Making a forming/hammering stump?

Hi all, My local electric company just came through my neighborhood
doing some severe preventitive tree trimming. Apparently our city has
more than average power outages from fallen tree limbs so they
stepped up the tree cutting. I am left with some sections of a large
branch off my wonderful elm tree. One section that is cut pretty flat
on both ends is about 11 inches in diameter and a foot or so long. I
don’t know if that wood is suitable or not for a hammering stump. If
it is, does anyone have any suggestions as to how to prep the stump?
Thank you for any advice. This tree is very meaningful to us and the
local birds and squirrels. I would love to preserve this part of it
and use it in the creative process if possible. Thanks-Carrie Nunes

Carrie, Just a little background. Many years ago I had a beautiful
elm stump that was about 2 feet across and 4 feet high. I smoothed
and rounded the edges, attached all sorts of leather belts to hold
tools etc. Loved it until one day I noticed some strange bugs flying
around my basement. Later I saw some sawdust on the floor. I did
some research and found many elm trees are infested with a particular
larve that turns into a flying insect that just loves to bore into
wood. I sprayed all around my basement and my beloved elm log had to
go. Just a thought.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1

Carrie If you allow the wood to try naturally, it will crack because
it will dry out at different rates and will pull itself apart. From
my experience, I find that by placing hot wax on each end of the log
(until the end is covered completely) and allowing it to dry for a
full year, the wood will not crack and you will have a better surface
on which to work. I also find that cottonwood tree trunks work better
than any of the several kinds of trees that I have used.

Hope this will help.

John Teegarden @johnt58 John and/or Becky Teegarden 119 Surls
Drive Mabank, Texas 75147 It’s never too late to have a happy

sink it in a barrel of water if you want you want a check free
surface.the tree sap will disolve out with time. the only problem is
it takes about a year for the sap to exchange. or just clean it off
and drag it inside as is . my anvil stump is swamp maple straight
from the wood pile into my shop. i didn’t even peel the bark off.

p.s. the anvil started out as a railroad tie

Talk to you later Dave Otto

I use a 12" diameter by 18" long piece of maple that had been cut
for about 6 months. Left the bark on for “aesthetics”. I smoothed
off the top and cut several depressions and groves in it. I also
sunk a hole to take the posts of a stake. After a year and a half
there are several cracks. All large pieces of wood will crack! There
is no way to prevent it in a stump size block. The good thing is
that this piece is very portable for demos. I place it on a wood
stool and flail away. The public loves it. I always have enough
copper scrap on hand for the adventurous to try something too. Fold
forming gives some quick, simple hands on pieces. Great PR.

Anyway, your stump will crack! Nothing you can do to stop that other
soaking it for a few years in Polyethylene Glycol. Waxing or
painting only slows down the process. Just work where the cracks
aren’t. I would remove the bark on the Elm, Walnut, Gum, and some
Oaks. The Maples and Poplars are OK left on. It is not as much a bug
problem as it is the bark crumbling when it is dried out.

Sorry that you lost a special tree. The “stump” could become a
family story piece! Hope so.


Carrie, perhaps any stump should be well de-bugged before being
brought in. Shouldn’t be too difficult or take too long. Just use a
heavy-duty insecticide and wrap it tightly all around with plastic
and let sit awhile. I’m betting some woodworker or cabinet shop can
give you the particulars. Don’t give up on your stump, just have
patience. Good luck.