Oregon Madrone Burl - Oversized Natural Hardwood Blocks
This is some really nice Madrone Burl that was over 3 years in preparation.
The day before Christmas in 2009 a fellow brought in a large fresh cut Madrone Burl. He had intended to sell it to the veneer buyers to get money for last minute Christmas presents. What he didn't find out until too late was that the veneer buyers had closed down for the holidays. He showed here in a panic. The burl looked real good so we bought it. I had the burl cut up into large manageable sized blocks 30 to 50 pounds each.
Here is one of the blocks.
I cut some of the burl into slabs and then into oversized handle blocks to air dry the normal way. I ended up with some good blocks but a lot of waste.
At the advice of a supplier who purchased some of this burl I wrapped a few of the larger chunks with plastic pallet wrap. His advice was to wrap it up with a few layers of plastic and put it in a store room and forget about it for a couple years. Three years later I found the pieces I had set aside.
Looked like this.
The wood was still wet and slimy. I cut one of the big chunks into oversized handle blocks and put them into the dehumidification drying room and forgot about them once again. A couple months later I started checking the moisture content. Yesterday I found when I cut some of the thickest pieces in half they had a moisture content of about 10%. Over 3 years later and now this wood is ready to use.
Madrone Burl gets used for knife handle material both in the natural form or with stabilizing. I cut a bunch and sent them in to be stabilized. I also cut these oversized and set them aside for those who are happy with it in it's natural form. When stabilized Madrone does not have a dramatic weight gain like some woods. My suggestion with this wood would be; if you are going to use scales, wait for the stabilized pieces to come back from K&G. But if you are going to use the wood on a hidden tang knife the natural pieces should be fine as long as a finish is applied to the wood.
Working with natural Madrone Burl will be a lot like working with hard Maple.
One bonus is that there are no open pores, open eyes or voids to fill. The guitar builders like this wood because it is easy to get a smooth as glass finish.
If you want to try out some of the natural Madrone burl just click on one of the photos below to go where the Natural Madrone Burl Blocks are located in the web store.
These are the blocks I just added to the store. They are priced from $25 to $45. These are much larger than normal sized blocks. Most will yield more than one handle and extra ferrule and spacer material.