Vintage Redwood Birdseye Burl Table -- ouch.


jeepndel
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This all natural edge redwood burl slab came from a tree on the N. Coast of CA in 1972.  I bought it (you could buy redwood burl back then), ran it through a planner, then refinished it with Carnuba wax -- 50 years ago!  Then it got moved around, stored, weathered, and to my chagrin, unattended for too many years.  I'm trying to bring it back but it's badly wounded.

7 feet long, 3 feet wide at the widest, and 4+ inches thick sitting on natural redwood drift wood.  It's over half (60% or so) birdseye burl.  Amazing piece.

What would be your best advice to saving this table (and preventing any further cracking or splitting)?table-redwood-full-top.thumb.jpg.c7a874b97b9ea192b96bfb722f0f6c69.jpg

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table-redwood-top-cracks.jpg

The pic showing the burl (birdseye) is just me wiping it down after sanding with a damp sponge to show the color and birdseye.,

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That is a beautiful slab, I think you need to send that to my address for proper disposal... in my living room as a table. :wub: I have a soft spot for old redwood. It's a beautiful wood.

Jokes aside. Is the piece living indoors or out? If it's an outdoor piece I suggest moving it inside to prevent further cracking. Outdoors may be harder to control that. For a finish I'd go with a hard wax oil like Rubio, Osmo, etc. They will highlight the character of the wood, slow moisture transfer, and help protect from staining.

There are outdoor versions of Osmo and that may work for an outdoor setting but the checking in highly figured lumber can be very difficult to control outside slicing veneers and doing layups.

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14 hours ago, jeepndel said:

So you're saying hard wax oil.  That is not epoxy, right?  

It is not epoxy. Epoxy is going to be counter productive. It'll seal the slab but it will also eventually break lost flake off and create a worse situation than you are currently in, avoid epoxy.

An oil (Pure tung oil, linseed oil, etc) or hard wax oil product (rubio monocoat, Osmo polyx) will offer similar protection against moisture to epoxy but in the event that you need to repair the finish it's a very easy application that won't require sanding back to bare wood. Here is a link to a video about outdoor finishes.

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