Maple Burl Box, The Fast Way.

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Project by Andy posted 05-23-2016 02:13 PM 1012 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I cut this burl off of a maple tree in my woods just a little over a month ago. Now I have a dry, stabilized, and finished maple burl box. I let the burl sit for a couple weeks before rough turning. You can see from the pictures I was getting some torn grain after the rough turn and the burl had to be stabilized to get a clean cut. This is the process I came up with.

After I got the rough shape turned I dried it in the microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds at a time over about a week span until it stopped losing weight on the scale. It started out at 224 grams and stopped losing weight at around 195 grams. I imagine you could get cracks drying it this way but I didnt have any problems.

I could not find any wood stabilizer solution so I came up with my own. I used polyurethane thinned with about 25% mineral spirits to stabilize the soft fungus infested wood. I knew I had to keep the poly from drying and inhibiting the finish from getting deep in the wood so I submerged the box completely in the polyurethane can for about three hours and then let the poly soaked wood dry and cure for about 4 days.

-Turning and finishing-
After the poly was cured it turned beautifully, there was virtually no torn grain. So now I could just turn it like a regular box without having to worry about getting clean cuts. I finished the box with polyurethane too and since it was already soaked into the wood that was really easy because the wood didnt soak up the poly at all and I started building a layer right away. The box is 4” tall and 3” in diameter. Thanks for viewing, Andy.

-- Andy Smith

9 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


7889 posts in 2244 days

#1 posted 05-23-2016 02:57 PM

That Maple sure has some nice highlights on it. Great job bringing them out with that finish too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21731 posts in 3306 days

#2 posted 05-23-2016 05:19 PM

That a gorgeous box, Andy. Thanks for the stabilizing tip!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Steve Cherry's profile

Steve Cherry

172 posts in 2031 days

#3 posted 05-23-2016 06:37 PM

Beautiful, thanks for such a good explanation of your process.

-- Steve - Front Royal, VA

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3067 days

#4 posted 05-23-2016 07:59 PM

This box turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3023 days

#5 posted 05-23-2016 09:14 PM

You’ve taken a lot of care with this piece Andy, nice result

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View John's profile


1310 posts in 1470 days

#6 posted 05-24-2016 01:18 AM

That’s a beauty Andy!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

728 posts in 3490 days

#7 posted 05-24-2016 11:04 AM

Beautiful wood, nice box.

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View Sharryn's profile


15 posts in 2166 days

#8 posted 05-24-2016 01:20 PM

Stunning piece of work Andy, and thanks for your description of the process. Makes me appreciate it even more.

-- -Sharryn

View majuvla's profile


13354 posts in 3068 days

#9 posted 05-24-2016 05:24 PM

Prety interesting spots, make this cup even more beautiful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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