Burl help do I turn green

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Forum topic by Kingchristo posted 10-26-2017 06:43 AM 999 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 3000 days

10-26-2017 06:43 AM

I’ve got a piece of Willow from my tree sergion and it has a burl on it I was going to turn this into a bowl. It has been cut down about 2 months ago. Do I turn this green and then how do I stop it cracking or dry it out first. One guy online I saw preped the burl then wrapped it to keep it moist is this right thanks guys

3 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2864 posts in 2907 days

#1 posted 10-26-2017 10:37 AM

Recently turned an unknow speies of wood that had almost completely around tree burl that laid out for couple months. One side really wet and went little oval the other side almost dry as turned it. Did post pictures of what I had before turning couple of months ago and will post finial results when done finishing.

Guess to answer your question would be yes and no depending upon what you have before you.

-- Bill

View Lazyman's profile


5410 posts in 2159 days

#2 posted 10-30-2017 03:55 AM

I’ve had pretty good luck rough turning the green, wet blank and then storing the bowl in a paper bag or cardboard box packed in the wet shavings from the bowl. Tape the bag or box closed and store it in your garage—a cool, dry place with no direct sunlight. The rule of thumb is to leave the rough thickness of the bowl 1/10” for every inch in diameter. It is best to avoid using the center rings of the tree to prevent cracks from forming. The irregular grain of a true burl should have less problem with cracks but you never know with a soft wood like willow. I have a cheap moisture meter that I use to monitor the moisture content and try to wait until it gets below 18-15% even lower is even better. For me that usually takes at least 2 months but can take 6 months for a thicker, wetter rough bowl. It’s a good idea to check it every few weeks and stir the chips to make sure it’s not starting to mildew.

When I get impatient, I will use the microwave to speed up the process. I microwave the blank for about 2 minutes at 50% power or less. I weigh the bowl before and then after it cools and stop when it stops losing weight. I actually get less cracking with this method than the paper bag and chips method. For a bigger, thicker rough bowl, I usually spread this out over a couple of days

There is also a method that uses dish soap that has gotten great reviews but I have not tried that yet.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View nixs's profile


21 posts in 1184 days

#3 posted 10-30-2017 10:50 AM

I turn a fair amount of cryress, haven’t got to turn any with a burl though.. cypress retains a lot of water if cut in the spring and summer months, so I’d expect to get wet while your rough turn your plank. I hold to the old 10% rule and pack rough bowl in a cardboard box with shaving and put in on the shelf. Seems like cypress drys rather quickly so check in about 4 months. Happy turning and post us a pic when completed

-- Steve, SW Louisiana

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