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Treating Red Oak Stumps for Anvil Stand, Copper and Silver work.

 
Peter Hutter
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Hello,

Yesterday I cut 2 large somewhat wet (it had been down for a time all ready) red oak trunk sections, one of which I intend to use for a new ironwork anvil stand, and the other for doing copper and silver work right on the wood. I'm wondering if it would be a good idea for me to linseed oil the cut ends so the logs don't dry out too fast to help reduce cracking. I'm in SW Wisconsin and they'll likely be closer to outdoor temps sitting in an unheated building for a while until I bring them into the heated shop in a few weeks. Any advice here would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Peter.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Peter,

I would oil and beeswax the wood immediately, there are several traditional formulas for this, but you have the idea, slow the process of drying down. The oak will service your needs in the interim, but is the least desirable for the purpose you intend. Oak stains and reacts with different metals in different ways, and even with treatment this species has a tendency to check and split really easy. Traditionally a species like elm would have been used as it presents as the very best for resistance to splitting, so you should keep an eye out for some. I would also suggest you "banding" in a traditional way if possible your stumps. This was common for anvil stups and silversmith stumps that are of a species that split easy. Sweetgum is another species that i have seen used with good results.

Regards,

jay
 
Peter Hutter
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Thank you Jay!
 
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