Enhancing Burl

By Tom Kirkman

RodMaker Magazine This question is from Volume 7, Issue #1 of RodMaker Magazine:
Q. I like the look of burl cork but want to bring out the figure of the cork somehow. How well will the various cork fillers or sealers do this and will they change the feel of the cork? Steve...Waterbury, CT

A. Specialty cork sealer or even something like a commercial water sealer for wood will protect and seal the cork, but I don't find it to really bring out the figure of the burl very well. I think if you'll get a bottle of Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil and wipe on a single coat, perhaps two at most, you'll find the figure of the burl will really jump out at you.

As far as changing the feel of the cork, you will lose some of the velvet smoothness that you can normally achieve by sanding through finer grades of paper, but it's not at all rough or objectionable. One or two coats won't build any depth so for the most part the cork isn't changed much beyond the deeper color and range of the burl figure. There may be other similar products out there that work as well, but so far the Tru-Oil has really done a great job for me on the burl stuff. ~ TK

Publishers note:
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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