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Thread: Burl Turning Ideas? PICS

  1. #1

    Burl Turning Ideas? PICS

    I acquired the partially turned piece shown below from an estate sale and have no idea how to complete it. The type of wood is unknown but is dry and hard as a rock. Any ideas on how to approach completing it?
    Burl Woodturning 001.jpgBurl Woodturning 002.jpg

  2. #2
    Many, at least the more common styles, are simply turned with a uniform sphere shape. No real sides or walls, just a continuous curve, leaving the wood responsible for most of the aesthetics.
    Trying to turn an asymmetric curves inside often don't look correct and can detract from the overall look. A stand out of a contrasting species is always a plus.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Mesa, Arizona
    Steve -- I would flatten the bottom so it would sit flat on a table. Then, I would turn a mortice for reverse-mounting the piece. After reverse mounting, I'd turn a semi-spherical bowl -- leaving the walls thick to preserve many of the burl spikes.

    But, that's just what I would do. You should do what you think would do that chunk of burl justice.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Providence, RI
    Looks like mallee burl, could be red or brown. A scrubby sort of eucalyptus from Australia.
    -- Jim

    Use the right tool for the job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Idaho Falls, Idaho
    Actually Steve, that is such a junky and awful burl that you should immediately send it to me for proper disposal. Actually, it looks as if it would be too large for the swing of my "disposer". I agree with David Walser on what to do with it. It looks to me like a Gold field burl, which is just a Mallee burl, either brown or red, that grows in a specific region of Australia. Apparently the soil composition in that area gives it a more yellow look than most Mallee. I don't know if the Goldfield name is because that area is a gold mining region, or because of the yellowish color to the wood. Take all of this with a grain of salt, it's just something I read when I got a small piece of GFB to turn. The only thing I know for sure, is that it is as hard as lava rock. Good luck. I can't wait to see the final result.

    Sawdust Formation Engineer
    in charge of Blade Dulling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Colby, Washington. Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, near Blake Island.
    That's certainly got the potential to be a show piece, so jump in! It appears that it's mounted on the "cap" side with a faceplate. Those screw holes will be easy to hide with different fillers in necessary. Of course, you can proceed to turn it round and make a burl bowl with a traditional shape, per these three examples.

    IMG_1480.JPG Bridleveil Falls -- 13W 4H Maple Burl, Copper.JPG Wormy Bowl -- 15w x 8h jade banding.jpg

    But burls offer other opportunities. Below, I've attached an "emerging bowl" floating in a burl cap with an inlaid band. This piece won several competitions and sold for a good price. Your burl certainly would work well for this design.

    IMG_1052 (2).JPG IMG_1051.JPG

    Or, you could go the other way and use the burl's horns to create a nice natural edge piece. I have included photos of that, too.

    IMG_2411.jpg IMG_2413.jpg

    Pieces like yours don't come along every day, so make the best of it.

    Russell Neyman

    Writer - Woodworker - Historian
    Instructor: The Woodturning Experience
    Puget Sound, Washington State

    "Outside of a dog, there's nothing better than a good book; inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

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