American Smoketree Burl Cauldron

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Project by Operaman posted 662 days ago 1387 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This cauldron is made from the largest known piece of American Smoketree Burl in existance. It was graciously gifted to me by a dear friend who harvested it from moutain land he owns as part ofhis large family farm. It has involved many, many hours of chainsawing, turning, carving, sanding, and finishing. It was turned on a handmade John Nichols lathe with a custom 7 ft., 28 lb boring bar.

Finish is dewaxed shellac; top coated with shop-made varnish to maintain protection while giving elasticity and breathability to the finish.

-- Cheers!

12 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


2420 posts in 920 days

#1 posted 662 days ago

beautiful work. It looks great. How big is it?

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View MonteCristo's profile


2088 posts in 690 days

#2 posted 662 days ago

Impressive piece !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Operaman's profile


126 posts in 2348 days

#3 posted 661 days ago

Thanks for asking the dimensions…I meant to put them in the original description. It is 24 3/16” in diameter and a hair under 16” tall. The burl as a whole weighed in dry at about 400 lbs. This piece represents approximately half of the tumor and was 173 lbs when first mounted to the lathe. It now weighs just over 8lbs.

-- Cheers!

View Bertha's profile


12942 posts in 1195 days

#4 posted 661 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous!!!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View woodpezzer's profile


123 posts in 706 days

#5 posted 661 days ago

My heart skipped a couple beats seeing this. Double WOW! I have a smoketree but it’s a tiny little thing even though it’s about 40-50 years old. This is just stunning!!

View peteg's profile


2710 posts in 1324 days

#6 posted 661 days ago

That is very impressive mate, thanks for posting this beautie, never heard of the timber, fabulous looking

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

View Ken90712's profile


14500 posts in 1690 days

#7 posted 661 days ago

Now that is cool. Great work!!!1

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View tamboti's profile


206 posts in 1643 days

#8 posted 661 days ago

Hi Scott well done good shape and nice wall thickness Regards Roger

-- Africa is not for sissies

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 1739 days

#9 posted 661 days ago

That’s a beautiful bowl! Wow, and a lot of burl to turn into shavings…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Operaman's profile


126 posts in 2348 days

#10 posted 661 days ago

Thanks Hal. Yes lots and lots of shavings. Luckily I was able to save many large pieces to use for inlay and other projects before turning the rest into dust.

-- Cheers!

View LittlePaw's profile


1565 posts in 1580 days

#11 posted 658 days ago

It is a beautiful work of art, Scott, The only shame is reducing 400 lbs to 8 ino dust. I hope you were able to save a significant amount from ending up in the dust pile. I cringed for the loss. I am not putting you on the spot, Scott, but I can’t help being a wood enthusiast and have always tried to max the usage and min the waste as beautiful wood has gotten harder and harder to come by and prices are going through the roof. Are there pieces left over from your original 400 lbs, or sections next to that part, that you can make other beautiful creations – maybe with less waste? I look forward to seeing more from you, Scott. Great job!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View CTgator's profile


11 posts in 1183 days

#12 posted 633 days ago

Nice, Scott.

I always said you were a better turner than a furniture maker! ;)

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