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Buckeye Burl

California Buckeye is one of seven types of buckeye tree in North America. There are also related trees in Mexico, Asia, South America and India. Buckeye burl is highly prized for the beautiful pattern of burl eyes, swirls and other figure. Spalting of the wood transforms it from the off white color to a mixture of off white with grey blue or purple. Ambers and other colors sometimes also occur. The wood is somewhat unstable when drying and usually cracks and distorts quite a lot. For this reason, many pieces are sold as stabilized. The stabilization involves cutting oversize pieces, having them kiln dried (which causes some distortion) and then impregnating the wood with a clear plastic resin under a very high pressure. Each piece is then cut down to the largest size free of distortion. This process makes the wood quite stable, dry and dense and makes the cost about double an unstabilized price or slightly more. Buckeye can be carefully dried without stabilization, but the wood will be very lightweight.

­č¬Á Good to know

Note that Buckeye burl or other parts of buckeye trees are not safe for food surfaces like functional bowls.

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