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How to slice a burl

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Forum topic by shipwright posted 09-09-2011 09:52 PM 1817 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


09-09-2011 09:52 PM

A friend just gave me this burl which I would love to slice into veneer but I don’t want to turn it to trash so the question of you who have exoerience with this is “On what plane should I slice it for maximum effect?”
My guess is to continue on the plane at which it has been cut already. Am I right or would I get more grain effect at an angle of some sort?

Thanks in advance.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/


13 replies so far

View Hoakie's profile

Hoakie

306 posts in 2783 days


#1 posted 09-09-2011 10:06 PM

I say you just float it in a pond and call it “Hippo” :)

To be honest I will be looking forward to replies as I have some that I need to cut up but am a bit afraid myself.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

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Porchfish

581 posts in 1279 days


#2 posted 09-09-2011 10:53 PM

This is a toughie , not knowing how thick it is. Too bad it was decapitated to start with , but that’s probably how it turned into a gifted piece. At first glance , it looks like 3 pieces to me .I would separate the hippo’s head from the body. The head and neck could then be separated into 2 smaller pieces for lathe turning. The figure you see is what you will get, ,magnified by circumstance , if you continue to slice on the plane already set. The eyes you see on the top won’t be limited to that top 1/2 ” or so, but will carry through with bisecting rays (I bet) . This would be the plane to follow if you were going to resaw this lady…Veneers ? how much will you lose to kerf etc. remember that burls can often hide vacuoles and incursions of all sorts of oddities, most of which are not good for the saw blade and screw up the continuity of veneer surface area and you can end up with a whole lot less than what you thought you would If it were mine it would be lathe turned into at least three objects…but hey , I’m old and set in my ways … the hippo is an interesting idea though, just sharpen up your carving tools, add an inspired cut or two and voila, the hippo is free ! just don’t throw him/her into the pond, she’d just go belly up & sink !
Good luck, happy deciding, and have at it ! Is it a big leaf maple burl ?

-- If it smells good, eat it ! The pig caught under the fence is the one doing all thesquealing

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Nomad62

726 posts in 1705 days


#3 posted 09-09-2011 11:17 PM

I’ve slice many burls, and I would recommend slicing it down just as you are looking at it, taking slices top to bottom at whatever thickness you want. You will need to have some dry stickers to use to keep them nice and flat as they dry. Have fun, burl wood is wonderful!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


#4 posted 09-10-2011 12:57 AM

It’s already dry and yes, I think it is big leaf Maple.
It was a throw in when my friend bought some other pieces so it may well be that what it was cut from is the better piece.
I do use a “woodslicer” blade and don’t lose much to kerf, so I could get a number of veneers from it.
They could go a long way in marquetry size pieces.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

323 posts in 1667 days


#5 posted 09-10-2011 01:21 AM

All I see is how many pens I could make with that beauty :)

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View peteg's profile

peteg

3003 posts in 1570 days


#6 posted 09-10-2011 01:22 AM

If you’re not sure Paul just post to NZ & I’ll send it back hollowed out, oh ,plus the shavings, it’s not a problem honestly ::: )))

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

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5365 posts in 2824 days


#7 posted 09-10-2011 02:44 AM

i have no idea…but cant wait to see the results…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Roger's profile

Roger

15280 posts in 1551 days


#8 posted 09-10-2011 03:46 AM

I’m sure there is something magnificent waitin to get outta there.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2128 posts in 2671 days


#9 posted 09-10-2011 05:29 AM

A house down the street has 3 trees with a few of those each on each tree and they kind of grow in a spiral I live in Florida but I do not know what they are called.

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shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


#10 posted 09-10-2011 08:03 PM

cr1, Thanks for suggesting the obvious. I had just passed it off as not very interesting looking in the rough and assumed that the good stuff was nearer the outside.
I did as you said and this is what it looks like:

The usable area if sliced into veneer would only be about 4” x 6”, but I could get maybe ten slices.
On the other hand, there are two, maybe three turnable chunks.
Still looking for guidance.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5304 posts in 1545 days


#11 posted 09-10-2011 10:28 PM

Thanks to all who contributed ideas.
I got off the fence and decided that since I’m more of a veneer guy than a turner, I should slice it.
I got eleven pieces with nice figure and there are still a couple of little bulbs that I may turn.

Thanks again.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View SalvageCraft's profile

SalvageCraft

274 posts in 1273 days


#12 posted 09-12-2011 12:16 AM

That’s a burl? It looks more like the bathroom floor first time I went out drinking!

-- Jesse --

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 1705 days


#13 posted 09-12-2011 04:53 PM

Definately big leaf maple. Beautiful job slicing it up!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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