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Birch Root Has Burl Type Figuring

A friend cut down a very large birch tree that was suspected to be decayed posing a threat to the house. The tree was actually in good condition so best to put the wood to good use, such as turning bowls. I got a large piece that was cut from the root. The piece was a bit gnarly with a big bark lined hole in its center. The only way to turn this piece as a live bark edged bowl was to place the hole in the hollowed out part of the bowl. I secured a chunk of previously cut flat wood to the bark top of the piece so it could be secured to my Stubby 1000 lathe. You will see this in the first set of photos. The flat piece of wood was secured to the main piece with 4" screws just above the hole.

The photo to the right above shows the piece attached to the head stock of the lathe using a 6" diameter face plate. It is also secured using a rotating center in the tail stock for extra safety while turning. This piece is about 18" in diameter. Images of the fresh turned bowl are shown below. The wood has great chatoyance and the live bark edge looks good. The dark spot in the center of the bottom is actually bark lined (a bark inclusion) so you can see the hole in the bowl extended this far. The hole does not go through the bottom of the bowl. I estimate there is about ¾" of solid wood below the bottom of the hole.

This fresh turned bowl is 16" in diameter and about 8" deep. It now will be dried under controlled conditions until it reaches constant weight. I will post photos of the sanded and oiled bowl in a month or two.


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