|Project by Tony Strupulis||posted 01-31-2011 09:04 PM||3741 views||3 times favorited||8 comments|
I found this birch burl laying on top of my brush pile. I have no idea how it got there because I thouroughly screen the brush for stuff like this before anything goes on the pile.
The burl is probably 8-10” across. None of the wood was rotten, but the outside surface started to get some spalting. I wanted to keep the outside color, so I didn’t do much sanding to it. There are still some gouges and marks on the outside, but that’s now part of the character.
I carved the inside with a pair of 1/2” carbide carving burrs (ball and flame tip) driven by a Dremel with a flex shaft. They were the biggest burrs I could get in an 1/8” shank. I tried to get the walls to a uniform 1/4-3/8” thick. Some of the undercut areas were really hard to get to. I sanded the inside smooth with several abrasive buffs and flap type sanders.
The finish is several coats of hand rubbed tung oil (wiping varnish). Many people seem to go for the dipped in plastic look on their burls. I was not going for that look at all. The inside has a high gloss (but not buried in a layer of plastic) because it was sanded smooth and the outside has a semi-gloss finish because it was still a little rough. I wanted it to be like looking inside an oyster and finding a pearl.
I probably have somewhere around 60 hours on this project. I listened to a lot of podcasts under my ear muffs while carving away!
-- Tony - http://ravensedgetoolworks.com