Finish on a natural edge burl question.

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Forum topic by Raftermonkey posted 11-05-2010 06:37 PM 3674 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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560 posts in 2336 days

11-05-2010 06:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question lathe turning finishing carving burl natural edge bowl

Hey folks, I have got several different burl blanks (Red Malle, Brown Malle & Maple burl) that I am fixing to start carving bowls out of. They all have the pointy, sharp, natural texture, for lack of a better name. I will be leaving this on them. The two Malle burls will be all natural on the outside and the Maple will have the natural edge around the top of the rim. I usually finish all my bowls with several coats of either Watco Butcher Block oil or boiled linseed oil. I would like to use one of these finishes on these bowls but I am afraid that the finish won’t dry properly and even out on the natural edges, i.e. splotchiness and wet looking spots, especially on the Malle burls because of the larger area. What kinda finish do ya’ll think would work best for these?
Also on a side note, but along the same theme. Does anyone ever apply an oil finish such as BLO or butcher block oil, on a bowl while it is turning on the lathe? I have been wanting to do it this way and don’t really see any harm in it. But, I have wondered if the wood, would soak it up as well as if it was just sitting there?
Any and all help is always greatly appreciated.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

6 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 11-05-2010 07:06 PM

Here’s an option:

I enjoy his videos.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2498 days

#2 posted 11-05-2010 07:18 PM

When I have a natural edge to deal with I usually use a spray on Shellac. I apply multiple light coats. Shellac dries fast so you can get several coats on in a day.

Also – Shellac will work as a base for any other finish. One could use spray on Shellac for the entire bowl and then add something more durable (lacquer, poly, BLO, whatever) on the smooth portion.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 2478 days

#3 posted 11-05-2010 11:58 PM

what Rich stated. Shellac is a great base coat.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2336 days

#4 posted 11-06-2010 01:12 AM

Rich, and Kyle Do you have a trusted brand of spray on shellac that you use?

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2718 days

#5 posted 11-06-2010 01:32 AM

I use BLO on pens that are turning on the lathe.
It would have the same effect on a bowl.
The heat generated from the wiping rag on the spinning piece actually dries and hardens the BLO.
Then use a dry rag on the spinning piece for extra heat and polishing effect.
It leaves a soft to the touch and shiny finish…..try it !!

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Raftermonkey's profile


560 posts in 2336 days

#6 posted 11-06-2010 01:45 AM

Thanks DB, I’ll give that a try.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

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