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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
I got a call last May from a member in My Turning Club about a fellow that had a large Oak tree taken down and it had a "huge" burl on it.
The member was unavailable to get the burl and he asked if I wanted to take it.
I did.
So a different club member (Peter), my son Danny, and I drove the 45 minutes up to Duxbury, Mass and met the fellow with the burl. Turns out his name was Jim.
The burl was huge. It was about 4' tall and about 3' in diameter growing off to one side of a mature 20" Red Oak tree.
The tree was already down and sectioned up into firewood.
The large section with the burl was at the side of Jim's secondary driveway.
This one was easy.
Just cut it up and load the truck (or so I thought).
Firstly, my Stihl MS310 decided to suddenly act up.
Not sure why. So I struggled keeping it running the whole day. Secondly, I couldn't make up my mind on how to section it.
I finally just said what the heqq and cut into it. Being so large a ball and the saw running poorly made all the cuts difficult.
We managed to get it done in about 3 hours
On the way off Jim's property, I mentioned to him that it was customary to give the wood supplier a finished piece and I would call him when it was done.
I ended up keeping about 6 real nice blanks and gave the rest to Peter.
I also ended up giving the original club member "finder" one of my sections and I donated one to my wood turning club wood raffle.

I tried to get the saw running better at home and had no luck. I even swapped the fuel for fresh and put a new fuel filter in.
I ended up sending it out to the repair shop for $150.00 to re-build it.
It had been 10 yrs since it had seen a shop so it was probably due.

I finally got around to rough turning a nice bowl for Jim around August and alcohol dried it and put it up on my drying rack.
I basically forgot about it until I got an e-mail from Jim around January.

Here it is coming out of the brown wrapping paper after about 6 months of drying.
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It had a crack from drying on the base and a few bug holes.
I filled them with CA glue and then mounted it on the lathe to turn a tenon for the chuck.
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Shaping went real well and I was happy with how it was coming out.
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The wood was real nice and stable so I decided to turn it thin.

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Maybe too thin.
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What can you do. I went right through the side bottom with my gouge.
I hate doing that especially with a nice piece of wood.

More to the story........

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Location: Cape Cod Massachusetts
I decided to grab the next largest blank and try again.
Here it is sitting on my headstock.
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I was kinda triangular shaped but had great grain lines.
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I mounted it between centers and brought it up to speed (around 500 RPM) to knock off the corners
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I roughed the outside and then started on the inside.
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I knew I would have to get a use of the original thin turned bowl. Dan beat me too it.
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Here it is about 8-1/2" still mounted on the chuck for the first coat of varnish.
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And here it is all done and drying.
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This wood was a little different. I call it an onion burl because the wood fiber grew like an onion, in layers.

It presents a real striking grain pattern.
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Thanks for looking,
---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
That is beautiful Mike.

Is that from the same tree you left me?

I am ashamed to say it's still sitting on that cart. I've been so busy with other stuff.

I look forward turning something out of it. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:47 am 
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Jeff,

I think so. Honestly I can't remember. It has been too long since I was passing out sections. :-)

I finised by sanding to #400 then using 4 grades of Scotch-Brite pads. This leaves the surface smooth enough to to shine.
I then mix up 75% Mineral spirits/25% Z-Spar Marine Captains Varnish. I wipe that on with a soft cotton cloth liberaly.
I give it a few minutes to set then wipe it off with a dry paper towel.
I allow it to dry overnight and then smooth the surface with a grey Scotch-Brite pad to knock down the nibs.
I then apply a second coat and repeat 2 or 3 times.
I like how it looks and it has some UV protection built in.


I have 2 blanks left in my stash and can't wait to reveal what Mother Nature put in there.

I sent Jim an e-mail letting him know it was ready to be given to him. He said he might come on down this way to pick it up.
I offered to show him how it was done and to have him pick up the tools.
Just might pick up a new turner out of this one.

This piece came out real nice. And it really took the finish well.
I think I won't have any problem selling the next couple of pieces.

Thanks,
---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Great work Nailer! Good that you keep at it too. Just got to get back up on that horse.

Beautiful wood and finish. 8) 8) 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:51 am 
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Hereabout we call that a "blister," to distinguish it from the multibud growth which makes burls. Yellow birch is especially prone to them, and they can be gorgeous.

Turning thin doesn't generally do much other than impress other turners, but if you're going to do it you would benefit greatly from a steady, and a spotlight behind the turning. A REALLY close, possibly curved toolrest is also a good idea, in my experience. I have more difficulty getting a fair curve with a straight rest, and when there's not much room for error, fairing it can lead to a bust-through.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:31 am 
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great story, pics, and experience. I'm a bit "ascared" to attempt anything that thin yet.... (large pieces anyway) so good on you for the attempt


Thanks for sharing, and the second looks awesome

Lawrence


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the comments.

George, I generally agree with you about turning thin. But this piece begged to be thin while I was hollowing it.
I do have plans for building a steady but I have not had the time to get it made yet.
As for a curved rest.....I hate them. I don't like the way they bounce the further you get away from the post.
I have two and almost never use them. I much prefer the stability of my straight rest that Teknatool provided us with our 3000's.

Thanks Lawrence. I delivered the second one to Jim on Wednesday night this week. He seemed to like it.

---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:41 am 
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nailed_nailer wrote:
As for a curved rest.....I hate them. I don't like the way they bounce the further you get away from the post.
I have two and almost never use them. I much prefer the stability of my straight rest that Teknatool provided us with our 3000's.
-


There are curved and there are curved. I use cast iron, not the bent steel type myself. Of course, it would only bend when I got a catch, right? :lol:


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