An Amazing White Cedar Burl

I get some unusual burls and this one is worthy of a story. The image below shows a 2 ft diameter white cedar burl with impressively thick bark. I love to turn bark edged bowls, so this one got me excited, but how to turn this one?

I studied this burl for a week trying to decide the best way to turn it and one requirement was to get a bark edged bowl. The gallery of images below show the story of cutting and turning this large burl. I finally decided to cut two slabs horizontally (parallel to the floor). The slab cut from the top part of the burl is shown mounted on a lathe in the gallery below. The in tact bark edge is positioned toward the lathe head stock so it will become the top of the bowl. Both slabs are about 23" in diameter and 7" thick. The next images show top and side views of the fresh turned bowl. The bowl is 4.5" deep, 22-23" in diameter, and the wall thickness is 5/8". The bark on this burl is impressive but also soft and decayed in most areas. It took great effort to keep the bark on this bowl, using copious amounts of thin cyanoacrylate glue. The next slab should produce a similar bowl. This bowl was turned green and now needs to dry for finishing. Drying should be uneventful since white cedar seldom cracks. The wood has some nice spalting and colors, and some areas with chatoyance. These features will show up much more after sanding and oiling. I will post images of the finished bowl in a month or two.


The following images show the sanded and oiled bowl. This bowl is now available in my store on this web site.



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