Sealing Log Ends

Thoughts about log-sealing products and application methods. September 15, 2006

I don't have a local dealer for Anchorseal. I can drive about 50 miles to buy quarts or order online. Including shipping, Baileys and Anchorseal cost just about the same. I will be working on some 24" cherry logs and want to coat them as soon as the tree is felled.
Any advice?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
I am not sure if Bailey’s sells their sealer with the antifreeze product in it for winter use if that is important to you. I like the Anchorseal and it works well for me. I think I read where Anchorseal’s price is going up.

From contributor B:
I'm sure Anchorseal is good stuff and I know Bailey's products are excellent. I use and have used for 30 years, regular latex house paint. To save money, I get it at paint shops, Home Depot, etc. all of their miss-mixed colors (about $5/gal) and it works great. Even if you paid full price for the exact color you want, it only costs $20/gallon. I saw through it, it doesn't hurt the blade, and it works fine in the kiln. And I color code my lumber on the log: blue/maple, green/cherry, etc.

From Gene Wengert, technical advisor Sawing and Drying Forum:
The idea of a coating is to slow the end drying. Some latex paints would be too breathable. In tests I did many years ago, the commercial coatings outperformed the latex paint coating, but maybe some new alkyd resin latex paints would work.

From the original questioner:
I picked up some Anchorseal last Thursday (105 mile round trip) and will use it in a few days. Can anything be added to it to give some color?

From contributor D:
I used some oil based primer to end coat some logs, as it seals wood trim used on houses. The logs cracked like they had nothing on them.

From contributor E:
UC Coatings sells Anchorseal in a variety of colors. It's a water-based wax emulsion, so I suspect any water-based dye would work to color. But if you ask the UC people, they might tell you the best way to add color and perhaps even send you a bit of dye. I've used paint and I prefer the Anchorseal. Besides being friendlier to the environment than paint, it seals very well, and has a very important benefit - there is no brush cleanup. You can let the brush dry completely without cleaning, and then flex the bristles on the edge of a log to knock off the dry wax and it's ready to go again. However, what I do when coating just a few logs is carry a plastic Folgers coffee can to the woods. I put a short-handled wide brush into the can about 1/2 full of Anchorseal. The Folgers container has a great lid and is ergonomically designed to make it easy to hold and carry with one hand. It's also bright red so it's hard to lose in the woods!

From contributor F:
Try a roller – it works best, saves material, is fast and you can leave the roller in the can forever.

From contributor G:
I shake my 5 gallon Anchorseal well and pour about 1-1/2 gal into a Walmart pump up sprayer. I spray the end of the logs and if needed sometimes grab a brush and spread it a little. I find this is much quicker and puts a thicker coat of seal on the ends of the logs. I then unscrew the nozzle and run water through it to clean all the Anchorseal out of the line where air can get to it. I reattach and I am ready for next time.

From contributor H:
I purchase all of my sealer from a company in the Portland, Oregon area. They are called Associated Chemists, Inc. I find that it just as fine a product that can be found on the market and at a lower cost.

From contributor I:
You guys got me thinking. I hear lots of discussions about end sealing, and I know the purposes, but I haven't had much in the way of problems with end checking and the like with my logs prior to sawing. Am I just not as picky about losing a bit of the ends of boards on occasions or have I just not yet run into the right (wrong?) conditions that have caused problems with end drying in my logs?

I've had logs that have sat for quite some time and rarely have I ever had much loss from them not being sealed. For me, at the price of end sealants, and the minimal amount of end checking on my logs, I just couldn't see the financial benefit to buying lots of end sealer at a high price just to save a small end piece on the few logs that did show some checking. But it seems the consensus of the knowledgeable masses that end sealant should be applied when the logs will sit for awhile, especially in the warmer months. Am I missing something here?

From contributor J:
Our woodturning club here in GA purchased a 55 gallon drum of Anchorseal and reduced the per gallon cost substantially even with shipping costs included. This might be an option if you can get a group of users to split the cost.