Chained to the burl

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Blog entry by Transition posted 942 days ago 3868 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I came across a nice sized burl in a tree that had come down. Unfortunately, there was a chain sticking out of it. But I didn’t want to pass up the burl. I figured, “No problem. I’ll just unscrew the anchor and still get a nice sized bowl.” While attempting this I broke anchor (or what I thought was the anchor) at the wood’s surface.

So I mounted the piece on my lathe anyway and started to turn. My intent was to carefully remove enough wood around the metal so that I could get a purchase on it and twist it out. I was fairly successful at removing the wood. However I quickly discovered that the “anchor” ran deeper than I thought. I took the wood off the lathe and started at it with a chisel.

After about a half hour of work, my growing suspicion proved correct – the “anchor” was actually part of the chain, which extended into the wood about 3”, and formed a loop arond the center. Someone must have put the chain on this part of the tree when it was less than 6” in diameter, and forgot about it. I’m guessing that the growth of the tree around the chain gave rise to the burl. I did manage to save some of the wood and I hope to post a turning.

Pic shows where I dug in to the wood (starting from the bottom of the pic, and moving left)

Pic shows cross section, where two severed ends of the embeded chain (dark grey marks, left & right) are exposed.

And as a bonus I was able to recover some antique chain parts!

So be forewarned: If you ever see a chain sticking out of a burl…

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

5 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7683 posts in 2684 days

#1 posted 942 days ago


Good thing you noticed it!

That could have been a very BAD thing!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 1869 days

#2 posted 942 days ago

Last week I salvaged a log from a tree downed by a storm that had a 8 or 10’ section of logging chain stuck in a void in the center. It looked like it got caught in the crotch and someone packed the exposed length in the hole and the tree grew around it. The tree service it it with their chainsaw. I’m just glad I didn’t find it with my sawmill blade!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Roger's profile


14373 posts in 1435 days

#3 posted 942 days ago

glad that no blade was damaged.. very interesting. count the rings n see how old those parts are :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 2188 days

#4 posted 942 days ago

Neat how the tree was able to grow around the chain

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View wiser1934's profile (online now)


389 posts in 1778 days

#5 posted 941 days ago

thanks for posting this. the burl is gorgeous. looking forward to seeing a post from that burl

-- wiser1934, new york

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