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  1. #1
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    How do you cut an oak burl?

    I have a huge oak burl. I watched it grow for almost 40yrs. Last spring we had to cut the tree. The burl is about 10' circumfrence. I am not a woodworker. I am a fish taxidermist. I would love to get some slabs from it to use in my business. How do I cut it? I have a friend with a 3' chainsaw. Is an oak burl as beautiful as a maple burl? Help? Any suggestions?

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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    If it is 10' in diameter that's HUGE!

    Either way, you'll probably want to find a sawyer with a kiln. Leave it on the stump until you can talk to them. This will give you the best result possible!
    ~Phillip

    "Okay Hunny, so my hobby is collecting other hobbies. Atleast I'm well rounded!"

  3. #3
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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    10' in circumference is a lot different than 10' in diameter. A 10' circumference burl would be about 3' in dia. not as big but still nothing to shake a stick at.
    Burl doesn't have a traditional grain pattern as you find in normal logs, so there really isn't any right way to slice it up.
    Does it wrap around the rest of the log (looks like a snake after a big meal) or does it just protrude out one side of the log.
    Either way I would probably slice it up in the direction that the tree grew, just like you would saw a normal log.
    As Phillip mentioned you should be able to find someone in your area with a BS mill that could cut it up for you. That would be much more efficient than the waste that will result from going at it with a chainsaw. Many of the BS mill manufacturers will have a list of owners of their mills around you. That might be a good place to start looking.
    Oak burl can be quite pretty, due to Oak's pore structure I would say it might not be as spectacular as Maple burl, but all burl is awesome and worth having sawn.

    Dave:-)
    :-D Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile :-D

    Honestly Honey, that will cost around $100 $150 $200, and I need a few more tools.

    Heard from a client..."If I had your tools and experience...I could do it myself"

    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
    --Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    Thank you all for the information. It is 10' circumference not diameter. It looked like something wrapped around the trunk of the tree. When it was smalll it looked like a little animal wrapped it's arms around the tree. The tree was about 35' tall. I hated to cut it down but the tree was rotting so we wanted to take it before any rot got into the burl. We cut it last spring. Do you think we should wait until spring to have it milled or is now a good time? We do have a mill here on the island. Yes, I live on a little island off the coast of Mass. So, I guess if we can roll it onto a truck, I will take it to be sliced. It also has some smaller burls on it. Is this whole burl worth any money? Thanks again

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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    We cut them all day long and dry them....Bring it on down and we will take good care of you...I have about 5 or 6 you can have a look at to see kind of what they will end up like. Give me a call if you want to talk a little 828-994-7333 Chris

  6. #6
    McRabbet
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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    Chris, I don't know if you noticed, but the OP lives in Massachusetts.

  7. #7
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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    itwas - there is an outstanding sawyer in Norton Massachusets named Craig Blake. He's a very sharp as well as honorable person to do business with.

    You can reach him through this link: http://www.majestystables.com/cgi-bin/store/cp-app.cgi Choose the "E-mail Craig" option.

    Regards,

    Scott

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    Returning Member Kyle's Avatar
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    Kyle Edwards (48)
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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    Oak Burl is tricky to saw and tricky to dry..Typical Red Oak burl is loaded with voids and distorts massively when dried too fast. White Oak is worse.The flipside is that the wood when dried is beautiful.

    Burl requires slow drying, no sun and good air flow along with LOTS of weight on the Boule.

    Saw it thick and expect degradation and you should be fine.

    Scott offers good advice.. get a good reputable local guy that can help you decide whether it is worth it to saw.

    Good Luck!

    Kyle
    http://www.sawmillnc.com

    704-258-8985 (cell) My cell phone service is much improved.. Thanks Verizon!

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    Re: How do you cut an oak burl?

    Thank you ALL for the wonderful information. The burl was way tooo heavy for us to transport so we took a chance and had the neighbor with the 3' chainsaw cut it into thick slabs. OMG It is beautiful inside. Now I have some managable slices that I can take to the mill here on the island. Some one mentioned drying them out of the weather with weight on it? Could someone explain that? SO, to prop the slabs up off the ground so the air circulates around them is not enough to take care of them? When I can figure out how to load some photos on this site I will. Until then, thank you all for being so helpful. Minnow

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