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  #1  
Old 02-16-2012, 08:13 AM
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Scout Scout is offline
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Burls

I've heard a lot about Burls here. I have some burls that I would like you to look at and see if they are ones like you use. That is a 4 foot ruler.

Let me know if you need a closer picture. Scout
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:04 AM
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craigktx craigktx is offline
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Re: Burls

Yep, I have used them and have seen them carved by other wood nuts.
Is it Oak?
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:09 AM
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Re: Burls

Craig, yes it is oak. No beetles or bugs. The tree is still healthy. The burls look like they have good color too. I think it is 52" around that tree.

If anyone is interested, let me know. I have some other very interesting pieces too if anyone want to see them. All good hard wood. Scout
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2012, 11:18 PM
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craigktx craigktx is offline
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Re: Burls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Craig, yes it is oak. No beetles or bugs. The tree is still healthy. The burls look like they have good color too. I think it is 52" around that tree.

If anyone is interested, let me know. I have some other very interesting pieces too if anyone want to see them. All good hard wood. Scout
Cut a few and go to the local carving clubs they would love them.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2012, 07:41 AM
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Re: Burls

Craig,
I hesitate to take the tree down without knowing how to preserve the wood's value. It would be a shame to make a cut at some arbitrary height only to find that someone could make good use of a piece twice the size of what we could handle easily. This trunk has burls intermittently up the trunk to a height of probably 30 to 40 feet. It is possible that the trunk could be turned for veneer, but I just don't know.

Then there is the handling of the cut pieces, Some have said wax the cut ends to keep it from drying out and cracking. Others have said to soak it in Sevin (insecticide) to keep beetles etc from ruining it.

All advice is welcome. Scout
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:08 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Burls

It might be possible to cut off the burls without killing the tree. But if you do take down the tree, don't cut it up into short "rounds" - keep the trunk sections at least 8' long. There's a tool called the Alaskan Mill, that's basically a guide for a chainsaw that allows you to make slabs out of a trunk section as it lies on the ground. If you look around locally, there's probably someone who's got one, and will either set it up on your property or drag off your logs to where they can be dealt with. Wax any cut ends of wood, and set the slabs up on stickers to dry.

Andrew Werby
www.unitedartworks.com
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:10 AM
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Re: Burls

Do these burls typically extend into the interior of the trunk and affect the grain of the wood within?

The size and number of burls on this tree seems rather unusual to me, however I have no experience in working with burl wood. I have "played" at making wood sculptures from wood I harvested and I have built several pieces of furniture from commercial lumber.

I don't want to damage this wood if it is exceptional. Perhaps I should have it milled into lumber by a "professional". How unusual does this tree look to you?
Do you think it is likely that the lumber made from this tree would be interesting?

Andrew, this is my husband talking to you here about the burls. He's the woodworker, not me.

Thanks for your time and interest. Scout
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:57 AM
Nelson Nelson is offline
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Re: Burls

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Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Do these burls typically extend into the interior of the trunk and affect the grain of the wood within?

The size and number of burls on this tree seems rather unusual to me, however I have no experience in working with burl wood. I have "played" at making wood sculptures from wood I harvested and I have built several pieces of furniture from commercial lumber.

I don't want to damage this wood if it is exceptional. Perhaps I should have it milled into lumber by a "professional". How unusual does this tree look to you?
Do you think it is likely that the lumber made from this tree would be interesting?

Andrew, this is my husband talking to you here about the burls. He's the woodworker, not me.

Thanks for your time and interest. Scout
Scout, I do a bit woodwork, but not carving. Those burls are the result of some bacterial or viral infection at some entrance into the tree tissue like a dead branch or some sort of injury. There may be secondary fungal infections as well, and even some type of insects. Nothing wrong with this from a natural stand point. Depending on what the artist wants, "blemishes" can be a blessing so I would not mill the wood to straight slabs. Folks who do wood turning love that burl stuff... find out, advertise and work from there on. Once you know a few clients and their requirements then you could risk cutting properly in advance in case some want the wood dry. Best luck.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 05:18 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Burls

[quote=Scout;101611]Do these burls typically extend into the interior of the trunk and affect the grain of the wood within?

[Yes, it looks like that would be the case.]

The size and number of burls on this tree seems rather unusual to me, however I have no experience in working with burl wood. I have "played" at making wood sculptures from wood I harvested and I have built several pieces of furniture from commercial lumber.

I don't want to damage this wood if it is exceptional. Perhaps I should have it milled into lumber by a "professional".

[That's basically what I was suggesting.]

How unusual does this tree look to you?

[It looks unusual to me, but then I'm on the West Coast, where the trees are quite different. You should talk to a local arborist or sawmill operator to find out if it's rare and/or valuable where you are.]

Do you think it is likely that the lumber made from this tree would be interesting?

[Yes, but burls can have a lot of weirdness to them that makes them less than useful for normal purposes, like furniture building. They can have bark inclusions, insect infestations, voids, and loose pieces that fall out. And the grain is all swirly, so it doesn't plane normally. But it can be really pretty too. Sometimes it's cut paper-thin to use as veneer, or it can be carved to make small decorative items like clocks and boxes.]

Andrew Werby
Juxtamorph.com
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:52 AM
Robson Valley Robson Valley is offline
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Re: Burls

I'm up at 53N in a village tucked into the west slope of the Rockies.
In the last few years, I've finished maybe 2 dozen carvings in Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) for exhibition, from 9" to 30" tall. Sometimes brittle, very easily split. I'm slowly coming to learn the wood. Please keep your basswood and Butternut, all I want to do is carve WRC. I do my own log splitting primarily to make pieces small enough for me to stockpile at home. I split and prepare my carving stock from that.

So, a power carver took me at my word = gave me a slab of WRC burl, maybe 18" x 16" x 2". I was told that the slab was 50+ yrs old. 30 seconds and I saw a Humpback Whale in the wood. Absolute delight to see it emerge but the wood grain could get me to eat handfuls of Excedrin daily. I can't be critical enough of the twisted, swirling grain in that slab. Certainly not for traditional mallet and gouge carving. Moving 1/4" the grain changes and it's possible to pop out a fist sized chunk.

I hope there are all sorts of applications for burl, from any tree species, but I am done with that sort of wood. For keeps.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2012, 01:38 PM
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Re: Burls

Thanks for your reply Andrew.

Rob, it's all a gamble. Scout
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2012, 02:44 AM
Robson Valley Robson Valley is offline
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Re: Burls

Sage words, oh Scout. Sage words. What a crap shoot.
I had to fight with the wood to find the whale. I won.
I will leave the battles with burl to younger soldiers.
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2012, 03:17 AM
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Re: Burls

LOL, that's the truth! Scout
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