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Thread: English White Oak Burl

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kutztown PA
    Posts
    252

    English White Oak Burl

    Greetings all

    It has been a while since I posted a picture. A couple of months ago, my tree guy called me to ask if English white oak was any good for turning. I had never turned any, and told him so, but I went on to say that I was sure that if it was not suited for turning, it would certainly burn well! So, a few hours later I and my trailer were on the way to pick up this tree. It was immense, and strained the resources of everyone involved, including a hefty Kubota tractor, getting it on my trailer. As the crew as making their last cuts in the trunk, I noticed a slight bulge at the very base of the tree.

    "See that?" I said? "That's a burl."

    So they went a little bit above and beyond, or is that below and beyond? They buried a chain in the dirt to get that burl for me. To make a long story a little shorter, here is the result of the first and the largest piece. I've got two smaller ones left, one for the tree guy as a thanks for his dedication to preserving beautiful wood. Without his willingness to cut it out for me, it would have been chewed up in the stump grinder.



    I turned this piece from soaking wet to finished thickness all in one shot. The wood was so corrosive I had to stop halfway through and steel wool all the exposed steel surfaces of the lathe and tool rest with WD-40. I had to plow through a prodigious amount of sandpaper too, since I sanded it to finish right away. I suspected it would wrinkle, and it did - like a raisin! However, it was a very nice effect, with the exception of having to re-level the base.

    After letting it dry for about a week, I finished it with one coat of Bush Oil and buffed it. Overall size is 9" deep and about 8" in diameter. Thanks for taking a look.

    Oh yeah, about the rest of the tree. The wood is very pretty, and is afflicted with ring shake through and through. But it burns well!

    Bill
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,706
    Bill beautifully done as always.

    You don't have the Robust yet do you? Which lathe did you turn this on?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    759
    Great background story, Bill, and I love the piece! Very artsy, especially with letting it wrinkle.

    Too bad about the rest!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,089
    That's some pretty stuff, Bill. Nicely done. I like the story, too...sorry to see the rest of the wood didn't pan out as well as you'd hoped.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Pickles Gap, Arkansas
    Posts
    271
    Very nice, Bill... and that is a great piece of wood!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Mason Michigan
    Posts
    455
    Spectacular Bill!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Brookhaven, Ms
    Posts
    64
    Beautiful piece Bill! I've sworn off Oak, but I do have a couple burls scouted out. I love the way you orient these burl forms, really shows it off nicely.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kutztown PA
    Posts
    252
    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    Jeff, I turned this on the Vega, which handled it very well. The Robust is coming in about a month. I love my Vega, but I cannot turn spindles on it. I just got some Thompson gouges in, and I have to go over to a friend of mine and use his lathe, since the Vega will only do 17" spindles. That is about how long the handles will be, but I need to drill them too, and I cannot wait for the Robust to show up.

    Billy and Vaughn - stories - I have been known to tell them every now and then, and I have found that just about any story will help with selling a piece. Actually, I am not too disappointed with the wood. We heat the house with wood in the winter, and white oak has lots of BTUs lurking inside.

    Mark and Pete, it is not often that I come across oak burl, and it is almost always a treat, if not the easiest stuff to turn.

    Travis, I hear you with swearing off oak. Red oak on my own is never done anymore, and if someone specifies it in a job, I actually increase the price to account for the hassle. White oak is a maybe if it is good looking, and I turned the first piece of black oak ever this past summer, which cut like butter and needed no sanding. But burls are always a different story. I have another white oak piece that I am fairly dreading. It has been drying for about two or three years now, and I am sure it is of the consistency of iron!

    Bill
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    Bill the piece is beautiful. That is a nice show piece.
    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Smithville, TX
    Posts
    358
    Another winner! I just finished a piece of oak burl a friend had sent me. A first for me, I realized early on to keep the form simple.
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

    www.samantics2.com

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