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Drying Burled Wood

Thoughts on the proper way to dry freshly sawn burls. December 15, 2005

I have some fantastic spalted burled maple from a tree that was taken down about two years ago. I want to slice some of it up approximately 1/8 to 1/4' thick. What would be a good way to seal it?

I have dried a great deal of lumber and would use a latex paint or wax on the ends to control checking, but these will be pieces of about 8x12". Would there be a problem of staining if I put the latex paint on the sides? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor L:
After milling the burl up you may want to embalm the stickered pieces in a box packed with dry sawdust. This should allow the moisture to migrate out with no checking. Depending on the size of the pieces you may also want to experiment with drying it in your microwave.

From contributor J:
Make sure to sticker it well (stickers about 6" apart) and use a lot of weight. They will tend to buckle being so thin.

From contributor F:
I would go further that Contributor J and suggest not slicing burl thin until you are ready to make something with it. Typically burl is sliced or sawn to veneer thickness or left very thick. Because of the multitude of grain direction in a burl it does not have much strength. If it is sawn to .25" and exposed to the air it will become a stiff potato chip shaped item.