Splitting Oak slab help - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Splitting Oak slab help

I bought 2 live edge Oak slabs and got them home and just put them on the garage floor until I can get them in a better spot.
Within a few days i noticed some splits at the ends.
I marked where they stopped with a pencil to see if they would get any bigger and they have.
Is there a way to stop the splitting?
The guy i bought them from said they were down around 14% MC

Thanks
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 09:28 AM
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you must paint or coat the ends with wax to slow down or prevent splitting. There are products specifically for this purpose but things like mobile home roof sealers will also work.
As for the 14% M.C., how did he come up with that figure? If he had a moisture meter, he would have volunteered to show you just as a matter of salesmanship.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 09:33 AM
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Since moisture evaporates at the ends of a board more readily... is why it splits there first. Paint the ends with latex paint or melted paraffin wax to slow the drying at the ends. Sticker the wood and store horizontally so air can freely circulate around all the edges and store out of direct sunlight. Harbor freight sells an inexpensive moisture meter (pin type), but it will take about one year per 1" of thickness to sufficiently dry the wood for woodworking. As the wood dries, tension will be released and the board may twist/bow and more cracks may occur during the drying process... depending on how much tension the board has internally. It is a wait and see process.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 09:39 AM
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Do NOT store them there unless .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXRFanIM View Post
I bought 2 live edge Oak slabs and got them home and just put them on the garage floor until I can get them in a better spot.
Within a few days i noticed some splits at the ends.
I marked where they stopped with a pencil to see if they would get any bigger and they have.
Is there a way to stop the splitting?
The guy i bought them from said they were down around 14% MC

Thanks



Those slabs need to breathe evenly on both sides. I would raise them off the damp floor? as high as possible and space them apart about 4" or more with ratchet straps around them to keep them flat.
Seal the ends ASAP and depending on thickness and the humidity in your garage, they will be OK to use at the rate of 1" per year. Get a moisture meter and check them occasionally. They will soon be at ambient moisture level which may not be there final resting place depending on your climate locally? I have had good luck here in MI with my milled lumber outdoors but under the porch with lots of air movement through and around.


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-12-2020, 11:41 AM
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They are called checks.

Good luck sealing the ends, IME there is not much you can do to stop it IMO checks are more stress related and its best to just let it happen.

Let them "freak out" a while & do what they're going to do & accept whatever you end up with.

Make sure they are well off the concrete on stickers. You can also just lean them against the wall.

Robert
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-13-2020, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the knowledge
Yeah, I was thinking if they do split I could butterfly them to create uniqueness.
I bought them at a flea market and the guy is out there all the time with slabs at really good prices.
Have heard him talk enough that he checks the MC but only going on his word. No big deal at $40 a piece. I will make them work.

Thanks again All
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