How To Keep Green Wood From Splitting: 4 Simple Tips

How To Keep Green Wood From Splitting

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Who knew seasoning woods could be such a fuss when all they do is bask in the sun? I always tell my folks that it is all about the environment around us.

Still, we need some proper methods to keep those splits from occurring prematurely. The article will discuss how to keep green wood from splitting at a length that is easy for you to comprehend for life.

First, know the cause of the cracks, warps, etc., before getting started.

Why Green Woods Splits?

The greenwoods or wet woods contain more moisture as they are recently cut/felled. If they are brought straight to the construction area and used, they are prone to split at a certain period.

As a result, you will notice shrinking, splitting, or cracking formation after project completion. It is not just a downside but also makes the final task more challenging.

Why Do These Actions Take Place?

The moisture inside contains two water types – bound and free.

Bound water consists of hydrogen bonds, which are difficult to remove from the wood. Therefore, they leave slowly.

Free water is found in wood capillaries where it is easier to absorb/remove.

Next, the change in temperature and humidity each time results in the greenwood core being drier or wetter. It is during the re-stabilization the splitting forms.

Greenwoods have higher water content; thus, they are more susceptible to warps/cracks, etc., faster.

This is why you will need to know about various methods on how to keep wood from cracking while drying to avoid unnecessary bustles.

How to Prevent Wood Splitting Effectively: Green Woods

So you have got some freshly felled woods into sizeable rounds. Whether for industrial purposes or to stock your firewood stack, it does not matter because the methods will work for all.

Maybe you want to season green wood longer than planned, or you wish to store these wet wood rounds till the next project, which is in a few days/months.

Looking after these rounds can be a hassle. I mean, you do not expect someone to stay outside and stare at them intently, waiting for splits to appear!

There are four simple tips you can try out; no major tool or accessory is required. The third method is suitable for sealing green wood slabs as well.

Let us begin!

1. Sealant

Nothing can beat a good quality sealer as long as you use the right kind for the wood type. Yes, it matters what sealer you apply and at which kind of wood. Checking for suitability is highly recommended before trying anything.

For instance, Anchor seal and Tree Saver are two popular brands that manufacture sealers adaptable for green woods. They offer harmless formulas to use, irrespective of the wood variety.  

Although the steps below will tell you the use of wood sealer to prevent cracking, do not neglect the direction of application given on the purchased sealant product.

You never know – it might prove to have a better outcome than expected!

The Process

Now, read the steps carefully, even though they are easy:

  • Clean the wood surface. Use a cloth to remove dust/debris.
  • You will need a brush or a sprayer, whichever is easily accessible.
  • Apply the sealant uniformly all over the wood surface.
  • If the log is 24-inch in diameter or thicker, consider dual coating.

Alternatively (this is for medium to small green wood slabs/logs):

  • Acquire a large container or a tub.
  • Pour sealant in it; you might need more than one, depending on the wood round quantity.
  • Take each log to dip into the content.
  • Remove and let dry.

This process allows additional few weeks of stress-free storage.

2. Wax (Paintable)

I promise this will not take long. A little knowledge relating to this wax will save you from getting the wrong kind.

It is a DIY option that you can make right at home. All you will need is access to a stove, a saucepan/cooking pot, a plastic bag, hammer, paint thinner, and a jar. Oh, keep a brush too!

The Process

First, let us prepare the wax:

  • Take a plastic bag.
  • Pour about 16 oz. (1 pound) of candle wax in it.
  • Take that hammer to break the wax into smaller bits.
  • Meanwhile, place a saucepan on a stove; preheat it.
  • You can try the microwave too, but stoves deliver a better melting point.
  • Transfer those wax pieces to the saucepan and melt them.

Now, the key steps include:

  • Have a canning jar.
  • Pour approximately 4 oz. (118 ml.) paint thinner in it.
  • Do not keep the jar anywhere near the stove; paint thinners are flammable.
  • Pour melted wax into the same jar.
  • Shake well to form a blended mixture.
  • Take a brush for coating.
  • You can now apply the wax to the open ends (wood surfaces when felled).
  • The best result comprises multiple thin layers rather than a single thick one.

3. Linseed Oil (Boiled)

Linseed oil is extracted from flax seed, but that is not important here. You have to learn the benefits before trusting this method – correct?

The BLO (boiled linseed oil) offers deep penetration to the wood surfaces, providing protection against cracks, warps, and splits as needed. The oil is capable of soaking into the wood grain better than any other compound.

To summarize, its function does not end at mere surface coating but also brings out a character due to the fiber saturation.

This is why they are famous amongst the lumber businesspeople. It does not cost much in the long run, either.

You can use it for greenwood logs and slabs to retain round grain elegance.

There is one drawback to this brilliant solution, though. The BLO-coated green wood cannot tolerate direct sunlight. It means to keep them in an open area for seasoning but away from the hot sun.

The Process

Gather sandpaper, a piece of cloth, and a brush to start:

  • Use sandpaper to sand the wood surface. It should be in the direction the wood fibers run.
  • Take a dry cloth piece; clean the dust particles that form from sanding.
  • Apply the BLO on the wood surface (open end) using a brush.
  • Leave the log/slab out in the open for drying; avoid direct sunlight.
  • Store the coated logs/slabs once fully dried for future use.

4. Salt Paste

Are you not all that excited with the above methods? Then how to prevent wood splitting from occurring in the cheapest way possible?

Basically, all these tricks prevent the moisture from getting out and evaporating. So, if you can find a plausible way to make it happen, even with ingredients found in the kitchen, what is stopping you?

The salt paste technique requires six easily manageable materials. Grab 3 eggs, some cornstarch, and salt. Next, have cool water, a plastic bucket, and a paintbrush ready.

The Process

Let us prepare the mixture:

  • Take that bucket and fill it half with cool water.
  • Add salt; the consistency has to be right between liquid and hardness.
  • Mix it slowly to reach that thickness.
  • Leave it for four hours at room temperature.
  • Next, add cornstarch. Remember, it hardens when poured more than needed at once.
  • Stir well while adding cornstarch a little at a time.
  • You can add water again if the consistency seems harder; continue stirring.
  • Add only the egg whites. They soften the mixture to smoothness while eliminating flaking. Do not stop the stirring!

Now you can take the bucket to the area where the logs are, preferably in a warm place:

  • Ready the brush
  • Apply the paste in a thin layer to the wood surface.
  • Check if the coating covers the entire area.
  • Avoid multiple layers.
  • Let the wood dry; warmer areas are better for this method to work effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Verdict

There you have it – these little tricks on how to keep green wood from splitting will definitely alter the livelihood from recurring losses.

Nobody wants a wood round that has nothing visible but splits and cracks. It is bad for business as well as personal projects.

Hopefully, you will now attempt one of the four methods and thank this article inwardly, just saying.

Good luck!

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