Just over 30 months ago we took down 3 giant oak trees. Two red-oaks, and one white oak. All three were straight and full of usable wood. The white oak we saved a good portion of for projects. We had a guy with a portable saw-mill come out and cut up a 10′ section of the white oak trunk. That’s still drying now and a project for a later time.
I cut off a nice 2″ thick piece of a branch to try something with:
Fresh end-grain wood like this is subject to cracking as it dries, so I did alot of research looking for ways to preserve the wood. I came across this product called Pentacryl, it claimed to do everything I wanted, so I ordered myself 2 gallons of the stuff. Wanting to make sure it wasn’t going to ruin my main project piece, a 30″ diameter section of the base of the trunk, I tried it on one of the larger branches I had cut.
I followed the directions, and applied the solution to it and let it sit for a week or so. Since it’s a small piece, only about 8″ round, and dense white oak, it didn’t take much pentacryl to fill it up. After I had it dry inside for a week,I applied some tung oil to it. It came out nice, then I let it sit for about a year and forgot about it.
After about a year of sitting undisturbed, the surface had developed a few hairline cracks, and the once smooth surface was noticeably not smooth anymore. I left it alone for almost a further year while I thought of what I wanted to do with it. Eventually, one day I got the idea to make a book end out of it. Something that would allow me to still see the end, but also appreciate the beauty of it.
So I took it out and sanded the bumps out of it down to 220 grit sandpaper. I attached 2 L brackets to the bottom, and applied 3 new fresh coats of tung oil to it. Now it’s all finished and holding up my Yellowstone & Grand Tetons Book.
I’m sorry I don’t have too many photos of the actual cutting, and sanding, and applying the pentacryl. I can assure you, it was all boring cutting, and painting and sanding work, trust me, nothing special. I didn’t measure anything here, nothing is square, it’s very rustic, that was the point of it.