Well, I've tried turning several reel seat inserts now, and
by far unstabalized Buckeye Burl is one of the easier woods
to turn and finish.
You'll see stabalized wood inserts being sold for much more;
this is primarily due to the cost of the stabalization process,
whereby (in a nutshell) acrylics are forced into the wood
blank. This process makes the blank heavier but also much
more harder, more durable and safer to turn...unstabalized
wood is much more likely to blow out during the turning process.
The truth about non-stabalized wood is that once you've turned
it, bored and reamed it to fit the blank (custom inserts I
turn all start at .250" ID) it's every bit as tough as
a stabalized insert yet much lighter. It's a tradeoff, most
of stabalizing's benefits are found in the manufactureing