small wood slab stool, cracking - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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small wood slab stool, cracking

hello all. first post here.

i am making a small childs stool for my wife.

I've cut about a 3" thick x about 13" diameter slab of cedar and plan to add 4 short legs to it.

im worried that if i drill the holes for the legs, the slab will split and fall apart. the slab now has a few minor cracks, "checks"

is this just the nature of this type of project? and cross my fingers hoping for the best?

is there a way i can prevent further splitting?

I've seen where a piece of plywood can be attached to the bottom which probably has several benetifts, but id rather not use it.

a search on you tube didn't turn up a lot.

she wants more, so I'm trying to learn the best ways to select, dry, cut, and everything else needed to make a solid stool that will last for years.

thanks in advance and looking forward to pestering you old timers with questions.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 12:51 PM
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3 inches thick and it's still checking? Is it a crotch slab or something? How long has it been drying and are both faces equally open to the air? Usually checking is due to one surface drying at a faster rate than the other surface, in my experience.

Let it dry and use butterflies/bowties to prevent future cracking. They also make for a very decorative effect if you use contrasting woods. If your checks are large you can do multiple sizes but I suspect on such a small stool it will get "too busy" very quickly.

EDIT: Cedar is a fairly soft wood for making a stool out of so make sure you consider that when selecting other woods so they can be sanded well for a nice surface to sit upon. Anything significantly harder will likely be noticeable unless you do a very good job presanding and dry fitting it so you don't have to do a lot of sanding after mating the two pieces.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 02:24 PM
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is it a true slab or a cookie?
ie: does the wood grain run the 13" (slab) or 3" (cookie)
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 02:31 PM
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And another tip from an 'old timer', 3 legs make for a much easier stool to level than 4 legs.


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post #5 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by difalkner
And another tip from an 'old timer', 3 legs make for a much easier stool to level than 4 legs.
Or one for that matter. Laughing!!!!
All kidding aside. Is this a slab or a cookie (disc)?
Post pics to further understand.

When it's's rustic
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-27-2014, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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i took a log and cut off 3 inches like slicing sausage. not sure if thats a slab or a cookie. the outer or bark edge runs like a band around the circumference.

i just cut them yesterday so i can't say they are still checking. the slabs are pretty dry.

is cedar too soft to make a stool with slabs that thin? id hate for my wife to sell one of these then it break on someone!!!!

how would oak do for a stool and is it easy to treat it so that the bark stays on? or is it just better to take it off?
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-28-2014, 08:16 AM
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That's a cookie, then. 3 inches should be fine, I was just saying watch out for the difference in wood hardness if you put any butterflies in because it will be hard to get flush. If you just cut it then it's still drying, unless the log was felled a long time ago, even then I'd say it's still drying due to exposure differences between the faces. I let my maple 1/2 to 2 inch cookies dry for at least a month or two before I started doing anything with them.
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