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I have just been given several tree 'cookies' (cross sections of trunk or branches) that my wife wants to use in her crafts. These include some of ash and birch, several around 3" diameter and a few larger ones maybe 10" diameter. I'm worried that these will crack/split like the Liberty Bell as the wood dries out. (I've seen that in the past with other tree cookies, although not of these two hardwoods.)

Is there something I can use to "fix" these tree slices so that they won't split?

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As mentioned by Aloysius, PEG is probably what you want to use here - you need to soak the cookie in PEG for a certain period of time (depending on the size/thickness of the cookie). There are charts available online that will help you determine how long this period will be - but it's a reasonably long period of time.

An alternative is a commercial product called Pentacryl. Pentacryl works similarly to PEG, but at a much faster rate - typically an overnight soak is sufficient, instead of the weeks (or months) sometimes required with PEG.

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  • funny, I did an amazon search for PEG and apparently it's also a laxative – workerjoe Feb 19 '18 at 16:54
  • @joe haha yup. the other laxative commonly used in woodworking is good old plain mineral oil - great for chopping boards and cleaning bowels! – Dave Smylie Feb 19 '18 at 22:06

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