill attachment things work wonders. Epoxy does need some "tooth" to grip, and whatever it grips to needs to be wood. If you do bark, it'll just peel away from the bark over time.

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-29-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob493 View Post
Chisel away the bark and live edge first ofc. The "best" way ive seen is sand blasting, but barring that, one of those steel wire brush drill attachment things work wonders. Epoxy does need some "tooth" to grip, and whatever it grips to needs to be wood. If you do bark, it'll just peel away from the bark over time.

Will it be advisable to use a brush like that also on the outside edges of the table before finishing or do I need to sand it down in several steps in order to make a nice table?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-29-2019, 10:00 PM
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Jan - welcome to the forum !
what part of the world are you in ?

much more information about your slabs will get you most accurate feedback.
how old are they, when was the tree cut down, how were they stored, how thick are they.
photos will also help tremendously.
there are dozens of ways to clean and process wood.
it comes down to your skill level and expectations of the finished project
as to what tools and cleaners to use.
looking forward to following your journey

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-29-2019, 10:09 PM
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For end pieces exposed, you will need to do further sanding. The brush gets all the punky layer off (I forget what its called, but its a thin membrane where the trees wood meets the bark. this MUST be removed or your epoxy wont be adhered to the wood at all), then you can fine tune with sanding if you need to.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-30-2019, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
Jan - welcome to the forum !
what part of the world are you in ?

much more information about your slabs will get you most accurate feedback.
how old are they, when was the tree cut down, how were they stored, how thick are they.
photos will also help tremendously.
there are dozens of ways to clean and process wood.
it comes down to your skill level and expectations of the finished project
as to what tools and cleaners to use.
looking forward to following your journey

.

.
Im from Norway and I dont know the age of the slabs but they looks old because there are a lot of cracks in them. They have been stored in a farmers outbuilding. They are about 7 cm thick.


When I tried to cut down the surface with a 28mm 2 flute mill on a hand router, it tore up the wood some places as you can see at the 3rd picture. Does this happen because the mill is too large for the minimum speed at 9000 RPM?
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Last edited by Jan Eriksen; 11-30-2019 at 07:09 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-30-2019, 10:29 PM
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dang... nice slab o wood

imo the wire brush would tear that up
i don't see a lot to clean up that a plastic scrub brush wouldn't get off
if it needs more scrubbing, soap and water won't soak in, unless you submerse it for a long time
it would sun dry in a day or so, i'd think
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-30-2019, 11:29 PM
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agreed !! that is a very nice slab !!
I personally don't get too upset over defects in a natural
piece like that. I grab a hand-held belt sander and start
with 40 grit up to 200 or so then to the RO sander.
you will have to seal all of those cracks before the final finish
or else it will look really bad.
that is another project in itself.
if you can, please post a drawing or sketch of how you plan to make
a river table out of two round pieces of wood.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-01-2019, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
agreed !! that is a very nice slab !!
I personally don't get too upset over defects in a natural
piece like that. I grab a hand-held belt sander and start
with 40 grit up to 200 or so then to the RO sander.
you will have to seal all of those cracks before the final finish
or else it will look really bad.
that is another project in itself.
if you can, please post a drawing or sketch of how you plan to make
a river table out of two round pieces of wood.

.

.
What will be the best solution to fill the cracks? Can I use fine-grained saw dust mixed with epoxy, or just epoxy without anything else? And are there any tables that can be used to determine the RPM according to the diameter of the milling steel?
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-01-2019, 12:00 PM
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If you have the ability to use a walnut or similar hard wood blasting media might help remove some of the edge issue. I would test on another piece of wood of similar species to ensure it does have the desired affect. That is a very nice looking cookie and will make a neat table.

Sam
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-01-2019, 12:27 PM
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For dressing the sides, I first remove as much bark as I can by hand. A chisel works good in some areas, whereas a drawknife works great for longer edges. After that, I typically use a coarse ROS or a flap disk on a grinder, depends on the piece.

For filling cracks in live edge stuff, I use CA glue (Fastcap 2P-10) for small to medium ones, and long cure epoxy for larger ones. You can also add colored mica powder to the epoxy for some neat color contrast if desired.

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Last edited by ChiknNutz; 12-01-2019 at 12:29 PM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-01-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Eriksen View Post
What will be the best solution to fill the cracks? Can I use fine-grained saw dust mixed with epoxy, or just epoxy without anything else? And are there any tables that can be used to determine the RPM according to the diameter of the milling steel?
Suggested Router Bit Speeds:

0 - 1 inch in dia - 22,000 RPM

1 - 2 inch in dia. - 18,000 RPM

2 - 2.5 inch in dia. - 16,000 RPM

2.5 - 3.5 inch in dia. - 12,000 RPM

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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