• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

How to process slabs of cherry

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

richarddownunder

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2015
Messages
331
Reaction score
36
Location
Palmerston North NZ
Hi

I chain-sawed out a cherry stump for someone a few years ago. Not knowing what to do with it, the stump lay on our drive slowly rotting and splitting. Recently, I found someone able to slice it into slabs, shown below. These are roughly 1 metre x 400 mm. Despite the splits, there appears to be some salvageable wood in there but I haven't a clue what the best process is to get some stable bits without further splits. I can hand rip it into lengths which I can then dimension on my band saw once it is dry enough, but I'd appreciate advice on the best next step. I don't have any specific intended use for the wood as yet.

Thanks

Richard
 

Attachments

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,498
Reaction score
646
Location
North West
a bow tie infill would look nice and hold it together, personally I would remove all the sapwood though, unless you wanted a waney edge look.
 

richarddownunder

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2015
Messages
331
Reaction score
36
Location
Palmerston North NZ
a bow tie infill would look nice and hold it together, personally I would remove all the sapwood though, unless you wanted a waney edge look.
I'm realising that my post title wasn't very clear - twaz a question. I wasn't really intending to use them as full slabs in the long run, more wondering how best to store them to ensure I get something usable, when they are dry enough to use. Even if I get a few 100x25 mm lengths in the long run, to make a jewellery box, I'd be pleased enough. I could rip down the middle where the split is and cut off the bark and it'd be a mix of grain orientations.

cheers
Richard
 

baldkev

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2020
Messages
1,112
Reaction score
501
Location
devon
If you've just brought it inside, you could paint the end grain with a sealant to sliw the drying, which in turn should reduce splits. A lot of turners use pentacryl but as i understand it, a couple of coats of neat pva should work
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
3,498
Reaction score
646
Location
North West
I usually paint the ends of boards with cheap chalk paint, but once a shake or large crack gets in it can't be undone, the trick is doing it right from the start and not allowing it to dry too fast.
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
2,098
Reaction score
380
Location
Sussex UK
Those look very useable pieces, and have probably done a fair bit of drying already, so are unlikely to split a lot more. Keys to sucess include;
- painting the ends, as already mentioned, to slow the movement of moisture into/out of the timber (nearly all of which process happens via the exposed endgrain). It's the relatively quick movement of water vapour in/out of the ends which causes differential expansion/contraction which creates the cracks.
- keeping it properly supported in a cool dry corner
- making sure there's no 'pith' in the other board - if there is, I'd slice it in half along the centre line to get rid of the pith

I think you stand a very good chance of getting useable timber from those pieces - but take care if/when you resaw them, that the boards may 'cup' as the previously internal side is somewhat damper than the other - so mechanically restrain them and control their rate of moisture level adjustment once cut to control this. The growth rings will try and straighten as the board dries.
 

Mark Karacsonyi

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2013
Messages
125
Reaction score
39
Location
Budapest
My favourite wood, I’ve worked with it for over 20 years. Cleave it in two, let it go whatever direction it wants, whilst drying. Your going to dimension it later anyway. As other posters said, you need something on the end grain. Any chalk based coating is good, or wood primer is good as it allows an element of ‘breath’.
 

richarddownunder

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2015
Messages
331
Reaction score
36
Location
Palmerston North NZ
Hi Guys

many thanks for the suggestions. I'll chop the really cracked ends off and paint them as suggested and store them for a bit to see how they go. Don't think there is much pith but since they have cracked right down the middle, I can just continue that as suggested. I did paint the ends of the log originally but it probably sat in the weather for longer than ideal before cutting up!

Cheers
Richard
 
Top