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Drying a tree slice

Bob Deen
Hi all...

I have a friend who had to cut down a big redwood tree in their yard. She saved me two "cookie" disks, about 4" thick and 39" diameter. I'm well aware that this will crack and am okay with that... it just adds rustic character. But is there anything I can do to control the crack? One big one is preferable to having it fall apart in multiple pieces.

How long will it take this to air dry? Everyone says a year per inch of thickness but that's for normal lumber. Since it's all end grain I'm sure it'll be a lot faster. It will be stored in a garage in Southern California.

Finally with one of them I want to make a fire pit table. So I have to remove the center anyway. I've seen some people say if you take out the pith it helps avoid or minimize cracking. Is this so, and if so, how big a hole should I make? I'm notionally thinking about 12" diameter for the fire pit hardware.

Note that I have no interest in chemical solutions (PEG, pentacryl, alcohol etc).



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