Cutting Logs

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me with their knowledge.
I have some logs that I want to slice up to make coasters with and was wondering is it better to do this before or after they are seasoned? I’m worried if I wait for them to season they may split.
Would love any help on this.
Thanks in advance.

Wax the ends of your logs to prevent splitting

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Brilliant, thank you! Do you recommend cutting before or after seasoning?

Waxing is definetly a way forward.
Another is using a stabilising solution. This is best explained by visiting the likes of
Hope this helps…

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Wax or bitumen both ends, drill a hole in the middle at both ends, if you have enough wood and let it dry very slowly

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Taking the bark helps, you want it to lose its water evenly, splitting occurs when logs (or boards) lose water at the end grain faster than other parts, creates stresses leading to splits.

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What’s the wood? Some are prone to splitting more than others, sycamore splits a lot.

Thanks so much guys. I want to keep the bark on it as I want to make them into coasters and they look much prettier with them on. I’ll defo give the wax thing a go. I’m not actually sure what wood they are. I have two different types. I’ll take some photo’s later and pop them on here. Maybe someone might know what they are.
So you’d recommend letting them dry out first before cutting?

Depending on what your doing Sarah it is a good idea to rough turn / reduce in volume to reduce the amount of moisture which needs to be lost. For instance, I would take 50% of the material off a bowl blank, then leave it to dry out before producing the final product. So in your instance you could take off an excess, then wax and leave to season.
You may want to invest in a moisture meter if the Space has not got one…

Fantastic thank you Frazer. So do you reckon cutting them down into small pieces first, letting the season and then slice would be best?
Yes I’m hopeful the space might have a moisture meter, I shall investigate :slight_smile:
I’ve attached pictures of the two different types of logs, one seems less moist than the other. (One was cute more recently). I’m planning on slicing these into 15mm slices.
Thanks for everyone’s help and advice :slight_smile:

Looks like lime or horse chestnut, …both are very soft and as far as I know not prone to splitting. Have you thought how you’d cut the slices?

Ah that’s good to hear! Thank you :slight_smile:

Not sure how I will be cutting them yet, I’m hoping there will be a piece of machinery I can use in the space. Is there one you’d recommend?

I will joining the space in the next 10 days so if anyone can recommend a machine for this, I’d love to book someone to induct me on this.

Thanks everyone x

Looks too big for the sled for the chopsaw or bandsaw.

Might need a jig for the bandsaw. An MDF board to fix the log to to stop the blade catching and spitting it off.

Try handsawing a couple of slices off the end and drying them to see if they split. Somewhere cool with air circulation is best. Radiators , dry air, and sunlight will all increase chance of splitting. Use a sharp saw, it’s a real drag with a blunt one.

Rule of thumb is 1 year per inch thickness for air drying green wood, leaving as is, it will take a good while for it to air dry.

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Traditionally veneer oysters were cut green and dried either stickered and weighted or wrapped in cloth and buried in silver sand. Slow drying will give you the best chance of eliminating splits. The discs will be dry in a couple of weeks. Success or failure is to some extent luck and depends on the stresses present in the timber. Usually oyster veneers or discs were only cut from the small to medium size branches not the main trunk.

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So basically don’t dry the discs in a dry environment. You want to either find or engineer a humid environment.

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Amazing thanks all! I think I’m going to try and cut a few pieces soon and let them dry slowly and see what happens. If that fails I will try let the other logs dry out a bit longer.
I’ll keep you updated on how I get on :slight_smile:
Sarah x