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Experiment - Making Buckeye Black and Blue.....I hope
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Thread: Experiment - Making Buckeye Black and Blue.....I hope

  1. #1
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Experiment - Making Buckeye Black and Blue.....I hope

    Buckeye grows some pretty cool burls, but what makes the wood really dramatic is the black and blue coloring.
    But........it doesn't always look that way.
    When you first cut Buckeye it is a white/gold color.
    The coloring that develops is a fungus that can grow in the wood under the right conditions.
    Usually you just leave the whole burl sit for a couple years.
    Then you cut it up and see what you have.

    With this Buckeye I am trying something different.
    Here I have a 300 pound burl that I have cut into 3 manageable pieces.
    They are in black garbage bags to keep them from drying out and to give the fungus good conditions to get started.



    Buckeye burl usually has bigger burl points and a lot of voids with bark and dirt pockets.
    This burl was the best my supplier had in his wood yard. I picked through all and settled on this one.
    Very compact burl covering the entire piece. This may be the best one from this year's harvest.




    Here you can see the start of some of the fungus. Looks a lot like mushroom mycelium. (spelled wrong)



    When the weather warms up over 70f I will let these pieces cook in the bags for a couple weeks.
    After that I will cut them into slabs and try 2 different methods to turbo charge the coloring.
    One method is with corn meal covering the wood with the slabs flat on top of each other. This is supposed to give the nice blue coloring.

    The second method is the same except you coat the faces of the slab with mayonaise.
    This is supposed to give the darker black coloring.

    Supposedly they will be colored up within a month and ready for drying and stabilizing.
    I don't know how well this will work because I have never tried it before.
    These methods are like seeing bigfoot.
    You never get to talk directly to someone who has done it.
    You talk to someone who knows someone who talked to someone who did it with great results.

    I will make posts in this thread as the buckeye experiment continues.
    This should go into a category of useless info, but possibly a little bit interesting........or not.
    I love having my own subforum where I can post my ramblings without getting into trouble for making inappropriate posts.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Lol love experiments like this. Hope it goes as well as you think it will.

  3. #3
    This is gonna be awesome.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    This is going to be great.

  5. #5
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    Tried unsuccessfully to spalt some beech years ago so will be watching this with interest. Did you wet the wood before you bagged it?

  6. #6
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    I didn't wet it. It was still green. Cut about 1 month earlier. Still had a moisture content over 30%.
    I was just told another method with buckeye using beer. I was told it has to be German Beer though.
    I might try that as well.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  7. #7
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Today I pulled out the smallest chunk to see how it was coming along.
    This is about a 70lb chunk of the burl.
    Looking pretty good on the outside in a moldy sort of way.


    I will be using the meat cutter band saw to cut into oversized pieces.


    This is the first slab I cut. The reason why you don't see a lot of eyes is because I cut the slab extra thick to make the cut surfaces become the edges of the blocks. When I cut again I will make cuts parallel to the outer surfaces of the burl so it will show the eyes on the faces of the blocks.


    This is all the cutting I will do at this phase of the experiment.



    The wood is still good and moist. Still over 20% moisture content.


    Next I will get some cornmeal to try with this portion of the burl.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
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  8. #8
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    Now for the corn meal.
    I bought some organic cornmeal because I wasn't sure if the regular stuff might have chemicals that would inhibit the fungus growth.

    Here I poured a layer of cornmeal and covered the 1st slab.


    Now the rest of the pieces with cornmeal in between and covering everything.


    Now I closed up the bag.


    Now I will move it back in a sunny spot and let it sit and grow.
    Mark Farley / It's a Burl
    Phone 541-592-5071, Email burlsource@gmail.com
    Visit our web store

  9. #9
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    Boy-howdy, I'll betcha that is going to get ripe by the time it's done!
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  10. #10
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Good luck. This is a very entertaining WIP.

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