I know this has been discussed in the past, but a search turned up nothing in the archives. I have two stumps that I saved from our latest tree thinning. I want to dry at least one of them out to use in my workshop. Not exactly sure how best to do this and looking for advise. If you have a procedure, I’d be interested to know, or if you can link me to the archive articles on this, that would be great too.
Here is information from a woodworking site on drying wood:
@IsisRising08, from the archives, 12/16/1999 by James Binnion, Re: What to do with green tree stump:
“I got a green stump about 10 years
ago and had the same questions. What I was told was to paint the
cut ends of the wood with linseed oil every few weeks to reduce
the rate of drying out. If you do not do this it will crack and
become useless. If the the bark starts to come loose and expose
the wood on the side of the trunk then paint those areas with
linseed oil as well. This worked well for me my stump only had
minor cracks and dried out in about a year.”
Be aware that linseed oil (on rags, brushes) can spontaneously combust, so you need to save or dispose of them in a safe way. As the linseed oil oxidizes it gives off heat, and you don’t want that heat ‘contained’ so it keeps building up until it is hot enough to ignite.
"[The solution] “…requires either destruction by something like burning, or a safe way to let the material cure without cumulating heat. For home and small commercial shops, the easiest way is to spread the rags in a single layer [such as on a trash can lid] so heat dissipates while the material cures. Then, depending on local regulations, the materials can be safely disposed of, either in hazardous waste collection sites, or in the general landfill.”
I used wood sealant on the cut ends of the stump after sanding both ends , leaving the bark on. Left it to dry for 2-3 months inside the shed. By that point, the bark fell off. I sanded the sides and applied the sealant again. That was it.
The end cuts can be painted with anything which will slow the loss of moisture. Use whatever you have on hand such as glue or paint. Curing a stump is all about controlling it’s release of moisture.
Keep it horizontal for 5 years, elevate it for air circulation and periodically rotate it. This prevents the internal moisture from settling. Keep it in a place that provides protection from outside moisture, such as a garage or shed.
Impatience to use the stump will result in it releasing moisture and creating mold in the workshop. I experienced all the mistakes due to my impatience.
I used stumps cured for one year, two years, and 3 years, while patiently waiting 5 years to cure some properly. There is a big difference between them. It was worth waiting 5 years. The stumps that cured 5 years have not created any moisture or mold trouble in the workshop and seem to be tougher.
Therefore, in my experience, nothing can shorten the 5 year curing period and nothing can stop the release of moisture, not sealing the ends nor periodically turning it end over end when it is standing in the workshop.
I think most stumps develop cracks, but proper curing seems to reduce further deterioration.
Help, I just got a stump which is still green, not real green but green. If I use Linseed Oil the stump will be greasy. It’s to heavy to lift or tip, would putting a protecterant on just the top help? I can maybe jack it up with just something under in a few places. The stump is just beautiful and i don’t want to ruin it!
OK, I bought some Tiki Oil, Ace Hardware says that’s the way to go…