How can I dry a roughed out box elder burl? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-29-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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How can I dry a roughed out box elder burl?

So I had to go and get some logs today for an order I had. Every thing was pretty routine until Spotted a pile of nasty ugly hunks of log ready to be burned!! I asked him if they were up for grabs and was delighted to learn they were. Turned out they were boxelder logs with tons of burl and red coloring! I only had room on the trailer for the two ugliest ones. He told me I could come back and get as much as I wanted up until the first snow fall then he was going to burn the pile. I was so excited that as soon as I got home I whacked off the closest one and put it in the lathe. I didn't stop to think of how to dry it before I stared. I assume anchor seal will work to slow moisture loss. I weighed it at 5 lbs how much loss of water weight should I expect before I can finish it off and make a lamp from it? It is 6" in dia and 11" tall.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-29-2011, 11:35 PM
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the anchor seal works pretty good. i would probably put it in a brown paper bag with newspaper and let it sit for a good 6 months. i might only put the anchor seal on the end grain though. I'm sure there are others here with alot more input than i've got as well.

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-30-2011, 12:06 AM
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You can microwave but only for a couple minutes at. A time then let rest 5 or so minutes in between !
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-30-2011, 12:13 AM
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-30-2011, 12:15 AM
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-30-2011, 09:58 AM
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You can wait till not losing weight for couple of weeks, not sure how long that will take. Or turn, and finish your lamp and expect it to go little oval on you.

Around here like about 8 to 12 inches of waste on each side of the burl, wait six to eight months before turning.

Last edited by wildwood; 10-30-2011 at 10:02 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-02-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Ok the burl I posted started cracking pretty badly. Within 24 hrs it had developed a large crack along a grain line. Other than that the checking is very minor. I dont think i will be able to use it as a lamp as I had planned but it will likely remain good enough for some sort of project. I have heard of people using alcohol to displace water from turning blanks. Has anyone ever used that particular method with success on pieces this large? Another thing I thought of is how the burl was harvested from the log. Is there a certain way of harvesting burls from a log to help insure better drying and turning? I will be starting a thread in the milling forum with photos of the log. thanks to those who helped so far.

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post #8 of 10 Old 11-02-2011, 09:23 PM
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My experience with drying bowls is to rough them out and then use DNA and soak for 24 hours. Remove the bowl from the DNA and allow to dry for 1 hour before wrapping the outer portion of the bowl and the rim with several layers of brown paper and tape it secure. Weigh the bowl once it is wrapped and then set it aside. Continue to weigh the bowl once a week until there is no change in weight. Depending on your location and climate this could take between 3-6 weeks if the bowls wall thickness is approx. 1" thick.

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post #9 of 10 Old 11-02-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome thanks for the tip Dave. In this case I was trying to make a lamp should I soak in the DNA longer or let the blank dry longer or both?

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post #10 of 10 Old 11-03-2011, 07:54 AM
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Can find detail instructions for drying wood here:
http://www.woodturningonline.com/Turning/Turning_articles.php?catid=30

Burls have crazy grain and rot, prone to checking or splitting without controlled drying. How you cut the burl from the log and time can help improve your success. Only ways know how to dry burls is end seal and set aside to dry or leave 8 to 12 inches of log on each side of burl end seal and set aside to dry. How long depends upon moisture content when cut, thickness of burl, and relative humidity in your area. SWAG on time about 3 to 6 months to over a year.

Drying wood for turning more art than science. Wood from the base of the tree normally has stable grain, easier to dry. Wood from limbs, crotch, limbs and burls have unstable grain thus more prone to checking and cracking. Of course species, thickness, relative humidity in your area also important. Once wood has reached EMC, regardless of stable or unstable wood grain normally can turn without many problems. Burls, some fruit and exotic woods, reaction wood can and will give you nightmares.
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