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Shamrock tables are green wood, right?

A friend from church dropped off these Chinese Elm slabs the other night, wondering if I could make anything out of them. Although I’ve never made a natural-edge project since I hammered two sticks together when I was about 8 years old, I’m willing to give it a go. I’m thinking these would make a nice pair of shamrock-shaped end tables. But I’ll have to wait about 3 years for them to dry thoroughly, so mark your calendars and check back in 2013!

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4 Responses to “Shamrock tables are green wood, right?”

  1. Bob,
    Rather than a 3 year wiat, consider “kiln-drying” those things at low temperature in the oven in your kitchen (looks like at least the small one would fit; guess the big one could be close depending on your oven). You could go at low temps to minimize checking, etc., and do several days of drying. Since you have large end grain surface exposure, probably just a few days would do it. You could even do several say 48 hour treatments on a few weekends if you happen to need to cook in there occasionally.
    All the best,

  2. Ron, these are way too large to fit in my oven—they’re about 42″ in diameter, and both are approximately the same size. (The photo angle just makes one look bigger than the other.) After talking to several experts who work with slabs like these, they say the only way to go is to let them air-dry super slowly. And I’m in no hurry. I can wait several years to find out how well this works.

  3. Bob, don’t forget to Anchorseal them for their long storage time, preferable in the basement. Accordingly I’ve have had very good results for slabs just like these, but winter cut wood always gives the best results especially for keeping the bark on. Less than 2 years and you’ll be ready.

  4. Hi Bob:

    I cut a slab from a downed maple tree and started to prepare it for a cutting board. I was getting it ready to fit into a planer. I had removed the bark and was liking the looks of it. One morning I came out to the workshop and noticed severe checking which rendered the piece useless. My daughter took it anyway! Maybe for a doorstop. So watch for checking. (and the tree had dried out for two years!)

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