Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Burls

I've had this chunk of wood laying around for 4 or 5 years.  It's a Eucalyptus Burl that was cut off of a dead tree that was sitting in an empty lot.  I've debated what to do with it and finally decided on Saturday night to do a natural edge nested set.
The blank was mounted on a faceplate and put on the lathe.  I can swing 20" inboard and as you can see from the next photo I needed every bit of that.

Clearance on this corner was about 1/16".  If the gap in the bed was filled It would have scraped.

The outside was shaped and a tenon turned on the bottom.  While working on the shape I decided that I would core off the bottom of the blank to form a standard bowl and then the rest would be done natural edged.

This also ensured that more of the burl figure ends up on the natural edge set.  Some of the wood closer to the tenon isn't as figured as the rest of the burl.  Initially I was planning to fill the voids with a filler like coffee grounds and epoxy but I think I've changed my mind now.

Sunday morning I chucked up another big piece of burl, this time an Oak Burl.  I neglected to take a before photo.  This burl also has a number of large voids.

Top view, I used my new Stebcenter to drive this blank, I don't think I'll be doing that again, it should be very useful on spindles and small bowls but on something this large and hard it didn't work very well.  Perhaps the 1" version would be better (mine is 5/8").

Tuesday night I decided to start the coring process on both blanks.  The Oak Burl was up first.
I decided to leave the blank thicker than normal because of all the voids, I didn't want it to fly apart.  It's just under 14" diameter.
 I still need to sand it inside and out as well as remove the tenon.  The core removed also needs to be cleaned up, I think I can get another core out of it, leaving me 3 bowls from this blank.

Next up the bottom of the Eucalyptus was cored off.  This photo is a pretty good representation of how that was accomplished.  The curved blade cuts in from the side rather than the top.  This is made a little more difficult because the tool support gate has to be held back from the entry point.  Normally the gate would be as close to the blank as possible to minimize overhang and maximize tool control.

 I wasn't sure how well I was going to like this bowl, I was thinking it was going to be much plainer than this, I like the way the straight grain runs through the middle of the bowl, almost dividing it in half.

In this photo you can better see how much straight grain there is on the outside of the burl, especially on the right hand side.  This one is slightly larger, just under 16" diameter.  It was also left slightly thicker for the same reason, I didn't want it flying apart on the lathe.

 The core out of this bowl (the natural edge from above) will be turned and cored and will hopefully produce 5 or 6 bowls.

The 2 bowls together, the lower right on the Eucalyptus is a partial natural edge, not a chunk missing.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! It great turning burrs and seeing whats inside the growth. I love putting the first coat of oil on and seeing how its going to to look!