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Found a burl, what to do

1641 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  SCOTSMAN
Well I assume it's a burl, had to cut up a tree at work and threw it in the dump pile where the pile up trees to burn. Decided to walk around and see if I could find anything interesting. Well found this burl on a cherry tree and cut it off. The tree had ants living in it and was some what rotted so it might be worthless but figured might as well see what to do, where to cut it exactly to see if it's worth keeping. If it is worth something what should I do with it to preserve it for when I'm ready to use it. Guys I work with started cutting up some more cherry in case I can ever get my lathe workin and figure the ins and outs of turning. What should I do wit them as well, they're pretty long so I can cut them down to whatever size later on. The 2nd pic is the back side of the "burl", from the way the wood looks there makes me think it could just be some random spot from a cut limb or something, have only seen pics online of them, so figured I'd ask the experts.

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It certainly looks like a burl, what are the it's measurements? If you plan on preserving it you might want to either get some wax on the open cut part or some anchorseal and some metal roofing paint helps.
It's roughly 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches thick from where I cut it off at. Are you talking about like candle wax or would paste wax work?
I believe it is more like melted candle wax (could also be melted parafin wax) and you can pour over or dip it, I'm not 100% on the what wax though as I use Anchorseal and metal roof paint on the ones I've collected, hopefully one of the turners can help you as I mostly sell mine or give them to friends that turn for trade.
Great stuff to turn and most of the rest of it also. If you are a turner make a straight line down the center of the pith and use your band saw to cut it. If you have anything that has Y and branching out you can cut it straight down the center of both piths and you will have some wonderful crotch wood figure. I always make sure there is 4" above the crotch and 12" below the crotch. That way when you are ready to turn you can select the best center piece with the best figure to use.

Also use Anchorseal to seal the ends it is emulsified wax and slows down the drying and keeps it from cracking.

My woodcraft is having a tool swap and big memorial day shindig this weekend, could just take it there with a sign, trade burl to help me learn how to turn haha.
Haha let me know how that works out for you, probably wouldn't be a bad idea except WC may not like you soliciting it's customers in their parking lot lol.
Only thing I'd add would be to make sure to keep it separated from your other woods to help keep the ants from spreading.
Well i figured since there's a tool swap and people are selling their own stuff why not try to barter. I got it covered in paraffin wax last night, looking around online people said to let it sit for a couple years. That seems like an etirnity, i haven't even been woodworking for a year, couldn't imagine letting a piece of wood sit in my garage for a couple years before i could do anything to it. Wish i could put it in my attic and forget about it but I'd say all the heat and humidity wouldn't work well with it. And who knows if bugs havent made it into the burl and made it worthless.
Yea i was wondering about the ants because i saw one go back in one of the holes when i was about to put wax on it. I dumped a bunch of wax down the holes and shoved some stuff in the holes. Thought about sprayin some bug killer in the holes.
Put it in a plastic garbage bag along with a couple moth balls. Seal the bag and in a few days any insects in the wood will be dead. I have done this a few times with infested wood.
You have to reach a certain temperature for the black bag to kill insects and the larvae, think it is somewhere in the nature of like 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit before it actually kills anything but I'm sure if you black bag it and put it out in the direct sun on a really hot day 95+ and seal it off it should kill just about anything in there
Parraffin or what you guys call kerosene works great with worm,beetles ,and ants, too from what I have heard paint it on liberally and leave it outside in a poly bag. Then when it's no longer occupied wash it over with some soapy liquid (the ants don't like that either seemingly) then allow to dry slowly . Move the bag back again into your shop or storage area,as said when empty of critters .Then paint it if you want to slow down the drying time but it could be several years (yes years) to dry out. So I would partially turn it oversize and leave it to dry the rest of the way leaving a rechucking point. or blag it i.e sell it or swop it now . I would as I am impatient LOL. Have fun very, very, very, young, young , why just a boy really Alistair
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