Treating Burls With Pentacryl

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Is pentracryl a proper treatment for burl wood, or are other sealers more suitable? January 6, 2005

I cut this fabulous cherry burl tonight and wanted to apply pentacryl, so I am soliciting feedback on the product before I buy and use it. I have a bunch of these and if it works out will be flush in 18+lb highly figured burls. This one was 13" long 10" wide and 4.5" thick.

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Forum Responses
From contributor T:
I have not used pentacryl, but from what I have read it is *the* stabilizer that does not fail. However, why go to that level of expense? If you are just going to sell the burls, most any turner I know expects to get an Anchorsealed product. Surely a double coat of Anchorseal will keep the burl in fine condition until the end user decides how to proceed. If I bought the burl to cut small slabs or veneer, I would not want pentacryl soaked in it. My understanding is that it plasticizes the wood and would make it impervious to any other oil type finish, which would be my preferred way to finish a cherry piece. Nice score.

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
This wood treatment product must diffuse deep into the wood, just like PEG. The problem we have with some wood, especially burls at times, is that the wood is not very permeable, so deep treatment is nearly impossible. (I noted that one advertisement for the product listed woods that are extremely permeable as being ideal for treatment.)

I do not know the treatment procedure... how long to soak, how long the solution can be used before becoming too weak, temperature required, etc. Anyone find such instructions? How much wood will a gallon treat? Will the chemical bleed out, like PEG does? Cost? We really need an exhaustive study; I have only seen so far a few brief experiences. According to the ads, this is a great product. I look forward to hearing from you if you use it.

From the original questioner:

I think I will try a quart of the product on a smaller burl and see the end result. I know a lot of wood turners and I'll see if they will be willing to try and turn it and give feedback. I will probably just Anchorseal this particularly large burl, as it has intense grain patterns and I would hate to mess it up.

From contributor M:
Most experienced woodturners do not like the resulting look of pentacryl treated woods. They tend to have a "plastic" look to them. I would simply Anchorseal them and sell them as is. Less cost for you, and the savvy turner will most likely be more interested in your products, too.

From the original questioner:
I appreciate the feedback. It will save me some money since I have tons of Anchorseal. I wanted to try a quart on some small knife scales anyway, but will sidestep using it on the large burl.

From contributor R:
I would also get the burls wrapped in paper as soon as possible. Fruit woods crack really quickly. Put the small burls after treating in grocery sacks, and wrap the large ones with newspaper like a package. Put them in the darkest, dampest place you have. Don't use plastic - the wood will mold. Get them sold ASAP! No matter what you do, they will be cracking in a few days. Then you have really nice firewood. I turn and cut timber, both. Trust me, get them sold so the turner can cut them to rough size.

From contributor A:
Personally I do not care for pentacryl on burls. I use an end log sealer LV sells and have had excellent results.