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Thread: Burl preparation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Western Maine
    Posts
    10

    Burl preparation

    Brethren, toIMG_20190903_153409796.jpg
    Today I received the gift of a whole cherry tree. I cut most of the bole into bowl blanks to be anchorsealed in the customary manner but I'm unsure what to do with the three large burls. I've considered doing nothing except anchorsealing the ends. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to slab them on my friend's bandsaw mill first.
    Two of them will yield pieces which exceed the capacity of my 16" Nova lathe. These I think should be handled to keep them as large as possible for someone else who has a lathe of sufficient capacity.
    I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions as to how to best utilize this gift.

  2. #2
    Very nice gift. Nothing wrong with making several small gorgeous natural edge pieces that would look wonderful on someone's desk or end table. And a 16" bowl would look handsome on a coffee table. I'd love to make a find like that.
    ~john
    "There's nothing wrong with Quiet" ` Jeremiah Johnson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    659
    I agree with John, cut them up and make whatever you want from them. A 16" bowl is a huge bowl, nothing wrong with making smaller bowls.

    Do not just anchor seal the ends and leave them whole or they will still crack. I was recently given 6 large burls that were cut whole and have been drying for 10 years. There are so many cracks that go all the way to the center that I am lucky if I can get pen blanks out of them.

  4. #4
    I'd definitely keep it. I like burls turned "inside out" because the live edge is usually very interesting and something you can't get from a normal log.

    I also would not fret about restricting yourself to 16" or even smaller. You can optimize for orientation, grain, depth, and design. When optimizing for size (like we're prejudiced into doing when given a large log) you don't get this luxury.

  5. #5
    I agree with the others here. Don't just Anchorseal and see what happens. Nice thought to hold for someone else BUT it it were me I'd be cutting them up and then coating them after I planned on the many pieces I could make on my 16" lathe.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Lummi Island, WA
    Posts
    502
    great excuse for getting a coring rig...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    West Boylston Massachusetts
    Posts
    526
    I am a big fan of bringing burls to the Sawmill. You can see what you have and cut accordingly.
    Good luck,
    A569E6A4-ED86-4AC8-91C7-405D2779AC3B.jpg 365A319D-84DE-44F8-A359-5A2BA3814A2C.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Scott View Post
    I agree with John, cut them up and make whatever you want from them. A 16" bowl is a huge bowl, nothing wrong with making smaller bowls.

    Do not just anchor seal the ends and leave them whole or they will still crack. I was recently given 6 large burls that were cut whole and have been drying for 10 years. There are so many cracks that go all the way to the center that I am lucky if I can get pen blanks out of them.
    Last edited by kevin nee; 09-08-2019 at 10:56 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Blairsville GA
    Posts
    2,106
    I love how threads in a turners forum with the term “ burl” in it never fails to make one look!
    Laugh at least once daily, even if at yourself!

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