Griffin Exotic Wood

Buckeye Burl
(Aesculus californica)

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

unless specified otherwise.


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Samples of appearance of gallery grade minus
pen blanks.  Usually mostly one color. Resin stabilized and kiln-dried. 
Buckeye Burl 3/4  inch pen blank
Gallery grade minus with figure and mostly one random color
Price: $5.50

These are stabilized and double dyed buckeye. They are first dyed brown, then black, so we call them Brown Black Buckeye burl. The photo shows the one piece propped up which is a finished piece. The one in front is unfinished but sanded. The two in back are the way you'll get them. We just have a few, not a stock offering. If there is a popular color combination we could add a new stock offering, so let us know what you like. There are only about 21 total pieces available.
Brown Black Buckeye Burl
3/4 inch pen blank

Double dyed and stabilized
Price: WAS $9.50 SALE $6.50

Click the photo for view of side 2.

These are some small stabilized squares in this popular burl. Note that buckeye burl is hard to get at this time. Some providers have dropped the item completely and we still have a little left. We are relying on old stock because the raw material now costs 4.5 times the price we paid 4 years ago. The reason is that this burl has become popular in Asia, so most of it is now exported and the prices have skyrocketed so much that some of the largest producers of stabilized pieces have given up, causing a big drop in the amount of good stabilized pieces available. There are ten of thousands of pounds of burl that used to come into the US market, but now go elsewhere. We don't know what we'll do after these are gone, as the price would be so much higher then we are used to paying, that it might not be saleable anymore. We are watching to see if we can get raw material at a lower price, but so far no luck. The BEST of what we have are above.

No surprises: ALL four sides visible in photos:

Click here for a THIRD side view.

Click here for FOURTH side view.

Buckeye Burl
Piece 1
1.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches

Stabilized, natural color
Price: SOLD--more in the works for the Spring of 2019


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