Stabilizing Large Burls

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by rrdesigns posted 10-09-2014 11:39 PM 1293 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rrdesigns's profile


532 posts in 3455 days

10-09-2014 11:39 PM

I’ve got some large buckeye burls (up to 18” x 24”) that I would like to stabilize before adding a finish. Does anyone know where I could buy a reasonably priced vacuum chamber large enough to do the task? Insights into the other equipment I would need as well is appreciated.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

6 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3801 days

#1 posted 10-10-2014 12:11 PM

I think a chamber could be home built. Any kind of study box, maybe a used 55 gallon metal drum with the removable lid. It must be airtight. I think the biggest expense will be a vacuum pump.

I’ve been watching craigslist for a vacuum pump for some time now. Harbor Freight has one for under $100.
If I could find something like this for $100 I’d do it, I’m talking just the pump and gauges and not the tanks.

Along with a pump you will need at least a gauge , hose and fittings. I would use an A/C manifold gauge, specifically the low side gauge as it will show vacuum as well as pressure. You need a gauge, if you’re up and running and don’t show vacuum you have a leak, you won’t know that without a gauge.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1455 posts in 1999 days

#2 posted 10-10-2014 02:27 PM

You indicate you have some 18-24” burls that you want to stabilize before finish. What is the size going to be when you’re ready to stabilize them? Is the burl going to be a chunk of wood or is it going to be slabbed?
Another question is, What are you going to stabilize them with? There are some epoxies that won’t give you the time to pull the vaccum before it sets.
You might be better off finding a paint pressure pot to stabilize your burls under pressure rather than vaccum…..... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4258 posts in 2830 days

#3 posted 10-10-2014 03:17 PM

All I can say is WOW. I only had a small piece of a pen blank once.

I can not wait to see what you make from it.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 1699 days

#4 posted 10-11-2014 11:29 PM

Use Pentacryl …

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View rrdesigns's profile


532 posts in 3455 days

#5 posted 10-11-2014 11:41 PM

The pieces are going to remain in their original size. The large ones are partial live edge slices of the tree. They are destined to become stands for fancy tobacco pipes that sit on a table.
@rick1955 Pentacryl is good for green wood to keep the wood from checking as it dries. Is has no resin to strenghthen the wood. These pieces are already dry ranging from 7-10% moisture content. I am seeking a solution to make them stronger. The California Buckeye Burls are very lightweight and potentially fragile.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2959 days

#6 posted 10-12-2014 12:28 AM

Beth, I think I saw a vacuum pump on Tulsa CL in the tools section a few days ago. You know how to search for it right?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics