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Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp (Read 148 times)
 
Al Portante
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Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Apr 16th, 2021 at 10:05pm
 
I have a beautiful olive log that I want to turn into a lamp.  I don't want to loose the bark - preferably around the whole log.

Log is about 6" at the base, tapering to about 3" on top.  It screams to be a lamp!  How would you preserve the bark all around?  I also have some 10"-12" diameter x 3"-4" thick pieces that I want to make platters/bowls with but again, I don't want to loose the bark on the diameter.

I was thinking  of brushing some epoxy on it and letting sit on the lathe at about 40rpm so as to keep it even.  maybe a few coats.  Shellac turns yellow and needs maintenance.
Laquer...not sure, but I've heard the same.   I have a pressure pot that can hold 9.5" dia x 8.7 tall. 

Thoughts?  And thanks for the help all! Thumbs Up
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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2021 at 10:06pm by Al Portante »  
 
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #1 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 7:09am
 
Interesting question and topic, although I can’t recall what I’ve read I have read at times on keeping the bark on live edge flat work pieces. Possibly you could search for the live edge approach for information.
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #2 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 7:53am
 
How about a whole lot of crazy glue... the thin stuff. Let it soak in.

Just a thought.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #3 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 8:50am
 
There are lots of articles on this subject, here's one.
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To me it depends on the species more than anything, olive can have a tenancy to shrink a lot, causing cracks and checks.
Most experts say to make sure the log is cut during the inter or dormant growing period. Then it's a matter of using some type of wood preservative to slow the drying down and keep everything in place.
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Al Portante
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #4 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 10:07am
 
Yes, tons of material on keeping a live EDGE.  I'm talking about the whole circumference.  All the info is on live edge bowls and tables where you only address ....the edge.

What do you do when the log isn't split and you're trying to save the entire OD?  Something like this:

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Ed Weber
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #5 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 1:47pm
 
Keeping the wood from shrinking and cracking is the goal, doesn't matter if it's a slab or a log.
Cutting at the proper time of year and stabilizing the wood with Pentacryl or similar product it it what counts.
The chemicals in the solution replace the water in the log after the proper amount of soaking. After soaking, you need to seal the log with some type of finish.
If you follow the directions, it's not very difficult IMO
Good Luck
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Robert Fischer
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #6 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 8:08pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Apr 17th, 2021 at 1:47pm:
Cutting at the proper time of year and stabilizing the wood with Pentacryl or similar product it it what counts.

One of the reviews on Amazon for Pentacryl said that boiled linseed oil does the same thing for half the price.   Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
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Al Portante
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #7 - Apr 17th, 2021 at 8:54pm
 
Robert Fischer wrote on Apr 17th, 2021 at 8:08pm:
Ed Weber wrote on Apr 17th, 2021 at 1:47pm:
Cutting at the proper time of year and stabilizing the wood with Pentacryl or similar product it it what counts.

One of the reviews on Amazon for Pentacryl said that boiled linseed oil does the same thing for half the price.   Does anyone have any thoughts on that?


Well now, I'd be interested as well.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #8 - Apr 18th, 2021 at 10:52am
 
Robert Fischer wrote on Apr 17th, 2021 at 8:08pm:
One of the reviews on Amazon for Pentacryl said that boiled linseed oil does the same thing for half the price.   Does anyone have any thoughts on that?


Not by itself it won't.
For starters, pentacryl, just like may products, doesn't have to tell you what in it under the law, so they don't. It's about 50% solvent and 50% proprietary formula. So no insight of what's going on in their formula.
Boiled linseed oil is linseed oil treated with chemical driers to help it cure in a reasonable amount of time.
Oil alone may penetrate into the wood a small amount but won't displace the water bound in the wood. You would need to thin your BLO with alcohol so that it penetrates and displaces. This would most likely involve totally submerging the piece for a period of time.
This is where a lot of experimentation comes into play to get the proportions correct. Not to mention the normal pro's and con's of working with linseed oil.

In the long run using the product developed for the purpose at hand may be the way to go, even at the higher initial cost.
JMO


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Ed Weber
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #9 - Apr 18th, 2021 at 1:12pm
 
I just thought I would add this statement from the FAQ's on the Pentacryl site
Will Pentacryl keep the bark on?
It will help. Since Pentacryl will reduce the shrinkage of the wood it will help to keep the wood from pulling away from the bark, however, there is no guarantee that the bark will stay on. For best results to keep bark on, the tree should be cut during the dormant period (winter) when the sap stops running and the wood has hardened off.
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Rick Caron
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #10 - Apr 18th, 2021 at 5:51pm
 
Some wood  holds  the bark,  some don't.
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Bob Adams
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #11 - Apr 18th, 2021 at 10:19pm
 
Polyethylene glycol-1000 (PEG) can be used to stabilize wood including the bark.  This article, even though it is dated (1972), is the most comprehensive "how to" I have seen.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register Rockler sells it in 10lb containers.  The process is a little time consuming but works well. 
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Chris Brock
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #12 - Apr 21st, 2021 at 8:46am
 
The link to OSU above is broken, this should work.
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Bob Adams
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #13 - Apr 21st, 2021 at 1:10pm
 
Chris Brock wrote on Apr 21st, 2021 at 8:46am:
The link to OSU above is broken, this should work.
Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

Thank you for the fix.
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Bill Perry
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Re: Preserving bark all around the log for a lamp
Reply #14 - Apr 28th, 2021 at 7:13pm
 
If you desire the way the bark looks like now (colors, color pattern, shading, hue, etc.), soaking in most any chemical solution will change its appearance. Especially something like pentacryl or linseed oil. Usually colors are lost and the bark will darken. Worst case, it may weaken its structure, i.e. make it more fragile. To see the effect and make sure it will be what you want, do a test run on a sample. My observations are based on treating natural edge bowls and carvings. More than a few went from natural edge to 'sapwood edge' or 'textured edge' with various attempts to stick the bark down more permanently - design opportunities, of course.
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