I need some advise on processing these Walnut burls

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by PaBull posted 12-07-2011 02:40 AM 1643 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3627 days

12-07-2011 02:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut burl

My neighbor has a walnut grove and tossed these burls along the road. I asked him if he would miss one if I would take it. He said take them all.

The basic two questions are, how do I dry these without cracking or splitting, and secondly how do I mill them. I could use a chainsaw.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

8 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2921 days

#1 posted 12-07-2011 06:16 PM

Interesting opportunity. How to cut it up… depends on what’s in each one, and what you intend to do with it. I take a piece like that and determine the wood content, both for size and shape; if there is a small turning block sized piece, that’s how I cut it; if there are boards, that’s how I cut it; but whatever decision I make, it’s important to remember you can always cut it later but you can’t cut it back together if you later change your mind. With wood like that, an inclusion or 5 is somewhat expected, so try to be less picky. Once cut ( a chainsaw is just fine to whittle them to a more manageable size), seal up the end grain and let them set until you use them. Watch out for nails!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4901 posts in 3923 days

#2 posted 12-07-2011 06:32 PM

Rough cut ‘em, get the bark off, seal ‘em, and then wait for a long time for them to dry. I kept a cherry burl for over a year before I turn it.
Have ya got a moisture meter?


View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3627 days

#3 posted 12-07-2011 06:33 PM

Nomad, Thanks for the advice so far, but don’t go away, more questions:
  • Do I want to keep them whole while they dry, or will this take too long?
  • If I were to cut these horizontal for more extreme grain configuration, it would be all end-grain, right?
  • What would I seal it with?

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3627 days

#4 posted 12-07-2011 06:39 PM

Bill, no I do not have a moisture meter, but Christmas is here soon enough.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 3044 days

#5 posted 12-07-2011 06:48 PM

You may want to ask Greg (AKA OregonBurls) seeing as how his job is dealing with burls, I’m sure he’d have some good advice for you.

Oh, and nice score.

-- Matt -

View OregonBurls's profile


580 posts in 3111 days

#6 posted 12-07-2011 07:32 PM

It you would like to give me a call I would be glad to share with I know. 541-450-9499
Too much to type. Too many questions. LOL

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

View PaBull's profile


956 posts in 3627 days

#7 posted 12-07-2011 08:18 PM

Thanks for that phone call, Greg. That is a lot of good information. You really know your burls.

Greg, could you look at the last picture, is this dried out and cracked too much?
The first two pictures show the pins you were talking about right?

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View Bertha's profile


13519 posts in 2656 days

#8 posted 12-07-2011 09:04 PM

Greg is definitely King of the Burls. Good luck!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics