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slicing up a ceddar trunk for coffee tables

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Hi, we recently had to fell a ceddar tree with a trunk diameter in excess of 90 cm at the bottom. I was thinking of cutting off some  slices perpendicular to the axis of the log for making coffee tables. Does anyone know if ceddar wood is amenable to this purpose? Is there a way to let the wood dry to prevent radial cracking? Also, would Danish oil be a viable finish?

Thx!

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Cedar is an extremely soft wood that will take a real beating as a coffee table. It is a good choice for outdoor projects because it is quite rot resistant.

After cutting the slabs to length, seal the ends with several coats of latex paint or an end grain sealer. That will help with more uniform drying and reduce checking at the ends.

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Cedar (not "ceddar") is generally pretty soft so a table would dent pretty easily.

EDIT: beat to the punch by drzaius

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It sounds like OP wants to cut the log into "cookies".

Like drzaius said, sealing the end grain (both faces of the cookie) is very important. You can use latex paint or specifically made products like AnchorSeal to do this. You will most likely still get some cracking, but you'd just hope that it would be less. Afterward, you can fill the cracks with epoxy.

As mentioned above, cedar is a soft wood and is not ideal for a heavy use item like a coffee table. However, if you are making this for yourself, why not give it a try? You could cut a couple extra slices to swap out if/when they get worn out. You'd want to cut several anyway, as some may crack beyond repair while drying.

 

 

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Another thing you could do it put a layer of that heavy plastic goop that smooths out to a thick clear finish that is much tougher than the wood.

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3 hours ago, phinds said:

Another thing you could do it put a layer of that heavy plastic goop that smooths out to a thick clear finish that is much tougher than the wood.

Or just go get a shiny piece of wood grain Formica, cause that's what it would look like.:wacko:

Can you tell what I think of thick, shiney finishes?

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For indoor use, a polyurathane finish will protect the soft wood from wear and tear better than danish oil. For outdoor use, I would probably leave it bare, although cedar or juniper will quickly turn gray with UV exposure.

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I had success drying cookies wrapped in a paper bag (must be thick to slow down the moisture). I put in a damp paper towel to put in humidity in it and left it in a unheated room for a year(like woodturner do). The issue with cookie, it is all endgrain, so moisture wants to leave it too fast. I did experiment using end grain sealer, without wrapping it in paper,  with limited success. One product Pentacryl is supposed to be really good, but the instruction is to soak the piece in it. The cost was prohibitive for me (this is not a commercial endeavor).  

After a year in the paper bag, I took the piece out and cut concentric cut on the underside prior to finish it.  The piece has gone thru multiple winters inside, without cracking.

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I used cedar planks for a kitchen island counter and covered it in epoxy. I did 3 coats at 1 ounce per square foot to seal the wood and then 3 ounces per square foot for the final coat. The epoxy gives off a tiger's eye effect, if you ever seen a tigers eye rock 

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