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Cherry burl

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  • Cherry burl

    I pulled a couple pieces of freshly cut cherry from a firewood pile. Both have about an eight inch diameter and are about 18 inches long. One has a double burl, one on one side and one directly across from it. The other has a single burl. Now that I have it I don't know what to do with it. Should I cut it into some small boards now or let it dry for a year and then cut it? Also, how should I cut it, through the center of the burl or from the side so that the burl is cut off and left as a lump?


  • #2
    Re: Cherry burl

    Tom, I would cut it now, I am afraid if you wait a year, it might split. As for which way to cut, it depends on what you want for an outcome.



    • #3
      Re: Cherry burl

      Agreed I'd cut it now too then stick it some place very cool to dry very under the house for a year.A friend used to cut rifle stock blanks and that was his worked for him but personally I never tried it


      • #4
        Re: Cherry burl

        You should probably seal the ends ASAP. The woodturners here in AZ always pick up wood parts from freshly cut trees and they say to seal the ends as soon as possible. This should reduce the splitting at the ends.

        Rockler carries some:

        Cheers Dennis


        • #5
          Re: Cherry burl

          The problem with a burl is that everything is an end grain. Most around here seal the whole thing in wax, and then reseal after they cut off some to use. What they cut it off, they either wrap it in cloth or if a small piece, put it in a brown paper sack to slow down the drying until it gets below 25% moisture content. After that they let it air dry down until it gets workable (about 12%mc). The bowl turners will usually turn it wet, and then soak it down with alcohol and wrap in brown paper for several says to a week. The alcohol helps draw out the moisture from both the inside and outside of the bowl and the wrap prevents it happening too quickly. All say it is tricky to prevent cracking/splitting.
          According to the sawyers, the big thing is slowly getting the moisture down below 25%. Drying to that point too quickly results in most defects. After that it can air dry okay as long as it isn't in direct sunlight or very high heat.

          Just what I have heard around here.

          Practicing at practical wood working