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Large Oak Burl

I received a large oak burl by UPS from a customer in New Jersey. The package weighed in at 126 pounds, and the burl easily weighed over 100 pounds. This burl was actually about one-half of the main burl that was cut before it was shipped. Three more burl pieces are also being shipped. The entire burl weighed 250 pounds, too heavy for UPS. The image gallery below shows the complete story. This is a great project, but with burls you never really know what is inside, so always a bit of uncertainty. I turned the large 100 pound piece first. It was difficult to hoist it onto the lathe, but I am getting the hang of using the shop crane, so I managed this by myself. The piece was secured to the lathe with a 6" face plate and stabilized with live center on the tail stock. The turning went well although the weight required slow turning speeds, less than 300 RPM at the start. It took two days to turn this burl. I managed to increase the speed to 450 RPM during the final stages of hollowing. Images below tell the story. The completed rough turned bowl is about 23" in diameter and 6" deep. The wall thickness is 0.5". My new Stubby S1000 lathe performed well and had no problems spinning this 100 pound burl. The gallery of images below tell the story of this bowl from tree to bowl. The colors and grain figuring in the bowl are beautiful and will really pop out when sanded and oiled after about 3 months of drying. The dark spots in the top view are smoothly ant carved holes. There was even a dead ant on one of these small holes. I plan to turn the additional three pieces of this burl in the next several weeks and will add more to this story. This was the heaviest piece I have turned and it could not have been done with my other lathes. I purchased the Stubby lathe for exactly this type of project.

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