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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    near Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    3

    Question Sealing an intact log

    I have some large logs from our black walnut tree that have been aging outside for 2 years now when they had to be cut from storm-damaged branches. They are a little over a food in diameter, since the branches were practically trees themselves. They are about the right height to be seats at our table, so I would like to know the best way to seal them for indoor (and later in their lives outdoor) use. They still have the bark on them, and I'd like to leave it on. I only intend to have them cut level and sand the tops and bottoms. I have read that to protect my floors I should mount some variety of carpet to the bottoms, and would also like tips on that if you wouldn't mind. Thank you all so much!
    ~Leah~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: Sealing an intact log

    Wolfprincess,

    You basically have two options: an oiled finish or a urethane type finish. Urethane would give the most protection against staining from food or drinks spilled on the surface. Urethanes, however, do have somewhat of a plastic look to them. Tung oil or a teak oil would impart a warmer look.

    You will be sealing the end grain of a cut log. It will absorb lots of oil or urethane. It will take a minimum of three coats of urethane to get that end grain sealed. Oil should be appled, allowed to penetrate , and then the excess oil wiped off. Do not leave excess oil remaining on the surface as it will be sticky for a LONG time.

    If these stump chairs are to be used outside and under cover and out of the rain, the urethane would be fine. It is is subjected to rain, I would opt for the oil finish as it will never peel. As the log continues to age, splitting will occur and water will be able to penetrate the log. Oil finishes breathe, urethane does not. The urethane would probably start to peel. It would be easier to give yearly refresher coats of oil, than to maintain or strip the urethane.

    Carpeted floor protection would not be a good idea if the logs are sitting outside on concrete or wet surfaces. Concrete passes moisture. I would use some type of plastic foot to elevate the log slightly off the concrete or any surface that might pass moisture up into the grain of the log.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    near Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    3

    Thumbs up Re: Sealing an intact log

    Thank you for the advice. It sounds like since these will be indoor then outdoor that the oil is indeed the best way to go. These will be indoor chairs (eat-in kitchen with a rustic theme) once they are ready until we retire them to outdoor use later on, thus the desire to protect the floors.

    If you happen to know, what is the least damaging way to attach feet to the cut end of a log of Black Walnut, which I've read is a hardwood?

    ~Leah~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
    Posts
    1,769

    Default Re: Sealing an intact log

    Wolfprincess,

    On the bottom of my teak furniture which sits on oak flooring, I use self-adhesive heavy felt strips. These are available at Home Depot. When you move it to the outside, I would convert it to nylon glides which are simply nailed into the wood. These would keep the wood slightly out of contact with the exterior floor. The glides are kept in the same area of Home Depot as are the felt pads.

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