Working with burl for bottle openers?

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Forum topic by BinghamtonEd posted 12-21-2015 05:47 PM 626 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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2298 posts in 2608 days

12-21-2015 05:47 PM

So a buddy of mine dropped off a couple of burl blanks (looks like walnut to me) that were too small for his use. The biggest one is about 12” long, 8/4 thick, and 3” wide. I have a couple of these inset bottle opener kits from Rockler, and was thinking of making bottle openers from the burl. I’ve never worked with burl before. I don’t have a lathe, the shaping will be done with spokeshave, dremel w/ sanding drum, and sandpaper.

These burls have not been stabilized. Is that something I should be doing for this application?

Normally, with straight-grained wood, I would run the grain along the length to provide maximum strength for the prying motion these will endure. Is this even a consideration with burl that has no discernible grain direction? I don’t want these to break, but it also doesn’t take much force to open a beer.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

1 reply so far

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695 posts in 4331 days

#1 posted 12-21-2015 07:30 PM

You’ll be fine. Burls are not known for their strength for the reasons you’ve mentioned already. But you going to be opening bottles; plenty of strengths for that applications.

Nice sharp spokeshave will do an excellent job of shaping.

If you have checks/cracks, you should stabilize them with CA glue. You can even finish with CA glue being careful not to glue your project to your hand … (experience talking)

Burls have some of the most beautiful patterns and will make nice bottle openers.

-- Nicky

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