Need advice finishing a burl slab

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Blog entry by jfk4032 posted 03-19-2013 04:56 PM 4268 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch



Need some help in finishing this piece LJers! The actual burl piece I’m using is wrapped in plastic as it still has a little more to go to dry out, but I’d like to finish it off in the next week or so. It’s been unexposed as a 3.25” thick slab for several months which I resawed over the weekend to 1.5”. The cracks for the most part were sawn off leaving the middle of the slab relatively crack free. What’s posted here is a similar slice that’s a bit thinner and a cutoff piece showing the nooks and crannies of the live edges.

I’ve already rough sanded the live piece in parallel and picked out almost all of the crud from the burl buds and inclusions. I also cleaned it the best I could with compressed air and I’m planning on going to a friend’s house tomorrow to use his large sandblasting booth to better clean out the rough burl buds, if that’s what they’re called. I’ll test this out first on the pieces shown here to make sure I don’t take off too much material off of the live piece!!

I then plan to sand some more up through the grits. Prior to that I’ll do a little shaping in there as well to allow the piece of metal art that is going to sit upon this to be leveled out better.

When I get to the stage of finishing this is where I need some advice. I’m guessing it is still not down to being totally dried out and was hoping the finish can seal it well enough not to crack going forward. I also want a finish that is durable as a heavy metal piece is to sit on it and can get into all of those nooks and crannies of the burl slab. Should I coat both sides even though I plan to put on self adhering felt onto the underneath side to better equalize the piece relative to moisture? What finishes and how many coats should do the trick?

Spray versus foam brush applied? Please provide your best LJ advice to a beginner in the finishing arena.

btw, I bought this nice piece of wood from Greg at Oregon Burls…

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

3 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30568 posts in 3225 days

#1 posted 03-19-2013 05:21 PM

I still use Danish oil on the rough edges. Then I use spray to get in the tight places.

Great piece!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View OregonBurls's profile


585 posts in 4035 days

#2 posted 03-19-2013 05:26 PM

I have in the past coated it with cedar shield which seems to penetrate pretty good. Others use Pentacryle (sp?) Both are spendy though. I like Cedar shield because it only takes 48 hrs to where you can apply a finish not sure what the other takes for drying time. I would coat both sides. Thanks for the shout out.

-- Greg, Southern Oregon, What can I say but God Is Good!

View jfk4032's profile


381 posts in 3414 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 09:18 PM

If I get some Pentacryl and apply that, can I put a Tung oil mixture over that? I have 100% pure tung oil which is pretty thick, but it dries real hard and is durable. If Tung is appropriate for a finish, what should I use to cut it down?

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

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