Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Tackling a Piece of Box Elder Burl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017

    Tackling a Piece of Box Elder Burl

    Curt Fuller sent me a gorgeous piece of box elder burl a while back, and I thought some of you might like to see a few pics showing the process I went through to get a couple pieces out of it last week.

    This piece was pretty odd-shaped, so it took a little jockying to get it oriented with the major burl spikes aligned with what would become the top of the turning. I used a spur center at the headstock end...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 08 800.jpg 
Views:	40 
Size:	78.0 KB 
ID:	32631

    ...and the live center at the tailstock end. I didn't get any pics of it, but I used my bandsaw sled to cut a flat spot (roughly) parallel with the top where the live center needed to go. Here's the tailstock view after the first few cuts with the bowl gouge. (I didn't use the Ci1 on this piece, since the wood was soft and I wanted to take light cuts. A sharp bowl gouge fit the bill.)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 07 800.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	76.7 KB 
ID:	32632

    Here it is about 10 minutes later. Looking more round now.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 09 800.jpg 
Views:	36 
Size:	82.6 KB 
ID:	32633 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 10 800.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	83.4 KB 
ID:	32634

    Another half hour or so later, I had the outside finish shaped and a tenon made. This wood was relatively dry, so I planned to turn to finished thickness from the start. No DNA soak for this one.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 11 800.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	75.3 KB 
ID:	32635

    I also still hadn't decided what I was going to make now that I had the blank round, so I called it a night at that point so I could figure out my next steps. I debated making a set of nested bowls, one large hollow form, or some combination of the two. This blank was a great candidate for a set of 3 or 4 nested bowls, but I'm still on the learning curve with my coring rig, and I was hesitant to get too ambitious with trying to cut thin cores. This was too nice of wood to mess something up. I was also intrigued by the spiky top, and wondered how it would look on a spike-topped hollow form.

    By the next day, I had decided to make a bowl and hollow form. I still hadn't decided if the hollow form would have spikes all over the top, or if it should just have a spiked collar. Before I made that decision, I still had some coring to do. BTW, the perspective of the first pic below is skewed...the handle on the coring tool is not as big around as a trash can. It just looks that way in the photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 12 800.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	89.4 KB 
ID:	32636 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 13 800.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	78.3 KB 
ID:	32637

    In the end, I was real conservative with the coring rig, leaving the bowl walls quite a bit thicker than I needed to. That was still better than making a burl funnel, IMHO.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 14 800.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	77.9 KB 
ID:	32638

    After a few more hours of finish turning and sanding, I ended up with my bowl and hollow form. I ended up leaving the entire top of the hollow form spiky, because if I had cut away enough wood to get to a smooth top, the form would have been shorter and squatter than I wanted. Plus, I just wanted to see how a spike-topped hollow form would look.

    Here are the two pieces ready for finishing...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 15 800.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	72.8 KB 
ID:	32639 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Box Elder Burl Progress - 16 800.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	65.4 KB 
ID:	32640

    They're finished and buffed out, and I took pics earlier tonight. I'll post the finished pics tomorrow in separate threads. The figure in this wood is gorgeous. Stay tuned...I think you'll like the pictures.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Looking good Vaughn! I bet these look great with the finish on them....

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    618
    What a beautiful piece of wood!
    I like what you've done with it very much.
    Why has common sense
    become so uncommon?

    My Woodwork Site

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,256
    Wow is all I can say. How much do you have to hang onto the end of that tool to get down deep into the wood and not have it catch. I guess the tool rest is essential to keep the tool upright?

    I thought elder was very hard once close to dry. Do you think the dryness helped turning this design or would it have been easier if it was greener?

    Are these tools made with different bowl profiles or they all pretty much the same due to the arc?

    Way too many question entered my head here.
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Harvey, Michigan
    Posts
    687
    Great looking stuff Vaughn! Looking forward to seeing how much the grain came to life once the finish was applied! Nice work!
    Steve

  6. #6
    That is a sweet piece of wood, you lucky dog! And excellent use of it! Bet it's going to look amazing when finished. I can see where that coring rig would pay for itself pretty quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    Beautiful Vaughn. Can't wait to see them finished.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Wow!



    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    Thanks for the comments, guys. I've posted the results here and here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    How much do you have to hang onto the end of that tool to get down deep into the wood and not have it catch. I guess the tool rest is essential to keep the tool upright?
    Rob, it's not so much a case of holding on tight, it's more a matter of feeding it smoothly and steadily. The tool rest captures the knife to keep it from twisting (for the most part), but it's still pretty easy to get a belt-squealing catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    I thought elder was very hard once close to dry. Do you think the dryness helped turning this design or would it have been easier if it was greener?
    As I understand it, box elder is a relatively soft cousin of maple. It's got a nice closed-cell surface like maple, but it cuts pretty easily wet or dry. The surface right under the spikes was pretty hard, though. I don't think this piece was completely dry, but I don't expect it to move much, if at all now that it's finished. It may wrinkle a little bit, as some burls like to do, but I don't think it'll warp significantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Are these tools made with different bowl profiles or they all pretty much the same due to the arc?
    The coring rig I use (McNaughton) has a variety of knives, each with a different radius. Between the shapes of the knives, and the different angles at which you can approach the cut, there aren't a lot of limits on the shapes they can do in the hands of a skilled turner. I'm still at the point where I'm glad to get it done without making a lampshade.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,448
    Very cool Vaughn, that is some beautiful wood.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

Similar Threads

  1. Box Elder Burl NE Bowl
    By Vaughn McMillan in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-28-2009, 03:22 AM
  2. Box Elder Burl NE Hollow Form
    By Vaughn McMillan in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-24-2009, 02:44 AM
  3. Box Elder burl natural edged lidded box.
    By Curt Fuller in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-01-2008, 11:49 AM
  4. Box Elder Burl
    By Curt Fuller in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-27-2007, 12:49 PM
  5. Box Elder burl bowl with turquoise
    By Curt Fuller in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-26-2007, 08:43 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •