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Author Topic: How long can I store an Oak burl before sawing?  (Read 447 times)

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Offline GDM

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How long can I store an Oak burl before sawing?
« on: July 13, 2019, 04:36:44 PM »
I am selling some Oak trees (Q. Cerris) for firewood and noticed a few of them have rather large burls on the trunks. I am not yet a woodworker but would like to do some projects in the future.

If I have the trees cut down, how long can I store the burls whole (with some sort of sealant on the ends) before slabbing them? Would it be OK to leave them in a garage for a few years before cutting or is it better to cut asap?

Also, what's the best way to process a burl into slabs?

Thanks in advance for any pointers.

Offline low_48

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Re: How long can I store an Oak burl before sawing?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 10:32:39 PM »
Depends on how much cracking and bugs you can tolerate. A whole burl left untouched with the bark on, will likely attract powder post beetle and other bugs. It's a crap shoot on how badly it will crack. If you leave the burl on a trunk section, that section will definitely crack! I've also seen people confuse a burl with an over growth repair, but I imagine you can identify a real burl. If the burls are large, you might contact a veneer buyer, make the money, then buy what you need in a few years if you really need it then. Some plans with a few year delay have a tendency to not happen. My experience anyway.

Offline GDM

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Re: How long can I store an Oak burl before sawing?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 03:21:50 PM »
Thanks for these comments. So if I decide to keep it, do you recommend removing the bark, slabbing, and storing asap?

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: How long can I store an Oak burl before sawing?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2019, 07:35:13 PM »
Wood of large volume, green, will dry fast on the ends and the shell but not inside. Where it dries it cracks because it shrinks around the wet center. Think of it as if you expanded the center. Many will say to remove the bark to remove the shelter for insects but this is not always the thing to do unless you can except the cracks. Other than keeping the wood under water it should be sawn and stickered asap. I keep my logs in the coldest, wettest place I can and not for long.


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