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Subject: Polyethylene glycol

Polyethylene glycol

From: Howard B. Wellman <wellman>
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2003
Don Marshall <dmrelion [at] aol__com> writes

>We have a white ash slab from a recently taken down tree that
>predates the civil war and we want to preserve it after it is
>sanded. PEG treatment has been suggested but we have had difficulty
>locating  available PEG material in retail quantities. Dow is
>willing to put us in touch with distributors for their Carbo Wax in
>pallet sized quantities.
>Question 1 is whether this is the way to go and Question 2 is what
>commercial products exist which can be used. Thank you,

PEG is one of the options necessary for the stabilization of
waterlogged wood, where significant amounts of cellulose and other
wood fiber structure has been lost.  If this slab is from a recently
cut tree, then PEG would be overkill in preserving it.  Even
PEG-treated, some checking and splitting will be unavoidable as it
equilibrates to its finished environment, as in all harvested
timber.  If this slab is to be finished and displayed (you mention
sanding, and I assume that is to reveal the annual growth rings for
dating), I would be more inclined to treat it like commercial
lumber, dry it carefully, and look for a commercial wood
preservative/finish.  The best thing about fresh wood, of course, is
that after it is properly dried to equilibrium, and if kept in a
stable and pest-free environment, it really doesn't need much more
intervention.  I suggest you find some local cabinet makers who
season their own raw materials, or a local sawmill with a
lumber-drying kiln.

Howard Wellman
10515 Mackall Rd
St. Leonard, MD  20685

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:60
                 Distributed: Thursday, April 10, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-60-004
Received on Tuesday, 8 April, 2003

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