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Thread: Help with turning burls

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sudbury, MA
    Posts
    38

    Help with turning burls

    I wrote to a member for some help and they suggested I post out on the forum to get as many opinions as possible. Here's some background, I've had my lathe for 1.5 years now and haven't had as much time to play on it as I should. I played hooky from work on Monday to do a lumber run and one of the places that I have had never been to before had some burls that I was immediately bitten by. Since I have never turned burls I didn't get anything very large, but I'm now stuck with the problem of how to turn them....
    I cleaned up some of the wood to see what was hiding under the bark/wax. For the pictures I simply sprayed them with alcohol and the background wood is Jatoba for those interested in a color reference.
    The Mesquite, Pecan and Thuya are dry.
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    The Tasmanian Musk and Brown Mallee are coated in wax.
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    Don't flame me too badly, but my plans were to section them into smaller pieces to make items I could give as gifts (bottle stoppers, duck calls, x-mas tree ornaments etc).
    Because the figure goes in all directions I'm at a loss as to how they should be sliced and mounted. Also is there anything special that needs to be done to the blanks to stabilize them prior to turning so they don't fly apart; wood hardener or some stabilizer? How about filling any checks w/ cyano so that more of the burl could be used.
    Any advice, would be much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Wow Nick, nice haul for sure!

    I think your idea of making various small things is a good one, as it will give you a feel for how the burls turn, and you will be able to get a lot of gifts out of those pieces.

    In cutting them up, you don't have to slice up the whole burl in one go, just take a slice off and then turn your "whatever" and this will give you an idea of how the next piece should be cut and or orientated.

    Have fun, take pictures!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    I don't think there is a wrong way to cut a burl since the grain goes every which way. You can put them in a pressure pot and inject resin or dissolved plexiglass into the wood. Some of the stuff from the edges can be cast with a colored resin to fill the voids. PM me for some leads to where you can find out how to do this. Don't want to be accused of pirating members. I got kicked off a different site for posting a link to here.
    Last edited by Dale Johnson; 05-21-2008 at 04:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,807
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Johnson View Post
    I don't think there is a wrong way to cut a burl since the grain goes every which way. You can put them in a pressure pot and inject resin or dissolved plexiglass into the wood. Some of the stuff from the edges can be cast with a colored resin to fill the voids. PM me for some leads to where you can find out how to do this. Don't want to be accused of pirating members. I got kicked off a different site for posting a link here.
    Dale, I'd sure like to see some more info on the subject, so if you have a good link, do share

    Sharing a link to good info will not get you kicked off here!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    383

    Um, yeah, about that.....

    For the love of all things spinny, hook us up! As soon as I saw 'plexiglass' my mind went into overdrive. Oh my, I am feeling faint.....

    Hutch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    www.thepenshop.net This one has a lot of tutorials on turning, segmenting, plexiglass finish, ca finish, etc.

    www.woodturningonline.com A lot of good project plans and information

    www.woodturner.org Home page for the American Association of Woodturners.

    www.penturners.org Another pen site with lots of information.

    Glad the people here aren't as full of themselves as some sites.
    Last edited by Dale Johnson; 05-21-2008 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    Thanks Dale. When we started this site, one of our primary goals was to share information. We don't care if people get it from other sites...it's not like we're trying to get the site hit count high for better advertising stats.
    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    Here is another one. This guy is one of the best.

    www.woodturner-russ.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Johnson View Post
    ...
    www.woodturners.org Home page for the American Association of Woodturners.

    I think you meant www.woodturner.org (without the "s"). The link you posted is the home page for the Glendale Woodturners Guild, my local AAW chapter. They meet about 15 minute from me, but I still haven't made it yet to a meeting.
    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
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    That's what I get for doing this without my glasses. Edited original link. Thanks.

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