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Five Bowls from one large Oak Burl

In a previous blog post (January 20, 2020) I described turning a 23" diameter bowl from a 250 lb oak burl. You should look at that post before reading this one. Since that post I have turned four additional bowls from this burl. In this post I provide details of this amazing project. The burl was provided by a customer in New Jersey, but before shipping to Minnesota, I gave instructions for cutting the large burl into four pieces suitable for shipping and turning. I constructed a 3D model of the burl from many photos with dimensions provided by the customer. I then sent detailed instructions for cutting the 24" diameter burl to give four pieces. This was tricky and required an expert arborist to make the cuts. The following images tell the entire story of cutting this 24" diameter (250 lb burl) into pieces for shipping and turning. Read the descriptions under each image for the story of this amazing project.

All of these bowls bowls have great grain figuring and colors. They are now drying with no signs of cracking. It will be fun to see how they will look when sanded and oiled. I have great expectations since most wood figuring and colors really pop out when finished. This has been an amazing project and one that could have had a not so happy ending. The burl was very large and heavy and had to get from New Jersey to Minnesota. It first had to be successfully cut to give pieces small enough for shipping, and it had to be solid and stable. It did have an active ant nest that resulted in small holes in some of the bowls, but the ants were dispatched before shipping and I only found dead ones while turning. I needed to use my new Stubby S1000 lathe which had just arrived (put into service on Jan 1, 2020). I could not have turned the bowls 1 and 2 on my other lathes (too heavy or large). Everything went well and the bowls look great, so there is a happy ending. They do have to be finished and shipped to New Jersey, but that should go well.

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