Cluster Burl Platter

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Project by bigwoodturner posted 1924 days ago 1137 views 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was going through some of my cut offs and I had this piece of Maple Burl Cluster. A cluster burl is where more than one aireal burl is growing together. They are normally small but they have some incredibly tight eyes. As you can see it has a natural edge and all the voids are kept. This piece is 14 by 16 inches and is a platter in my fractured platter series. I had thought about doing some translucent laquer color but there was to much charater to enhance this piece. Some things in nature are to perfect to change.

-- Dale

9 comments so far

View savannah505's profile


1691 posts in 2185 days

#1 posted 1924 days ago

Wow, I would think this is really difficult to do, but I’ve never tried this, and haven’t turned on a lathe for many years. Looks cool.

-- Dan Wiggins

View Bill Hayes's profile

Bill Hayes

29 posts in 2251 days

#2 posted 1924 days ago

This looks great, always wanted to try this type of turning but have not had the nerve. Great job.

-- Bill, Broken Arrow OK.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8715 posts in 2698 days

#3 posted 1924 days ago

That is such a great piece. I love your interpretations of the wood.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 1924 days ago

I’m Glad you posted this Dale, I have some really great cluster burls Etc. & I’m just now getting up the nerve to start turning them . I would like to get some advice from you on how I should approach something like this.
After seeing some of your natural edge turnings I think I’m ready to take the plunge

Thanks Dale for posting this & all of your projects!!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View trifern's profile


8132 posts in 2366 days

#5 posted 1923 days ago

Nice looking platter. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 2845 days

#6 posted 1923 days ago

Beautiful, and a challenge for any of us.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2176 days

#7 posted 1923 days ago

Looks great I’m intrigued how such a turning is done also.

-- Custom furniture

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 2079 days

#8 posted 1923 days ago

what are your sanding/finishing methods with these types of fragmented pieces?

View bigwoodturner's profile


231 posts in 1944 days

#9 posted 1923 days ago

Any sanding that is needed must be done off the lathe. If you sand on a piece with voids on the lathe the fall side of the opening will be dipped or thinner than the cut side. You have to pefect your tool control to minimize any sanding if you want to turn pieces with uneven edges or voids. All of my finishing is done off the lathe with airbrush either using laquer or polly. Laquer is my preference but you have to coat all surfaces inside and out as laquer does not flex and will shatter if you don’t coat all surfaces. Some times I use waterlox and after it has compleately dried I buff it with the beal system.

-- Dale

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