I had a package from Pete Jordan waiting for me when I got to the office today. Many thanks, Pete. You rock!
Pete knows how to stretch the limits on a USPS Flat Rate box. This one was so battered in shipping the Post Office bagged it in plastic to try to keep the contents in the box.
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Although the box rattled like it was full of broken rocks, the contents were nicely intact:
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It's a nice-sized piece of cherry burl, complete with the branch it grew on. There's a bonus little cap that was saw from the backside of the burl (for a sneak peek at the figure, I'd suspect). I'm chompin' at the bit to tear into this one, but for now it's been misted heavily with a spray bottle and sealed up in a giant Ziplock bag. Now the question I pose to all you turners...
This is my first stab at a natural burl like this. The center part of piece is pretty punky near the surface, but it appears to be pretty firm a little way under the bark. The edges all seem pretty firm. How would you orient this piece for turning? My first thought was to use the flat spot on the "bottom" as a base for a natural edge bowl turned into the center of the burl, with the branch sections left in place. If I leave the branches, the pith will surely add to the cracking, but it's a burl, so I expect some voids and cracks. What says the gang?
And again, thanks a bunch to Pete Jordan for the package.