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How Best To Dry Burl


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#1 Farminton River

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 06:04 PM

I received a new lathe for Christmas and can't wait to get turning grips and reel seats.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to dry burls? I just purchased an Amboyna burl that is 7.5" x 3.5" x 1.75". It is covered in a waxy looking coating so I will assume that it is green wood. I don't have a moisture meeter to check.

Any advice on how best to dry it? Should I cut it into 1" wide strips, re-coat and let it sit, leave it be and wait or head for the microwave?

Thanks

Todd

#2 Carver

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 06:40 PM

My advice is go get some dry wood to play and let that burl do it's thing naturally! I have made the mistake of trying to dry a burl fast and paid for it. I destroyed a great piece of Maple burl because I could not wait to play it. Amboyna being the most expensive wood on the planet, I would leave it be, or find some with a meter to check it for you. A way to judge the moisture content is to way it once a week for a month and see if the weight goes down, if it says the same the wood is dry and ready to use. Just my opinion though.

Paul
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#3 AgMD

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:08 PM

I believe Carver is right. My only experience w/ burl is with burl that was cut locally from live trees. Green! I coat all the cut surfaces w/ wax and leave it in the house for two years. So far it works.
The amboyna you purchased -- the vendor should be able to tell you how well aged and how dry their product is before they sell it. Might be worth a phone call.
AgMD
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#4 Neil M

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 07:16 PM

the waxy stuff on the block is a treatment to stop the burl from drying to quick. So your block could be dry is it heavy or really heavy?
Neil

#5 Farminton River

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for the quick replies everyone.

I do have plenty of dry wood to play around with first, so I can let the burl sit until it is dry. I have no immediate need for it.

I don't know if it is heavy or real heavy yet because I have not received it yet plus my only experience with Amboyna burl is with a pre made insert so I won't have any reference point to work from. But I will start weighing it and see when it stops loosing weight.

Should I leave the wax like coating on the wood or scrape it off while it dries?

Thanks again,

Todd

#6 Carver

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Posted 02 January 2008 - 10:27 PM

Leave the wax on and keep it in a cool dry place.

Paul
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#7 Whirnot

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 12:11 AM

I had great results putting it in the green house for a month or so. bUt then I sold the house, andd green house. I still think a miniature green house/solar over would work well.
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#8 dgarland

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:48 PM

Heres what I did with some wet claro walnut burl. First, cut it as required and mount it on your lathe and rough turn, leaving it oversize. Make sure you have removed all the wax. Remember, as it dries it may shrink considerably. Just mount it with a drive center. Do not bore it wet because when it dries there may be considerable distortion. I then dried pieces in a microwave. There are some pretty good descriptions on the net on how to do this. After drying in the microwave I let the wood relax for a few days to acclimate.



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