Pentacryl: the Wood Stabilizer that Prevents Cracks

americanwoodworkerqa

Question: A recent storm left a large tree limb in our yard. I’d like to slice cross sections for plaques and trivets.

How do I keep the slices from splitting as they dry?

Answer: Pentacryl wood preservative is an excellent product made for this very purpose. A slice of wood will always split because, as it dries, the cells collapse and wither just like a dry sponge. This stress from contraction literally pulls the disk apart, usually resulting in a single, nasty split that rims from the bark edge toward the pith.

Pentacryl reinforces the cells so they retain their shape as they dry. As a result, very little stress builds up in the wood and cracks rarely occur. Pentacryl is nontoxic and is compatible with any kind of finish.

pentacryl
Here are a few tips about making plaques, cross-cut sections from Dale, the technical person at Preservation Solutions, which makes Pentacryl.

  • To keep the bark edge on a slab, cut the wood during the winter.
  • Wood that has been outside, especially in winter, should be brought to room temperature before you apply Pentacryl.
  • Completely saturate the wood with Pentacryl by soaking or brushing it on.
  • After treatment, the wood must be allowed to dry evenly. Make sure it is exposed to air on all sides.
  • Don’t hurry the drying by adding heat or air movement.

Article from American Woodworker, March, 2005, Q&A Section

See Our Step-By-Step DIY Guide for Wood Cookies, Plaques, Wedding Cake Platters & Coasters

 

By | 2017-04-25T02:59:29+00:00 March 13th, 2005|Press & Reviews, Wood Treatment Product Review|132 Comments

132 Comments

  1. Patricia February 18, 2014 at 4:47 am

    I have a mano tree cut out from my yard, can I do this with it?

    • Kim February 21, 2014 at 2:02 am

      Patricia, thank you for your interest in our products. Do you mean mango wood? If so, yes, we have customers who have used Pentacryl on this fruit wood with good results. If possible, soak the wood to ensure complete saturation (for 4-5 days), then dry it slowly. Putting the wood in a cardboard box, wood shavings or taping cardboard to the sides will help slow the drying. Keep it out of the sunlight and direct air movement.

      Once completely dry, the wood can be sanded and finished to help bring out the beautiful and often spalted color of the mango.

  2. Mary Pinto February 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Can you use these as pavers after they are treated?

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Yes, after the Pentacryl treated wood has completely dried, we recommend applying a heavy duty finish like a marine spar varnish. Also, be sure to install the pavers on top of pebbles or small rocks for good drainage.

  3. Barb May 12, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I have a slab from a black ash that had to come down this spring, approx. 3 feet across. It has already started to check, can pentacryl still help?

  4. Frederick July 21, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Hi Kim,

    How much Pentacryl is required to treat a 7′ diameter 6 inch thick piece of poppler?

    Thank you

  5. Bekka November 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    I’m looking to get pre-cut sourwood slices (3″ diameter, 3/16?” Thick) that I’m planning to write on. Would this be a good idea in doing? The bark will still be on and I want to make sure that in particular doesn’t chip off.
    Thanks!

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Bekka – If the wood is green, (fresh cut), the Pentacryl will stabilize the slices or “cookies” and prevent them from cracking and splitting as they dry. It will also help to keep the bark on as the Pentacryl will prevent the wood from shrinking and pulling away from the bark. However, the best bet to keep the bark on is to cut the wood in the winter during the dormant period. See our blog post on keeping bark on:
      https://www.preservation-solutions.com/blog/will-bark-stay-wood/

  6. Tyler December 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I just cut a walnut tree that is very green. I plan on turning it on my wood lathe, if I applied Pentacrlyc then started turning would it have to re apply the product? , or should I let it sit for awhile then start turning it? Also does this naturally dry out the wood or seal in the moisture?

    • Kim January 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Tyler – We recommend rough turning your wood first, then applying Pentacryl. This will remove the wood you will not be using, thus you will not be wasting Pentacryl on that wood. Let the treated wood dry slowly in an area away from direct heat, sun and air movement. If small enough, it can be dried in a pile of wood shavings or a cardboard box.

      Once the wood has dried, you can finish turning it, than apply a sealer (finish) if desired. Pentacryl works by displacing the moisture in the wood and leaving a thin coating on the wood cell walls. This prevents the cells from shrinking.

      Thank you for your interest in our product.

  7. Richard black January 28, 2015 at 5:50 am

    What about palings that are pulled out of salt water, will the product still work on fir trees?

    • Kim February 14, 2015 at 12:48 am

      Richard – If the wood palings are waterlogged and you are wanting to stabilize them, we recommend using our SP-11 Waterlogged wood treatment. You can read more about the product and it’s use on the website:

      https://www.preservation-solutions.com/waterlogged-wood-conservation/

      Yes, our wood treatment products have been used on fir trees (as well as many other species) successfully.

  8. Laurie lemay February 6, 2015 at 2:15 am

    It says non toxic but can this be used for a cutting board ? Thanks.

    • Kim February 14, 2015 at 12:43 am

      Laurie – Yes, even though Pentacryl is non-toxic, it has not been approved by the FDA, so we cannot endorse that it be used on wood that will come in direct contact with foods items.
      Thank you.

  9. Danny May 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I am trying to preserve an 8″ long, 21″ diameter cookie. If I want to keep the bark on, is it best to brush pentracryl on the bark or just the ends of the cookie?

    Also, should any planing and sanding be done before or after application of pentacryl?

    Thanks.

    • Kim June 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Danny – Pentacryl works by displacing the moisture that is in the wood and leaves a thin coating on the wood cell walls, so the entire piece would need to be saturated. You can continue to brush Pentacryl on the ends until it is saturated all the way through the full 8 inches. It is OK that Pentacryl gets on the bark, but it will not absorb into the bark and will not harm it. Pentacryl will help to keep the bark on as it prevents the wood from shrinking and pulling away from the bark, however, the best bet is have the tree cut in the winter during the dormant period when the sap has stopped running.

      See the blog post on this topic: https://www.preservation-solutions.com/blog/will-bark-stay-wood/

      Sanding can be done either before or after treatment. If doing it after, just make sure the wood has completely dried so it does not gum up the sand paper.

  10. Amanda June 28, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Will this product change the color of the wood?

    • Kim June 29, 2015 at 9:27 am

      Amanda,
      No, Pentacryl will not darken the wood.
      It actually, will help to keep it looking it’s natural color.

  11. kim July 23, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Hi. My pieces of slices are about 5 yrs old and we’re sealed before. Do they have to be redone, can they be redone. I got them this way. They have been sitting in a garage for awhile. Ty

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Kim – If you have had the cookies for 5 years, they are already dry, no need to treat them. If you want to condition the wood, you can use Wood Juice, however, the sealer (finish) would need to be removed (sanded off) in order to get the product to penetrate.

  12. Nathan August 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I appreciate the article and all of the Q/A that you have been providing.

    Quick Question: I have a piece of wood that is 20″ in diameter and 12″ thick with bark on it. I want to make an end table out of it and I would like to leave the bark on it. How should I apply the Pentacryl? On the ends? On the bark too? Would it help to cover it in plastic after coating?

    Thanks for your help.

  13. Hunter August 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I am going to put a brand on coasters with a cattle brand. Should I brand and then seal or seal and then brand?

    • Kim September 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Hunter – It is best to treat the wood first (with Pentacryl or Wood Juice). This way, it won’t start drying and cracking. After the treated wood has dried, you can then wood burn it, as well as stain, glue, sand and finally apply a sealer.

  14. Stacy August 26, 2015 at 7:49 am

    My father in law cut down several avocado trees on his property. He found a piece with a knot hole the size of a bird’s nest that he had found, so he let the piece dry and then gave it to me. It is about 8″x6″x4″ or so, and is a bit crumbly. I want to preserve the wood so I can display it with the nest. Will Pentacryl help stabilize the wood, as it is now already dry, or would a different product be needed?

    • Kim September 7, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Pentacryl will is a stabilizer for green wood that prevents it from cracking at is dries. Since your wood is already dry and crumbling, we recommend using our Polycryl product. This is a wood fortifier that will strengthen soft and punky wood. See the Polycryl product page for additional information.

  15. Craig August 29, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I am making disc for my daughters wedding next June (2016). I am using Birch Wood that is approx. 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick by 12 inches in diameter. If I’m using Pentacryl, how long should I let them soak before letting them dry? I’m making 30 to 35 peices. Once they are dried, is there anything else I need to do to keep them in good condition? Any help on the process for this would be helpful as I have never done this before. Thanks

    • Kim September 7, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Craig – When treating the wood with Pentacryl the key is to completely saturate the wood. If using the soaking method, 1-2 days is sufficient. For the brushing method, apply 2-3 heavy coats to each side. See the guide on our site for treating cross-cut sections.

      Dry the wood slowly and if desired, you can apply a finish, but otherwise the wood doesn’t require any further treatment.

  16. Hesperus September 1, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Hi… can I get this product in the UK?

    Thanks

    Rob

    • Kim September 7, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      Rob – Yes, you can purchase Pentacryl from Turner’s Retreat in the UK.

  17. Carol September 3, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Hi, I have a beautiful piece of bark I found and would like to preserve it. Not sure what kind of tree, just love the look. What type of product would preserve a piece of bark?

    • Kim September 12, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Generally the bark is pretty stable and can be left alone. However, it can be treated with Wood Juice to prevent some curling. Just brush on 1-2 coats per side and let it dry in a cool area.

  18. kenny September 6, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    My brother in law just cut a tree down , we sliced it for wedding center pieces, tree was dying/ not green, bark is still on, if I use the pentacyl will it keep the bark on longer, how long will these slices last after treatment …?

    • Kim September 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Kenny – If the wood is already semi-dry, we recommend using Wood Juice. This is a wood stabilizer, like Pentacryl, but formulated to penetrate wood with a lower moisture content. For additional information, see the guide for treating cross-cut sections on our website:

      Stabilizing Cross-Cut Sections

      The best way to keep bark on wood is to cut the tree in the winter (during the dormant period) when the sap has hardened off. Wood Juice will help to keep the bark on as it prevents the wood from shrinking and pulling away from the bark. See our blog post for additional information:

      https://www.preservation-solutions.com/blog/will-bark-stay-wood/

      Once the wood is treated, it will last indefinitely.

  19. Whithey September 9, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    What types of tree works best with your product when make circular slices?

    • Kim September 12, 2015 at 7:49 am

      Pentacryl is formulated to treat green wood. It prevents the wood from cracking and checking as it dries by displacing the moisture and leaving a thin coating on the wood cell walls. It has been tested on all types and species of wood successfully (including Bamboo). The key is to completely saturate the wood and dry it slowly. Some wood, such as hard wood, may take longer to penetrate than soft wood, so it will just need more time.

  20. ali October 10, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I use olive tree woods for producing accessories like dishes etc.
    is this harmful for health to use with foods in it
    best regards

    • Kim October 10, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Pentacryl has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, so we cannot endorse that it be used on wood intended to come in contact with food or drink.

  21. Karin Sizelove October 16, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Would it be possible to use this product on furniture? Where we live the longer our furniture is there the drier it gets and it starts to split. I am trying to figure out if it is possible to save what we have left that has not cracked yet from splitting.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kim November 3, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Karin,
      If the wood furniture does not have a finish (sealer) on it, we recommend treating it with Wood Juice. This product is formulated to treat drier wood with a lower moisture content. It will condition the wood and help to prevent it from cracking further. Just 1-2 coats brushed on will help.

  22. Sara November 3, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Will this product kill any bugs that might be in the wood just after cutting? In other words, if I cut down a tree branch, cut the branch into slices, and then soak in this product, will it then be completely ready for crafting? Or do you recommend something else before or after using this product to make sure there aren’t any critters left in the wood?

    • Kim November 3, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Sara – Pentacryl does not contain a pesticide. If you are worried about insects, we recommend treating the wood first with a product called Bora Care. This is a safe way to remove the insects and it also acts a fungicide. We do not carry Bora Care, but you can do a search for a retailer near you. Then treat the wood with Pentacryl to stabilize it and prevent cracking.

  23. Larry November 17, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Where may I but Pentacryl in Canada????

    • Kim November 17, 2015 at 3:59 am

      Lee Valley Tools in Canada carries Pentacryl. You can also purchase it from Black Forest Wood Co. and Sawmill Sid.

  24. Krista November 17, 2015 at 3:34 am

    I am having a couple of Pine Tree Stumps cut to make night stands. They will be apprx 2′ wide by 2′ tall and the trees are still green (alive). How would I preserve them (knowing I can’t quite soak that big of a stump) and have to deal with them sapping. Do I just apply a few coats to each exposed side and then let them dry out for 6 months to a year? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Kim November 17, 2015 at 3:58 am

      Krista – The key to using Pentacryl successfully is to completely saturate the wood and then dry it slowly. Since the stumps are too large to soak, you can brush the Pentacryl on. Start by laying plastic down with some small wood stickers (I use chopsticks) and set the stump on top. Using a paint brush, apply Pentacryl on the top of the stump and cover with plastic so the wood doesn’t dry out. Once the Pentacryl is soaked in apply another coat and again cover with plastic. Continue this process until the wood is saturated (you will see the Pentacryl start to come out the bottom).

      Once saturated, remove the plastic, let the stump air dry for a few hours, then cut out and tape cardboard to the ends. This will slow down the drying to the end grain (which dries first). Lay the stump on it’s side (the bark side) so it can dry evenly. Yes, you should allow a piece that size to dry at least 6 months to a year. Preferably, dry the piece in a cool area away from heat, like a basement.

  25. Stacy claypool December 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Is it safe to use on birch bark? Will it remain white or discolor?

  26. Daniel January 4, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I have fresh cut twisted logs and I don’t want the ends to split, I evidently want to cut into them but until then well this stabilizer work?

    • Kim January 7, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Daniel – To prevent the ends of your logs from splitting, we recommend applying the End Grain Sealer. This is just a wax emulsion that will sit on the surface of the wood to prevent the ends from drying and cracking. It can be scraped, sand or cut off when ready. Once the log is cut, treat the cut pieces with Pentacryl to stabilize them.

  27. Heather January 6, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    My brother-in-law cut a fallen cedar tree into logs for me so I can cut the logs into slices for my wedding. The tree had been on the ground for a few months at least prior to cutting into logs and the logs have been in my garage for two weeks now. Is this tree still considered “green” or should I not expect much shrinkage once I cut the slices since the tree had been down for quite some time? Not sure if I will need to preserve the slices after cutting.

    • Kim January 7, 2016 at 4:52 am

      Heather – Even though the tree was fallen and cut a few months ago, it will still be quite “wet” inside once it is cut. We recommend treating the wood with Pentacryl as soon as you cut them into “cookies”. The key to stabilizing this type of cut, is to be sure to completely saturate the wood with Pentacryl and dry them slowly. See the guide on our website for treating cookies with Pentacryl:

      Stabilizing Cross-Cut Sections of Wood

  28. Jenni January 11, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Hi,
    Would I be able to paint with acrylics into the wood once the process is finished?

    Jenni

    • Kim January 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Yes, once the Pentacryl treated wood has dried, it will look and feel like the original wood. The surface can be sanded, stained, glued, wood burned, sealed and yes, painted.

      If needed, the surface can be wiped down with mineral spirits first. Let the wood dry overnight prior to painting.

  29. Robert Newbern February 23, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I have some large cookies (~3 ft in dia and 3-4 inches thick) of black walnut and tulip poplar. I have treated two (one of each) with a gallon of pentacryl on both sides. About 3 weeks ago cardboard was taped to both sides and they have been stored on edge. When the cardboard was applied, each of the cookies was very wet as indicated by a moisture meter. Now they are in the 20-30% region. What should be the target moisture level before we can begin sanding?

    • Kim March 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      Robert – Thank you for your interest in our product. The drying time of the wood will vary depending upon the original moisture content, size, temperature, and humidity in your area. Typically, you can sand the wood as long as there in not a lot of moisture on the surface – so the sand paper doesn’t get gummed up. This is usually around 14%. A couple of thoughts though:

      – Since the wood is 3-4 inches tick, the moisture meter will only read the surface moisture content (or only as far as the prongs will go into the wood), so the inside moisture content may still be pretty high. Sanding is OK, but you do not want to apply a sealer until the wood is completely dry. This way, moisture is not trapped inside.

      Thank you.

  30. Dee March 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Does this Pentacryl work on white birch?

    Thank you,

    Dee

  31. Tina March 13, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Hi, I have a large maple slice that was just cut from a tree. It is approximately two feet across. I am planning on doing an acrylic painting on it and will varnish it after it is done. I need to sand it smooth before I do the painting. Do you sand the wood smooth BEFORE you treat it with the Pentycal?

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Tina – We recommend treating the wood first to prevent it from cracking and splitting as it dries. Once the wood has completely dried, you can sand, stain, paint, glue, wood burn and/or finish it (apply a sealer). See the video on treating and drying “cookies”:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5_CR3Hvu1k

  32. Ally March 20, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Will Pentacryl saturate the tree slices we cut, if I already used another product that is similar (New Wood Defender that said prevents cracking, etc) Was desperate to get something on it so that I could order this product. Can I stand the slices on their side (on bark) so that each side cut dries evenly? Using a tree slice in the middle of each table for a wedding reception.

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Ally – You can use Pentacryl as long as it will penetrate through the product that was already applied to the wood. Yes, once the wood has been saturated with Pentacryl, we recommend standing the cookies on end to dry slowly (prop them up so they do not fall over). See the video on treating and drying wood cookies:

      https://www.preservation-solutions.com/cookies/

  33. Karen March 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I had a friend cut me 2 inch cookies out of a walnut tree for my sons wedding. He treated them with linseed oil a couple times. Some of them are now splitting. Is it too late to use Pentacrly on them?

    • Kim March 27, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Linseed oil is a finish that just sits on the surface, if it can be sanded off (so our product can penetrate), the wood may possibly be saved. If it is still wet on the inside, you can use Pentacryl and if dry, use Wood Juice. Both are wood stabilizers to prevent cracking as the wood dries. Keep in mind that cracks weaken the wood and once started are more susceptible to additional cracking.
      Thank you.

  34. Caleb April 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Hey. Quick question. I’ve been cutting cedar cookies for wood burning. I’ve burned an image on several pieces which as you probably expected… Cracked. If I was to try again is there a way for me to cut them and use pentacryl and burn them after? I’m concerned about possibly inhaling the burnt chemical. If anyone has burned with pentacryl or has any other thoughts id appreciate it. Thank you.

  35. David April 24, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I am cutting down some smaller tree’s about 8″ diameter to make a railing on my deck. Would i have to apply your product every year to the wood?

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      David – Pentacryl only needs to be applied one time. Note that it is a wood stabilizer which will prevent green wood from cracking and splitting while it dries. Typically, Pentacryl is used on interior wood, it can be used it on fresh cut trees for exterior, however, once the wood is treated and completely dried, we recommend applying a heavy sealer, like a marine spar varnish, to keep the Pentacryl from washing out and to protect the wood from rain, snow, sun and wind.
      Yes, most likely the sealer will need to be applied every year.
      Thank you for your interest in our product.

  36. Denise April 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Can you mail or ship pentacryl?

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Pentacryl is non-regulated so it is safe to send by ground or air.

  37. Tracy Campbell May 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Can I use this on pieces of just bark? For rustic wedding decorations.

    • Kim May 12, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Tracy, the bark has minimal shrinkage (compared to the wood). Some types are less than others. We recommend using Wood Juice since the bark has a low moisture content and it will penetrate better than Pentacryl.
      Thank you.

  38. Jillian Martin May 20, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Is this product available in Australia

  39. Talia June 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

    If I am painting my wood discs, is this necessary?

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Talia – If you would like to stabilize the wood cookies (keep them from cracking), then use Pentacryl as painting them will not prevent them from cracking. If you don’t mind the cracking, then go ahead and paint the wood – but not until the wood has completely dried, as you don’t want to trap moisture inside the wood with the paint.

  40. Divyesh September 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Does it works on all woods? Means without (fruit) tree wood please need answer as soon as possible

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 3:01 am

      Pentacryl works on all hard and soft woods. Fruit wood has a lot of tension (due to the extra weight of the fruit on the branches), so the key is to completely saturate the wood with Pentacryl, then dry it slowly.

  41. Grant September 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

    If I submerge my wood using a bucket or similar can I then reclaim the left over liquid and use again?

  42. Anna September 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    We have a few stumps (not sure when they were cut but sap is still a bit in there). We want to slice them for wedding center pieces and transfer photos onto them. Should we soak them first or transfer the photos first?

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 2:56 am

      Treat the wood first with Pentacryl. This will prevent the wood from cracking. Once completely dry, you can apply the photos. See the VIDEO on treating and drying wood rounds or “cookies”.

  43. troy nall October 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    how would this affect vines ? would it make wines more flexible ? resistant to drying out ?

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 2:51 am

      To treat vines, we recommend using Wood Juice. This is a wood stabilizer like Pentacryl, but formulated to treat semi-dry wood. It will penetrate the vines better. We recommend soaking the vines in a bucket of Wood Juice for 2-3 days, then drying them slowly.

  44. G October 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Can it be purchased in Ireland.Thanks

  45. Mike T November 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Hi there, can we purchase this product in Australia ? Thanks

  46. alden November 8, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Used it years ago on green wood woked well

  47. Nancy Hunt November 10, 2016 at 10:30 am

    We are using tree cuts for seats in an outdoor room . When these are cut could I use this on the tops of the “seats”?

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 1:39 am

      For the Pentacryl to be effective, we recommend you treat the entire piece of wood. Cross-cut sections, or cookies, are challenging to stabilize, so be sure to completely saturate the wood and then dry it super slow. See the VIDEO on treating and drying green wood rounds. If the wood will be exposed to weather (sun, rain, snow), we recommend sealing it with a heavy duty sealer (like a marine spar varnish). This will protect the wood and prevent Pentacryl from leaching out.

  48. Stacy December 15, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Will this work well with a black walnut tree? I plan on using a wood burning tool to decorate the wood. Will that be ok?

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 1:33 am

      Yes, Pentacryl will work on black walnut. Treat the wood as soon as it is cut, dry it slowly. Yes once dry, the wood can be wood burned.

  49. Diana Blanchard January 2, 2017 at 9:23 am

    My husband made a 42″ snowman out of pine wood slices, from Hurricane Matthew, and I have lightly painted them white. Can I still use Pentactyl on the painted pieces to preserve them? They’re only lightly painted on the front & can come apart for easy soaking. Thanks.

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Diana – You can try to soak the wood in Pentacryl – it will absorb through the unpainted area and may absorb through small cracks on the painted side too. Once the wood is saturated, put it away to dry slowly. See the video on treating and drying cross cut sections (cookies):

      https://www.preservation-solutions.com/cookies/

    • Kim April 20, 2017 at 1:27 am

      Depending on the type of paint, Pentacryl may not penetrate. You can sand the surface to remove the paint, then treat the wood with Pentacryl. Once the wood has completely dried, the paint can be reapplied.

  50. Anna January 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Hello, I have a light colored hardwood log that was carved into a fisherman. There is a large head to toe crack in the back that I’d like to stop from expanding. Will pouring your product into the crack stop it from growing? Thank you in advance for your response. Anna

    • Kim February 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Anna – Since the wood is most likely already dry, you can apply Wood Juice to help prevent further cracking. If there is a sealer on the carving, Wood Juice will only penetrate into the cracked area. Get as much on as you can, then let put the wood in an area where it can dry slowly – away from heat, sunlight air movement, etc. Thank you.

  51. Sharon Oakes January 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I just cut down an Ash tree and would like to use it to make wood discs for decorations. Would your product help to dry them and protect from cracking? if so, what is the best procedure to use?

    • Kim February 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Sharon – Yes, we recommend treating your disks or “cookies” with Pentacryl.” It is a green wood stabilizer that will prevent checking, cracking and warping as the wood dries. We recently posted a VIDEO specifically on treating wood cookies.
      This will give you step-by-step directions from treating to drying.
      Thank you.

  52. elaine fuller February 1, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I was given a wood slab at christmas .This slab has been wood burned. After 3 weeks notice it is started to crack. Will any of your products stop this.I believe it was sprayed . with what not sure

    • Kim February 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Elaine – Since the wood is semi-dry, our Wood Juice product will help to prevent further cracking. However, it will not penetrate if there is a sealer on the surface of the wood. If it can safely be sanded (without harming the wood burn design), you can apply the Wood Juice, then let the piece dry slowly for several weeks (covered in cardboard). It can then be re-sealed (finished).

  53. R Stateler February 13, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I have wood rings that I made into a 4 tier cupcake stand. All 4 have split after 10 days from cutting. Would this product help to repair?

    • Kim February 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Once a crack has started, it will be a weak spot in the wood. Pentacryl and Wood Juice will not repair the cracks, however, they will help to prevent future cracking. Wood “Cookies” are challenging to stabilize, for additional information, you can see the video on treating these cuts:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5_CR3Hvu1k
      Thank you.

  54. Jason February 20, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I am cutting a pecan tree that is 6′ in diameter for about 6′ high. I intend cutting slices to make round tables out of this. I understand I need to completely saturate the wood with your product immediately to stabilize the cells. My question is how long I will have to let dry stack in a barn on stacking sticks before I can sand them down and apply finish and legs

    • Kim April 19, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Yes, as soon as the wood is cut, treat it with Pentacryl. The wood needs to then dry slowly. Cross-cut section or “cookies” especially one that is 6 feet in diameter has a lot of tension, so should be dried super slow. Instead of stacking these with stickers, we recommend standing them on edge (propped up so they don’t fall over) so both sides can dry evenly. We also recommend putting cardboard or End Grain Sealer on the sides to slow down the surface drying. See the VIDEO on treating cross-cut sections of wood with Pentacryl.
      Drying time will depend upon how much moisture was in the wood to start with, the size and density of the wood and the temperature and humidity where the wood is being dried.

  55. Stuart February 22, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Is this for green lumber only or will it help for standing dead hardwoods and pine? I make tables out of slabs (not cookies) cut on my mill. Will this be useful for that? Thanks

    • Kim March 19, 2017 at 2:45 am

      Pentacryl works best on green wood with a high moisture content. You can use our Wood Juice product for stabilizing drier wood. It is formulated to penetrate wood with a lower moisture content to condition it and prevent future cracking. This is popular for treating beetle kill pine trees and will work well on slab cuts.

  56. Fred February 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Hi, I do a lot of projects with pallet wood. Normally there is a fair bit of moisture still in the wood. I have lost pieces due to the wood drying and either cracking or cupping. It seems this product would be helpful to me. Currently I treat all my projects to a vinegar based solution to weather and darken them. My first question is could I apply Pentacryl over the vinegar wash? My second question is where can I find a dealer who carries this in Niagara Falls area of Ontario, Canada?

    • Kim April 19, 2017 at 1:54 am

      Yes, Pentacryl can be applied to pallet wood if it is still green. However, if the moisture content is lower, below 20-25%, we recommend using Wood Juice instead. This ia a stabilizer like Pentacryl, but is formulated to treat semi-dry wood. Yes, it can be used in conjunction with your vinegar mixture – we recommend treating the wood first with Wood Juice to stabilize it, let it dry, then apply the vinegar wash.

  57. Mark Schreader February 23, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I make walking sticks from bittersweet vines, an invasive species. In spite of what you would think, the sticks are remarkably strong. The wood is soft, but there are from 20 to 30 growth rings in a stick that is from 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick. I am surmising that is what gives the sticks their strength- a slight amount of give that prevents them from snapping under a decent amount of force. Some of them have split, while others have not. I remove the bark while the wood is green, because it is more difficult to remove on a dry stick. I then dry the stick, before continuing to work on it. Would brushing on the Pentacryl be sufficient? How about wrapping them in Pentacryl soaked rags? With the sticks being about four feet long, and from 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick, they do dry quickly, but would require a large amount of product to immerse in, even if I were to use a 3, or 4 inch PVC capped pipe to immerse them.

    • Kim April 19, 2017 at 1:37 am

      Mark – You can brush Pentacryl on the green wood vines once the bark is removed, then wrap them in plastic to allow the product to soak in. Apply 2-3 brushing applications or until the wood is saturated, then remove the plastic and allow the wood to dry slowly.
      A PVC capped pipe can also be used to soak them – remember the Pentacryl can be re-used on other vines, so you are not wasting any product.

  58. Elaine February 27, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Can Pentacryl help burls from cracking and disintegrating if they are either soaked fully or the Pentacryl brushed on?

    • Kim March 18, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Elaine – Yes, Pentacryl is a green wood stabilizer, so it will work on fresh cut wood including burl. The idea is to completely saturate the wood, by soaking or brushing on numerous coats, then let the wood dry slowly.

  59. jaap February 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I like it

  60. Debbie March 9, 2017 at 5:44 am

    I have a large cedar coffee table my son n law made me a little over a year ago. It is beautiful but it appears to be splitting. It weighs about 150 to 200 pounds so it’s not very mobile. What can I do to preserve it now?

    • Kim March 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Debbie – Since the wood is already semi-dry, you can treat the table with Wood Juice. This a wood stabilizer like Pentacryl, for green wood, however Wood Juice is formulated to treat wood with a lower moisture content. It will condition the wood and help to prevent future cracking. Wood Juice will penetrate as long as there is not a finish applied to the table. If there is a finish and it has cracked and separated from the wood drying, the Wood Juice can penetrate that way.
      Put the table in a cool area, out of the sun and direct heat (air flow) to allow it to continue to dry.

  61. Randi Seiko April 4, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Is this product good for pine wood to make farmhouse furniture such as tables and benches and is it available in the Vancouver, Canada area?

    • Kim April 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      Yes, Pentacryl works well on green pine. Be sure to completely saturate the wood and then dry it SLOWLY. If the wood is to be used outside, it should be sealed after it is completely dry to prevent the Pentacryl from washing out.
      You can purchase Pentacryl in Canada from Lee Valley Tools.

  62. Bruce April 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Can this be used on dry wood that has a few cracks in it, to make it harder? Would there be any benefit to using it on an already dried piece of wood (for a wood slingshot)?

    I assume you use this product after sanding and before any finish, such as Tung Oil.

    • Kim April 15, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Bruce – Pentacryl is a stabilizer for green wood to prevent cracking and checking as it dries. If you want to treat wood that is already semi-dry, you can use Wood Juice. This will prevent future cracking. Neither product will “harden” the wood.
      Yes, Pentacryl and Wood Juice are used on raw wood and once dried, can be sanded, stained, glued, sealed, etc.

  63. Michaela evans April 12, 2017 at 7:48 am

    We have just picked up a lovely slice of fresh cut cedar on our walk.We want to keep it as it is and ensure the bark and wood itself stay uncracked and that the bark stays on the wood.What would be best?The wood juice or pentacryl?
    We also have a chunk of oak and a slab of what we think is birch,but is definitely a soft wood,they have been slowly drying for the last month.What would be the best treatment for them.
    If we did decide to turn anything into a cutting board is there a treatment that is fda approved?
    Thank you

    • Kim April 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      To determine which product to use will depend upon the moisture content of the wood you are treating. If the wood is green, fresh cut, use the Pentacryl, if the wood is semi-dry (with a moisture content below 20-25%) use the Wood Juice. Our products will help to keep the bark on because they will prevent the wood from shrinking and pulling away from the bark, but the best bet to keep bark on is to cut the tree during the dormant period (winter) when the sap has hardened.
      For more information on treating your wood, see the video on using Pentacryl or Wood Juice.
      Our products are not FDA approved, so we do not recommend using them on wood intended to come in contact with food.

  64. Manreet May 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Hi I was just wondering if you need to kill any bugs in the bark of the wooden slices before preserving them? If so, what would be the best way to kill the bugs?

    Thanks

    • Kim May 23, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Pentacryl does not contain an insecticide. If you are worried about insects in your wood, we recommend treating it with Bora Care. This is a safe product that will eliminate insects and also help control mold and fungus in the wood. After it is treated with Bora Care, then treat the wood with Pentacryl. For additional information, see the VIDEO on treating and drying cross-cut sections with Pentacryl or Wood Juice.

  65. Felix Garcia July 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Using your product is it possible to still save a red cedar disc that is already dry with cracks from continuing to get more cracks? I’m just learning about how to prevent cracks and I’m in the middle of a carving project. New to wood carving.

    • Kim Prinzi Kimbro July 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Felix – Since the wood is already semi-dry, you can use Wood Juice. This is formulated to penetrate and treat drier wood to prevent future cracking.

  66. rooker_amber January 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Just curious, about how much of this would i need for 16 1″ thick, 12″ diameter wood slices?
    I was thinking of 2 gallons but would like to know if that’s just right, too much, or not enough for the project.

    • Kim Prinzi Kimbro January 8, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Amber Rooker-
      You can determine how much Pentacryl to use based on the Wood Calculator on our website:

      Wood Calculator

      According to you dimensions below, you will need 5 oz for each piece or 80 oz total. 1 gallon will be enough. You will use less if the wood is denser (walnut, oak or cherry).

      Thank you for your interest in our products.

  67. isaranjeet November 24, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I have a few 1′ diameter 2″ thick pieces of scrub oak bark riddled with acorn woodpecker holes that I would like to preserve and display without physical finishing. I’ve washed them under pressure and they are drying. What should I use next: Polycryl, pentacryl, woodjuice, tung oil, epoxy and in what order?
    Thanks

    • Kim Prinzi Kimbro November 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Since the bark does not shrink like the wood does, you can use Wood Juice on your piece. This is a stabilizer for semi-dry wood (whereas Pentacryl is for fresh cut wood with a high moisture content). You can just brush 2 coats of Wood Juice to all sides of the bark piece and let it dry slowly (in a cardboard box or inside a paper bag where it can still breathe – not wrapped in plastic). Once the piece is dry, you can apply any type of finish you like – we do not recommend water-based products as they add moisture back into the wood and can leave it tacky.
      Thank you.

Leave A Comment