Cherry Burl #1: Drying

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Blog entry by Clay Ortiz posted 01-16-2011 04:05 AM 3567 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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One day after an unproductive morning hunt, with my youngest son I came across this burl on the way back to camp. I have been seeing them all over this new club we joined this year and decided this one was small enough to experiment with. It is about 10” tall and 5” in diameter.

I haven’t been able to find any good info on the right way to dry a burl so I thought I would ask you guys for some advise.

At this point all I have done is to cut the bark off and put it on the lathe to try to get an even coat of wax to maybe control the dry rate. My oldest son put four coats of wax on while it was on the lathe. Then I melted wax on all the large voids and ends. I did check the MC and it was 15% on the ends and 25% in the middle. The tree that it came from had a diameter of about 2-1/2” and was still standing but dead . I just broke it off and took it back to camp.

Any help you guys could give would be great.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

6 comments so far

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2755 days

#1 posted 01-16-2011 04:30 AM

You found that in the woods? How cool is that! I can’t speak towards the drying of the burl but that looks like a potential vase to me. I guess I need to spend more time in the woods.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 01-16-2011 05:01 AM

Clay, why don’t you send a message to Greg and ask his help. He sells burls so if anyone on board will know how to handle this he would.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 3062 days

#3 posted 01-16-2011 05:55 AM

Yeah Doug, I was pretty surprised when we got the wax on it. Not bad for free wood if I can get it dry enough to use without it splitting.

Thanks Scott, I’ll shoot him a message.

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

View OregonBurls's profile


580 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 01-16-2011 06:11 AM

Wax and a cool place is a good bet. You need to keep and eye on it. If it starts to open up with the wax on things that you could do is pressure cook or boil it. If you pressure cook it you are looking at an hour. If you boil it you are looking at 3 hours.. If you use this technique let it cool down in the water or pressure cooker to the point that you can put your hand in the water without it getting uncomfortable. After that you can watch it or wax it again. but keep it in cool places.

-- Greg, Southern Oregon, What can I say but God Is Good!

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 3343 days

#5 posted 01-16-2011 07:19 AM

That is an awesome piece of Cherry buryl I have been looking for some for a box for my niece
If you have some or know where I can get some please let me now
Thanks Rob

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View Clay Ortiz's profile

Clay Ortiz

83 posts in 3062 days

#6 posted 01-16-2011 06:06 PM

Greg- That is really interesting. Thanks for your help.

Rob- I’m not 100% sure that it is cherry because the tree was so small and dead. As far as finding it, I don’t know about where you live but, around here they are pretty easy to find. You just take off walking through the woods looking for trees with big lumps on them. They kinda remind me of a tumor. I have a little more than 8 ac. at my house and I have three big ones that I know of. I wanted to try drying a small one though before I cut down the ones at my house. I wouldn’t know about buying them ready to use but I bet Greg at could help you out.
Good Luck

-- Clay Ortiz, North Georgia

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