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I just took down a couple of good-sized yew shrubs in my back yard and I have some short smallish branches that a couple of might be OK to cut up and dry for pen blanks but my real issue is whether or not I should try to do anything with the stump pieces that I salvaged. I cut all the limbs back to the root ball but it still wasn't low enough so I chain-sawed the rest level with the ground and saved what came off.

It is GORGEOUS wood (the pics don't do it justice) but I have no idea if it is going to destroy itself while drying. If I were to cut these to 1 1/2" thick cookies does anyone have any idea what would happen to them sitting off in a corner for a couple of years? I figure since it's ALL end grain, if I coat both sides, it will NEVER dry so I'm thinking of just making the cookies and crossing my fingers. BUT ... getting that 2nd edge cut off moderately parallel to the existing surface with only a chain saw to work with may be more trouble than it's worth ... that's really my question. Should I even bother to attempt it?

Food Cuisine Plant Produce Dish

flat side of what could be cookies

Wood Tree Geology Rock Trunk

closeup

Tree red pine Plant Perennial plant

ugly side of what could be cookies (but clearly aren't)

Wood Plant Branch Tree Root

branches
 

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phinds--

It's not likely the the cookies will dry without significant cracks. Coatings like Anchorseal will only slow the process down. Impregnating with PEG might help, but I've never done it so can't speak to it.

One option might be to make a preemptive saw cut from the perimeter to the center. Hopefully, this might relieve most of the shrinking stress and the kerf would just open up. When the piece is fully dried, the "V" could be cleaned up and maybe filled with a contrasting wood as a design element.

Getting the surfaces flat and parallel will be challenging with a chainsaw, but a sled arrangement with a router could do the job. Probably best to wait until the pieces stabilize, though.

Good luck with it. The pieces are beautiful, and you don't have a lot to lose by trying to save them.
 

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Nice looking cookies. :thumbsup:

I wish I knew of a method to dry without cracking, other than the already mentioned PEG.

Other than PEG, I expect the swirly grain will contract at different rates as it dries.

No harm in sealing a few of these. Perhaps a light coat so it slowly dries.

I have a log section of flame box elder. Big crack from the outside to the centre.
 

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Juniper etc have pretty low coefficients of shrinkage (I don't have the charts here) so they will not check too much. The colour is very subject to discolour to a dull brown with UV. Uv protector finish will help.
 
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