American Smoketree Burl Cauldron

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Project by Operaman posted 06-27-2012 02:59 AM 3377 views 1 time 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


3594 posts in 2622 days

#1 posted 06-27-2012 03:07 AM

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

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2393 days

#2 posted 06-27-2012 03:11 AM

Impressive piece !

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

View Operaman's profile


153 posts in 4050 days

#3 posted 06-27-2012 03:19 AM

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


13551 posts in 2897 days

#4 posted 06-27-2012 03:22 AM

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


124 posts in 2408 days

#5 posted 06-27-2012 05:14 AM

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


4423 posts in 3027 days

#6 posted 06-27-2012 08:02 AM

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


17594 posts in 3393 days

#7 posted 06-27-2012 08:58 AM

Now that is cool. Great work!!!1

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

View tamboti's profile


207 posts in 3346 days

#8 posted 06-27-2012 11:27 AM

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

-- Africa is not for sissies

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3441 days

#9 posted 06-27-2012 12:17 PM

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

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Operaman's profile


153 posts in 4050 days

#10 posted 06-27-2012 12:24 PM

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


1571 posts in 3282 days

#11 posted 06-30-2012 05:49 PM

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 2886 days

#12 posted 07-25-2012 09:50 PM

Nice, Scott.

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

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