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Where to source Anchor Seal, alternatives?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Lou Jacobs, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    I need to buy a new gallon of Anchor Seal. Amazon is $43 or $49 depending on which version (original or 2) while Woodcraft is $33 (plus shipping). I notice Rockler has a similar product for $23. I wonder if folks have experience with Rockler’s product, or preference between the Anchor Seal versions, and preferred vendor. I know about the latex paint idea. It has not worked so well for me. Have also heard suggestions of Titebond or other white glue, which I’ve not tried.
     
  2. Kent Jaffrey

    Kent Jaffrey

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  3. Timothy Allen

    Timothy Allen

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    I'm using Rockler's "Green Wood Sealer," much less expensive than Anchor Seal, and seems to work well as far as I can tell. I have also used old Latex paint (happens to be some moisture-resistant bathroom paint), and in the past have melted paraffin and ironed it in with my ski-waxing iron...
     
  4. Kevin Jenness

    Kevin Jenness

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    One coat of latex paint is less effective at inhibiting moisture transfer than the layer of wax Anchorseal leaves behind, plus the pigments are abrasive and hard on tools. I haven't tried wood glue but I know from flat woodworking that cutting through dried PVA is harder on tooling than wax.

    If you belong to a club you can buy Anchorseal in bulk at a considerable discount. My son, who has a timberframe business, buys it in 50 gallon drums for about $10/gallon.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I don't know what a gallon of Titebond goes for, but the only time I use end grain sealers is for spindle blanks, and the Titebond seems to do an excellent job.

    robo hippy
     
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  6. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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  7. Jerry Bochenek

    Jerry Bochenek

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    I use a sealer similar to Anchor seal sold by Craft Supply. It's called Artisan wood sealer and cost $24.95 per gallon.
     
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  8. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Thanks everyone for your responses. I followed Kent’s suggestion and ordered from Highland, as well as a few other things I needed to help spread out the shipping cost. I’m curious to see how their sealer comes, as they mention Anchor Seal in the description of this product. I can’t imagine they can repackage Anchor Seal and sell it as their own.
     
  9. odie

    odie

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    I've been using this since the 1980's, and see no reason to change. It is wax base, and very easy on your tools. When it comes to stabilizing roughed bowls, time is your friend. I've changed the formula of roughing to wall thickness at one tenth the diameter to about 15% of the diameter. Of course, this means extra time to stabilize, but the cracking and warping is at the bare minimum.....and, that is what you want! :D

    Heck, you don't even have to clean the brush.....Just squeeze out the excess and you're good. Store in a sealed container. To re-use, just limber the bristles up a little, and you're good to go.:)

    -----odie-----
     
    Tom Albrecht likes this.
  10. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Oldie, that’s my experience with Anchor Seal. I keep it in a half gallon juice jug. I pour what I think I’ll use into a quart yogurt container where a cheap bristle brush resides. If I’ve used it recently the brush is still limber. If it’s been a while, it takes a bowl or two for the brush to loosen up. When I’m done, what’s not been used gets poured back into the jug. No waste.
     
    odie likes this.
  11. Earl Lucas

    Earl Lucas

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    I’ve been using Anchor Seal on my green blanks and they still crack. My overall problem is that I loosing very nice bowl blanks. The blanks are usually large with different moisture content. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do or where I store them, they seem to eventually check. It’s very frustrating. I’m asking for your help I’m not getting any younger and gathering green blanks is a chore. Thanks, Earl Lucas
     
  12. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Earl, I think it’s important to be sure the wall of your bowl blank is a consistent thickness throughout. I’ve used the 10% of diameter guideline for thickness. Odie, above says 15%. I also try to only put the sealer on the end grain portion of the bowl, rather than seal it completely. I think (just a hunch) that it helps to give the moisture a place to escape slowly.
     
  13. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Used anchorseal not sure which version and titebond 2 glue. Glue seems to work as well, is $18/gal at a local store in case I need it now. I seal ends - spindle stock, logs, 1/2 logs, the ends of which get cut off before going to the lathe. I suppose the glue might dull my chainsaw chain more than anchorseal, but the glue has no effect on lathe tools since its cut off.
     
  14. Kent Jaffrey

    Kent Jaffrey

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    After I posted I checked out the SDS hey have in he product description and it was for Anchor Seal 2 so you’ll have to see when you get it.
     
  15. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    I use PVA Drywall Primer (2 coats) ... about $10 a gallon at most home centers.
     
  16. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Kent, that’s what I saw. I wonder if they are somehow licensed by the Anchor Seal folks to repackage it. Maybe it will come in Anchor Seal packaging.
     
  17. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Earl, define “green blank”. If its a full round and thick blank, IMO thats the problem. Cutting round on the bandsaw exposes more endgrain. Leave the “ends” square (and seal them) until you are ready to cut the bowl, then trim and mount.
     
  18. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    This sounds interesting. How/where do you store sealed logs/blanks? Most of mine is stored outside, out of sunlight but gets rain on it, the reason I use titebond 2. The drywall primer is for interior. Wondering how it weathers?
     
  19. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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    UC Coatings
     
  20. Roger Chandler

    Roger Chandler

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  21. Kent Jaffrey

    Kent Jaffrey

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    Question about the PVA primer. Is it a solid color (white) so you can’t see through it or more transparent like oval glue?
     
  22. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    Yes, it is solid white. Can't answer the weather question ... I have racks in the garage and in the storage room behind my shop where the sealed blanks live until they go on the lathe.
     
  23. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    About a year ago I bought 5 gallons of Anchorseal Classic from UC Coatings and sold two gallons to a friend...much cheaper this way.
     
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  24. Larry Steinmetz

    Larry Steinmetz

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    Interesting comment...I am going to have to keep this in mind in the future.
     
  25. Kevin Jenness

    Kevin Jenness

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    I used to use surplus paint for end sealing but in my experience it just does not retard moisture transfer as well as Anchorseal, even with two coats.

    I have found the key to minimizing checking is sealing the endgrain immediately after crosscutting. Once end checking starts it will propagate even if sealer is applied later, just slower and shallower.

    I plan on cutting an inch or so off of sealed blanks that have been stored for any length of time, just to be sure of eliminating any invisible checks. I rap the cutoff against something solid to test for weak areas- if it splits easily I cut back another inch or so and do it again until I reach sound wood.

    Here is a thread from a sawmill forum that suggests using rubber-based driveway sealer as an inexpensive alternative https://www.norwoodsawmills.com/forum/lumber-drying/end-coating-logs
     
  26. Earl Lucas

    Earl Lucas

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    Doug, I’m talking about a wet solid bowl blank. I coat generously with Anchor Seal, but still cracks. My problem could be moving them inside to my basement shop. I’ll leave them in my garage until I’m ready to turn. Thanks
     
  27. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Doubt that solves your issue. Leave the ends square and seal.
     
  28. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    UC Coatings is in Buffalo NY and my club has bought 4 55 gallon barrels in the past and sold it to club members for $7 & $8 dollars a gallon over the years. I think I still have 2 6 gallon buckets full but the thing is I no longer use it as I put my wood in my flat woodworking area and I get very very little cracking, and there are 2 table saws in there someplace:D
     
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  29. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    The problem is everyone has to come up with a solution that works for them. And it's trial and error. Our environments are different and where and how you store wood is different. Sometimes no matter what you do the wood cracks. I had it down to a minimum at my old shop but now I'm in a new one and haven't even figured out how and where I'm going to store large amounts of wood. I have a huge log of ambrosia maple that I haven't cut up and it's cracking on the ends. I just didn't feel like going out there and tackling it with a 20" bar. It's going to take probably 2 days of very hard work to cut it up and quite frankly I just haven't felt like it. I don't know where I will store all that wood once I do cut it up so it will probably sit there until warmer weather. When I do have wood that has started to crack like that I cut it up into useable spindle and box blanks. I seal all those by dipping in melted paraffin wax.
     
  30. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Has anyone ever tried scorching the end of log to seal the wood grain? This technique is used on post and beam framing construction to preserve the wood. I would assume the scorching would caramelize the sap resin and sugars in the wood.
     
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  31. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    That pretty much sums it up.

    The common things to try are:
    • Store wood in logs as long as you can, if that's practical for your location, and seal the ends with something.
    • If you can, split a log to get rid of the pith (where the stresses are concentrated).
    • Covering logs with a tarp or otherwise stored in the shade is probably better.
    • Once you cut it up, turn it as soon as is reasonable. Go for a thickness of 10-15% of its diameter (for a bowl).
    • The methods of storing a roughed bowl are numerous, and depend greatly on your weather, your shop HVAC, the type of wood, size of the bowl, and probably the phase of the moon or whatever. Things I've heard that have worked for someone include:
      • Anchor seal, paint, or PVA glue - on the whole bowl or just the outside or just the endgrain
      • Paper bags, and/or plastic bags - with or without shavings
      • Stacked in a corner
      • Nekid on the shelf
      • Some combination of the above
    • That plus time ranging from several weeks to a couple years.
    • Then there's the "force it dry" methods like kilns, boiling, soaking, kitty litter, etc.
    Unfortunately, alot of that is not terribly helpful to someone starting out.

    The best way to start is to contact some folks in your local area (turning club) and see what they're successful with. Start with that and experiment. It is going to take some time and there will be some failures, but eventually you will find something that works.
     
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  32. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    One important key to keeping bowl blanks from splitting, is one I learned on drying spindles, you want a 1/4 round profile on the outside rim. If you leave that rim sharp, that edge will dry out a lot faster than the rest of the rim, and that creates stress, which is relieved by cracking.... In my years of dealing with Pacific Madrone, I have found that I get less cracking with spring harvested trees than I do with mid to late summer trees, and that means anything after about the end of May, which is when our dry season is starting. With a 1 inch wide wall thickness, I would want a 1/4 inch radius minimum edge relief.

    robo hippy
     
  33. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Robo, do you think this is only important on the outside edge, or the inside too? I’ve taken to doing this recently after reading the idea somewhere (maybe from you?) and I’ve been relieving both inside and outside edges. Don’t yet have enough experience to know if it works. If I want to wind up with a bowl with sharp edges, it means I’ll be turning down another 1/4” or whatever it takes to get past the round edge, but I suppose I’d be turning away the round over anyway to re-true the bowl.
     
  34. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    Earl, Try boiling your rough turnings in a turkey fryer, or microwaving at 50% power covered in plastic wrap for several minutes (cool off and repeat this several times). I find cooking this way can relieve stresses in the wood which reduces cracking. Although for woods that are prone to crack, you still might want to cover the end grain both inside & outside with sealer until it finishes drying. Like Dave mentioned above, boiling or microwaving can cut the drying time significantly.

    I just dried a 12” cherry bowl using a microwave over 2 days as I had time to get around to it with no cracks. I covered the bowl in plastic wrap to slow down the initial moisture loss. Slowly opening the plastic wrap with cuts to let moisture out as I repeat the microwave/cooling process many times. You can send me a private msg with your phone number if you want to talk about my process in more detail, or search this forum for ‘microwave’ to get some ideas.

    Another tip, If you are in a hurry between turning sessions with green wood then toss it in a freezer until you can get back to it. If you leave it for a long term then could cover with plastic wrap to slow down the freeze drying.
     
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  35. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    I find that about 80+% of cracks I see in a bowl during drying are the progression of micro-cracks that were already there. I have this optimistic streak that has me unwilling to throw a nice piece of wood into the firewood pile even though I can see checks starting. I cut it an inch or two beyond the visible check, rough turn, anchorseal and put it away. If it cracks it is almost always an extension of those beginning checks I thought I had cut away. Freshly cut wood with no checks almost never cracks on drying.

    I have finally almost trained myself to quit messing around with wood where I can actually see a crack, soaking in CA and such. That never works.

    I recently bought the templates for inserting pewas, that will be my next effort, to embrace the cracks.
     
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  36. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, not really sure if both edges need to be rounded over. For sure, it won't hurt. I once turn my bowls, so profiles are done when I pull it off the lathe. This means that both edges are slightly rounded over. Wall thickness is about 1/4 inch, so a very tiny round over, and I use the stretch film around the rim which also helps.

    robo hippy
     
  37. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    Just one of the reasons/benefits to joining your local turning club is that we buy a 55 gal drum of Anchor Seal and dole it out to the members at $15/gal. That is cheap enough to bathe the neighbor's dog in it from time to time. I've also used watered-down Titebond with fine results (on timber...but not tried it yet on a dog).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  38. Dave Hulett

    Dave Hulett

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    Finally ran out of orginal anchorseal and finding it so expensive I bought the Rockler wood sealer. sure looks and act's like regular old wood glue but it works.
     
  39. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Back in the days before insecticides were available for dealing with subterranean termites in Texas, it was a fairly common practice to scorch the wood framing of a structure as a deterrent to being invaded by termites. When I was a kid we had a lake cabin that was built in the first half of the twentieth century and I had wondered why the stud walls had all been "toasted" to a golden brown. I asked an old carpenter about this when we were doing some remodeling and he told me that termites avoided slightly charred wood as long as they had access to wood that wasn't burned. Being out in the woods, the termites had all the wood they wanted and the cabin never had a termite problem. I suspect that the scorching that you are referring to might possibly have been a termite treatment, but I don't know if termites are a problem as close to the North Pole as you are. :D
     
  40. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Shou sugi ban, it is a common ancient Japanese way of treating lumber, the walls mainly, just like what you described, torching.
     
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