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Thread: Sticky hardwood

  1. #1

    Sticky hardwood

    I am attempting to make some wood unit blocks for my toddler and preschooler for Christmas out of some unknown hardwood but there is some sort of sap or oil seeping out of it which is making finishing difficult. I purchased the wood from someone who said it's been sitting in a barn for 60 years and he thought it was oak. It was dark out and the boards were rough sawn and pretty dirty when I bought them so it was hard to tell but after cutting into one, it is clearly not oak. I'm guessing some sort of tropical hardwood, maybe Balau? The boards are all perfectly straight grain, 2 1/4in thick, 8in wide and 8-10ft long, and I measure about 52lbs/cubic foot.

    Immediately after milling, the surfaces all feel slightly tacky and after a few days, the cut ends ooze a little sticky sap or oil. I tried Osmo PolyX but it bled right through that. I also tried wiping the ends of another piece with acetone and then applying 2 coats of shellac but it has bled through that too. I'm not sure what else to try. I hate to throw it away because it's really pretty wood but also I don't really want to give my kids sticky wood blocks.

    Any advice is appreciated.


  2. #2
    Shellac is what is used to stop sap from oozing. If you are going to use a waterborne finish you better use a de-waxed shellac such as sealcoat. With standard shellac you can use lacquer or plain oil based varnish. There is adhesion problems with an oil based polyurethane on standard shellac.

    To me the wood looks like sande but I don't think it would be oozing sap.

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