bad news is that the diameter will
naturally shrink only about 4 percent
during drying. (Technically speaking,
the circumference shrinkage is called
tangential shrinkage. The radius
shrinkage is called radial shrinkage.) So, the radial shrinkage is not
enough to prevent the development
Drying disks —
Trying to dry a disk
from a tree for projects
like these cutting
boards presents a
special challenge to
Sometimes, exceptional quality is easy to see
of some substantial stress.
To avoid stress development and
cracking, we have several options:
➤ A hole could be cut in the center to
allow the radius to shrink more.
➤ Several disks could be cut and
then one used for repairing the
➤ A salt paste could be applied to
restrict shrinkage (see sidebar).
➤ For thin, porous wood, the disk
can be dried in alcohol.
➤ The porous wood can be treated
with a chemical that restricts
swelling; PEG (polyethylene glycol
300 to 1000) is one such chemical, but it is expensive. See www.
A PRODUCT LINE-UP LIKE NO OTHER:
Get information FAST from suppliers: http://cabinetmaker.hotims.com
Cutting multiple disks
Cut three disks of the size and
shape required. These three must be
adjacent to each other (minus the
sawdust created when sawing the
disks from the log) and of the same
thickness. The disks are numbered 1,
2 and 3 in order from the bottom of
the log upward. Then, for each disk,
before drying begins, saw a slot,
full thickness, from the bark to the
It is important that the saw slot be
located at least 45 degrees from the
location of the slot in adjacent disks.
By creating this “crack” before dry-
ing, almost all the shrinkage stress
in drying will occur by opening this
crack further rather than creating
new cracks. At the end of drying,
each of the three disks will have a
large crack in a different location.
Now, after drying, take disk 1