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Large Black Ash Burl

A customer dropped of a large black ash burl a few days ago. I was commissioned to turn it into one large live edged bowl. The photos below show this process. The trimmed burl with an attached 6" faceplate is shown being hoisted onto my Stubby S1000 lathe with help of a shop crane. The trimmed burl weighed around 90 pounds. The burl was solid so turning was not difficult, but it took the better part of a day. After turning the outer profile with a 5.5" tenon, the piece was still to heavy for simply taking it off the lathe by hand. I took advantage of the flexibility of the Stubby lathe to remove more wood from the burl. A second bed with a banjo and tool rest was attached to the head stock to permit turning from the back side of the burl. I turned about 4" off the flat side of the burl. A photo of the set up is shown in the gallery below. I removed the piece, attached a chuck, and reattached it to the lathe. The bowl was hollowed to a thickness of about ½". The bowl came out nicely with lace and bird's eye figuring. The color of the wood had a reddish tint as soon as it was turned, but this rapidly faded to a lighter cream color. Black ash burl normally goes through color changes when exposed to air. It will probably change to a light brown as it dries. The bowl is 22" in diameter, 8" deep and weighs 4.55 kg. It is a big bowl! I will monitor its weight with time so I know when it is dry. It will then be sanded, re-turned near the bottom to remove any warping near the base, and oiled. This was a nice project.

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