I'm building a table for the garden and did some research into how I might seal and protect the most vulnerable parts of the table. The end-grain. The wood I have available is old(30+ years) and very dry larch-wood.
Beside the steps one could take, that are already covered in various questions across this and other sites I stumbled upon a method that is called "sizing". I hope I spelled that right. The sealing of end-grain is covered in 'Do I need to seal the ends of hardwood fence boards?' and this here might be a duplicate to that question.
While watching Steve Ramsey's channel I stumbled over his video about 'What You Need to Know About Glue'. He also covers gluing end-grain (starting at ~5:20) and suggests making a "sizing"(at ~6:00), which is basically wood-glue mixed with some water to "size" the wood before the actual glue-up. To me it seems this sizing is just sealing up the end-grain pores with wood-glue. And the mixing with water is done so the thinner substance might penetrate deeper into the wood.
My thought now is that I will try to use this technique for the end-grain parts of my table (probably all of them) to close the pores and make it more durable.
To achieve that I would put masking tape around the edges of the wood and soak the end-grain with my "sizing". The masking tape would protect the surface of the wood from ugly glue-stains during the sizing. After all is dried up I would take off about half a millimeter (~1/64") with the table-saw/miter-saw for a smooth end and start to apply the actual finish everywhere.
In theory I think this method to be quite ingenious and am wondering why I haven't heard of it before. Or am I missing some fundamental problem with this here?
- How far will this sizing penetrate into the end-grain? (Of course that answer will probably be dependent on the density and type of the wood)
- Will this help preventing/delaying rot?
- Will the masking tape prevent the other faces to get ugly glue stains?
- Is there any drawback with this method concerning the expansion and shrinkage of the wood? Which will probably be severe as I plan to let the table sit outside all the time.