Live edge burl bowl

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Project by Scott Oldre posted 12-27-2009 07:24 PM 1875 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife’s friend at work gave her a chunk of gnarly looking wood and she brought it home. I have no idea what it is, and wasn’t really sure I should put it on the tiny little lathe as it was completely out of balance even after I had shaved it a little on the bandsaw. Thankfully I invested in an EasyRougher not too long ago and it can take a ton of abuse and still make quick work of whittling down the chunks into something I can work with. The pieced now stands 4” tall and is about 6.5” wide.

This piece had a lot of holes and rot and I was pretty nervous as it banged into the roughing tool over and over while the little lathe was getting shook to death. As it came into something resembling round, as usual I quickly sanded a section and smoothed it out to see just how the wood would show once finished. I was awed! So I kept at it and started hollowing it out. about halfway into the hollowing, I found nature had already done most of the work, as it was 50% rotted out underneath the cap. Even more so as I dug in deeper. As I neared the bottom, there was almost nothing left resembling solid wood, so I cut a clean hole down to the point where it just had nothing left, and put a cocobolo plug in it.

The base is Australian Myrtle (at least I think thats where it’s from…the guy that sold it to me sounded like Crocodile Dundee). Hope you like it. Its by far that holiest piece I’ve done and felt it was fitting since I finished it on a Sunday.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

10 comments so far

View alholstein's profile


222 posts in 4211 days

#1 posted 12-27-2009 07:30 PM


That is a very interesting bowl. I really like the edging that you put on the top. I looks a little scary turning with the missing pieces.


-- Al Holstein "I wood do it"

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3368 days

#2 posted 12-27-2009 07:53 PM

Great jog, it is amazing. Chunks of wood “are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”
Thanks for sharing

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3244 days

#3 posted 12-27-2009 08:27 PM

Great job – This encourages me to work with some real odd ball pieces of wood I have laying around. You never know what you going to get until you try.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4416 days

#4 posted 12-27-2009 09:28 PM

Very good piece of wood and nice turning.

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

View Glen's profile


116 posts in 3246 days

#5 posted 12-28-2009 04:24 AM

Very nice turning Scott. I like the rot and holes. They add “character” to the bowl.

-- Glen

View bookmarm's profile


1 post in 3241 days

#6 posted 12-28-2009 04:30 AM

it looks wonderful! We have no recollection of where this burl came from. We took out some trees and shrubs (Red Tips) a few years ago and seems like this showed up around then. I was worried it was too rotten to turn.
Glad it turned out interesting. Enjoy! If we come across more, will pass them on to you!

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1078 posts in 3600 days

#7 posted 12-28-2009 05:41 AM

Hey Bookmarm, you shall see the project first hand tomorrow. My personal librarian will bring it into work with her.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 12-28-2009 08:52 AM

Fantastic bowl. That is one scarry turn! Not sure I would want to try it. Great job.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2577 posts in 3853 days

#9 posted 12-29-2009 12:55 AM

Great looking bowl, the base looks like Australian Myrtle. We all sound like Crocodile Dundee when selling wood to you guys over there. LOL. Works every time. Great piece of turning.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2269 posts in 1232 days

#10 posted 07-01-2015 08:59 PM

Gnarly pieces of wood that simply dare you to put sharp steel to them. I got a “Rose Fist” off a dead Rose Tree (the big hunk where the trunk of the Tree turns into an elevated Rose Bush) and turned it into this

Pity the people who are so scared of exploding wood that they throw anything that looks like it might have a crack in it!

-- Mark

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