Drying Burl Wood #2: Consideration #2 By OregonBurls

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Blog entry by OregonBurls posted 08-28-2012 04:00 PM 2234 reads 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Drying Domestic Burl Wood: Consideration #1 Part 2 of Drying Burl Wood series Part 3: Pressure cooking your burls »

Consideration #2

If you have fruit tree burls or burls like madrone there are two ways you can semi-stabilize the burl.
1. Pressure cook the block:
a. I have a friend in New York who gets 12×12 x 6 blocks of Madrone and when he gets them the first thing he does is throws them in the pressure cooker for one hour.
b. Let the water cool down until you can comfortably take the blocks out with your hands. Then re-wax them until ready to turn the block.
c. Rough turn and watch it. You may have to pressure cook it again.
2. When you get your block
a. Rough turn the block to about 1 ½-1” walls.
b. Then for every 1” you boil for one hour.
c. Set it on a shelf and wait for it do dry.
d. It may move a bit but you can turn it out and finish

Pressure cooking retains more of the natural color of the wood.
Boiling takes it out and blends the color.

The cool thing is that either way you get a dye that you can soak your T-shirts in and dye them. LOL!

There are times where this will not work. If the burl does not want to be tamed it won’t. So another process is to turn it to about 1/8” walls, wet sand to finish and let it go. Madrone will twist and distort. This is my favorite way.

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

3 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3277 posts in 3953 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 06:23 AM


This sounds SO interesting, but it gives me all sorts of questions.

Do you have any more information on the pressure cooking? Does he actually use a pressure cooker or a pressure canner? How much water? How many pounds of pressure? Should I set the block on a rack inside the pressure cooker or pressure canner or can it set in the water?

Is the block dipped in hot wax? or what kind of wax?

Will these processes work on maple, oak, or elm burls?

Thanks for sharing your expertise with us.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View OregonBurls's profile


580 posts in 3389 days

#2 posted 08-29-2012 03:57 PM

I will answer these questions on the next article

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

View Grumpy's profile


24828 posts in 4091 days

#3 posted 08-30-2012 12:17 AM

I have a technique for microwaving but that’s a new one. Thanks Greg.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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