Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bisecting the burl

I'm not quite sure why but I decided it was time to cut up my burl today.  I tried for quite a while to find a sawmill to cut it up and minimize the waste but ended up deciding to bite the bullet and tackle it myself.

Step 1 was to wrap a rope around the burl and pull it out of the garage and into my driveway with my SUV.  Step 2 loop the rope around the top so the burl is tipped onto one of the already flat sides.  Step 3 fire up the chainsaw.

I had to cut from both sides to make the cut.  My chainsaw has a 20" bar and the burl is 36-38" wide leaving very little overlap in the middle.  The cuts didn't line up perfectly but it wasn't too bad.

I ended up cutting into 8 pieces, each roughly (very roughly) 18" cubed.  Each piece averages 95 pounds making the whole burl about 780 pounds.  Out of curiosity we weighed the sawdust and after subtracting the weight of the trashcan found that we had 33 pounds of shavings.

Here's a close up shot of some of the burl figure.  I'm very happy with the piece.  It's got very nice figure and color.  There are some bark inclusions but nothing that should be a deal breaker.


  1. Nicely done and a nice score too. Did you find this burl in the wild? Darn nice. I have never had to deal with a burl this big (unfortunately). Biggest I ever got my hands on was barely 250lbs and the figure was not as nice as this. So, what sort of projects have you got in mind? There are some beautiful hollow forms in there as well as natural-edge bowls (probably non-functional).

    A quick shot of thin CA will help a lot with the inclusions. Use them to your advantage and have fun!

  2. I found it on eBay via Craigslist. It was local to me (~50 miles) in the Phoenix metro area. The guy who owned it had it shipped down from Oregon a couple years ago.

    No solid plans yet. I may end up selling a fair amount of it to local club members to help offset my costs.