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Any burl turners on the forum?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Dune, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
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    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    A tree company dumped a load of wood in my yard. There are about twenty nice cherry burls. This stuff was cut a year ago.
    Should I save the burls? I have a big lathe (26 inch swing).
    How should I store/cure them for bowl turning?
    My other thought is that I could make some nice knife handles.

    Thanks for any input.

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  2. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    If they are solid & not hollow (one way to check is make a couple test cuts - 1 on each side) cut them in slabs from 2 to 4 inches thick,trim the 4 sides cleanly & seal them very quickly with old latex paint,blackjack roofing tar or best option - A commercial waterbased wax emulsion sealer such as Anchorseal Green Wood Sealer.Also can usually get a good clue checking if its hollow by the sound of tapping something like a metal rod or wooden stick against the sides.

    Store them in a ventilated area,that gets some airflow,but out of direct sunlight and/or real strong winds.Its a crapshoot even then.Burls are very unpredictable when drying,even a normally more 'stable' wood such as Black Cherry.Be patient,dont rush things & watch them occasionally to check their progress.

    If nice they could bring decent cash on Ebay or Craigslist.I sell some of my extra stuff occasionally to bring in extra money & clear out room (for more wood haha)
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no input for you Dune, but I am subscribing to this thread do to interest.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. So, peel the bark? Can I store them in my basement for curing? Cutting them into thin slabs would preclude bowl making no?
  5. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    You can peel the bark,but I'd leave it alone for now if its still fairly tight.Saves having to use more sealer (its around$25/gallon,covers up to 200 sq feet). Depends on how 'thin' you mean.2 inch rough can make some nice smaller bowls, 1 1/2 inch or so say by 10-12 inch round can be nice platters.I wouldnt cut them any less than 2 inches thick starting out though.You need some there to allow for shrinkage & in case you change your mind regarding a design change and/or removing defects later.'



    In your basement is fine long as there's no moisture issues. I have semi-heated garage/shop in next room,its underneath 90 yr old stucco/brick house w/ walkout basement.Almost 2/3rds of my wood is stored there.The rest outside under cover & inside storage shed because of limited space indoors.

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