First attempt at hollowing a burl

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Project by Bob Collins posted 09-10-2008 12:18 PM 1616 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hollowed this Red Gum burl with an Arbotech Mini Grinder. Has to sharpen the blade continuously.
Picture 3 is flattening the bottom.

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

6 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3678 days

#1 posted 09-10-2008 01:55 PM

That is an amazing looking piece of wood. I am not familiar with Red Gum, is it very hard and is that why you had to repeatedly sharpen the blade?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View kevinw's profile


191 posts in 3705 days

#2 posted 09-11-2008 07:31 PM

where could I get one of the grinders you mentioned. Haven’t had any luck locally. Like the piece. Very nice

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2505 posts in 3650 days

#3 posted 09-12-2008 02:25 AM

Mark. Red Gum is native to Australian and is very hard wood when dry. It is beautiful wood to turn on a lathe. The burls are very hard hence the sharpening of the cutting blade. I now have a Tungstun cutting wheel but haven’t used it yet.

kevinw. The Mini Grinder is a product of ARBORTECH and I am sure the firm is American, a quick look on the internet should soon tell you. Hope you find one they are a magic power tool.

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

View schwingding's profile


133 posts in 3791 days

#4 posted 09-12-2008 07:00 PM

Mark, that is not an easy task, as you have found. I have an Arbortech that I use similarly. The steel cutter that comes with it is not suitable for this purpose, if you ask me. As you have discovered, among its limitations is that it dulls quickly.

I replaced mine with their carbide cutter – it never dulls!

You didn’t ask for it, but I’m going to suggest another tool anyway – a 4” grinder with a chainsaw wheel attached to it. I can’t recall who makes it, but it is literally a little chainsaw wheel that fits on the standard 4” grinder. Our local Woodcraft carries them. King Arthur maybe? Not sure. Anyway, I use it to remove the bulk, then switch to the arbortech to finish up.

-- Just another woodworker

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2505 posts in 3650 days

#5 posted 09-13-2008 02:39 AM

Thanks for the information Mark. I have some bigger burls (some 18”x12”) and the Arbortech wont cut, just burns. I now have a cutting wheel called a “Rotary Chisel” that fits a 100mm grinder. It has re-sharpenable tungsten carbide teeth and although I haven’t used it yet was told it will do the job. Like the idea of a mini chainsaw wheel and will have a search of the net. I live in a country town in Australian and the stores just don’t carry these tools. Burls are expensive out here and illegal to take from the bush but can be obtained. Wink wink. I have a West Australian Jarrah burl drying out and will be spectacular when hollowed.

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

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 09-13-2008 02:58 AM

Boy would I like to have some of that burl. They do make good looking bowls and other projects. Good looking job on that bowl.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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