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Thread: Concerning burls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Concerning burls

    I have a cherry tree in my yard and on a dead limb is a small burl. I was looking at it yesterday and the outside of it is quite solid although Ido see a couple of holes going deep into it that are about an inch to inch and a half accross so I dont know what the interior is like.
    Anyway, I am going to cut it off the tree and if it seems solid enough, try and make something with it.

    My question is, since I have never worked with a burl before..... What is the best way to determine how I section it or mount it to my lathe? It is small enough that I could actually put the whole thing on there.
    (I will take some pics of it on the tree so as to give everyone a better idea later today if it isnt raining when I get back from work.)

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    It is a lump on just one side of the branch or does it surround it? Either way, my suggestion would be to cut the burl lengthwise with the branch, and try to remove the pith in the process. If it's on just one side of the branch, you'll get one dome-shaped burl cap out of it. If it surrounds the branch, you'll get two shallower caps. (Or maybe even three, depending on the size.)

    But take that with a grain of salt. I don't have much burl harvesting experience. Most of the burls I've turned had been cut into blanks before I saw them, but on the 'raw' burls I've gotten, I cut or turned the pith out as part of the process. (One exception was a wildfire-damaged manzanita burl. I left the pith, but it wasn't your average burl.) Once you cut into the burl, you may also find the wood is rotten on the inside. In those cases, I either adjust my intended project to be something that would fit the shape of the non-rotted wood, or I go find another piece of wood to turn.

    Gee, you've got the Vortex Disease bad. You're starting to eye the burls in the trees in your yard.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    hehehe yeah Im eyeing lots of trees! I think it may be cronic at this point!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    I am going to assume that the inside of this is rotted looking at the condition of the limb that it is on. But the outside seems solid albeit quite dry.




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Goodland, Kansas
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    Rich I would say there is not much solid looking wood in that one. I had a friend of mine that was trimming some of his fruit tree's and brought me a burl that looked almost like what you pictured. There wasn't enough solid wood to even make firewood out of it. There is probably a lot more rotted wood that you won't see till you cut it.

    I say cut it and see. I would cut it length wise to the branch and see what you have. May surprise you to.
    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.

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