What would you do with this piece of Big Leaf Maple Burl?

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Forum topic by TurnTurnTurn posted 01-06-2012 04:06 AM 2696 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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604 posts in 2528 days

01-06-2012 04:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple

I have not worked with Burl before so I am trying to decide what to make with this piece. It measures 10×10 and is about 6 inches in height at its highest point. My thoughts at this point are to either turn a bowl, make a band saw or a regular box. This piece is rather small so I will be pretty much committed after my first cut. Any recommendations? I also have more bark to remove which is proving to be quite tedious. Any suggestions / comments would be welcomed.


-- TurnTurnTurn

5 replies so far

View sedcokid's profile


2713 posts in 3018 days

#1 posted 01-06-2012 02:58 PM

I always worry about cutting into a beautiful piece of wood too. I don’t know that there is a right or wrong thing to do…... It is called live and learn.

thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2656 days

#2 posted 01-06-2012 04:17 PM

I had a short section of burl elm log about the same size as your burl, I sliced it into 2” thick slices to highlight the grain and have a live edge on each piece. I used those burl pieces to make tea light candles to give as Christmas gifts.Then I resawed some of the 2” thick slices into 1/2” thick pieces to make side plates for some hand planes I also gave as Christmas gifts. I didn’t take a photo of a plane made from burl elm, but it was just as nice looking as the spalded maple project I posted.
You could also look through the project pages here. Any small project you like could be duplicated using the burl you have. When you have some idea of what you are going to use the wood for, you’ll have a better idea about how to cut your burl into usable pieces. If you have a big enough lathe, you could also make a large burl bowl! Or series of bowls. Whatever you make, I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful.

Click for details

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1906 days

#3 posted 01-06-2012 04:34 PM

It’s just a tree wart. I think you should just send it to me for proper disposal!

I wish I was so lucky to find a burl like that. The last one I found turned out to be full of ants and ant holes and pretty much fell apart when I cut into it.

As for what to do with it, why not slice across it and make book matched box lids? maybe with a bit of gold inlay or gilding around the outer edges?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


604 posts in 2528 days

#4 posted 01-10-2012 06:45 PM

Thank you for your suggestions

-- TurnTurnTurn

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2377 days

#5 posted 01-11-2012 08:00 PM

There looks to be a lot of water stain in it, using it as a turning piece may not be the best choice. The dull gray of said stain is unattractive on turnings, but not so noticable on a flat surface. I would hedge toward slices for inlays and veneering.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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