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Question
Tree slice
Tree slice  
I have 5 tree slices that were cut in early December, and I let them sit for about 3 months now in a dry basement. They have the bark still on them. I want to use them as hot plates for a dinner table. I am wondering what would be the best finish to use. I would rather a more natural look, so no color or at least limited color change, not shiny, heat resistant and something that will hopefully keep the bark on forever.

Answer
Devin, you have two different issues here, wanting to keep the bark on and wanting a heat resistant finish.  I honestly know of no single finish that will take care of both issues.   Perhaps you can coat the bark with a few thick layers of polyurethane which should help the bark to stay in place and then apply some tung oil to the main part.  Any woodworkers oil, non vegetable based and not automotive should be fine.  Thanks for an interesting question.

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maura macaluso

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions regarding woodcarving, chip carving, scroll sawing, carving tools and techniques and can answer most questions regarding wood. I am not an appraiser of carvings nor an antique dealer.

Experience

I am a custom woodcarver. I have been carving for many years now, have won numerous awards, and am very well connected in the world of woodcarving. I am the owner/operator of www.carvinginnyc.com

Organizations
national association of woodcarvers, woodcarvers of queens, Richmond county carvers club, carving life panel of experts

Publications
Chip chats, carving magazine

Education/Credentials
Have taken many, many classes and instruction from many fine carvers, I was originally self taught which is the best way to learn. Many thousands of carving hours later and I find that I am now well-respected.

Awards and Honors
numerous 1st place and other title awards at different venues

Past/Present Clients
My work is now in international collections

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