Turning Archive 2007

English White Oak Burl

Bill Grumbine (Kutztown PA)
>Greetings all

It has been a while since I posted a picture. A couple of months ago, my tree guy called me to ask if English white oak was any good for turning. I had never turned any, and told him so, but I went on to say that I was sure that if it was not suited for turning, it would certainly burn well! So, a few hours later I and my trailer were on the way to pick up this tree. It was immense, and strained the resources of everyone involved, including a hefty Kubota tractor, getting it on my trailer. As the crew as making their last cuts in the trunk, I noticed a slight bulge at the very base of the tree.

"See that?" I said? "That's a burl."

So they went a little bit above and beyond, or is that below and beyond? They buried a chain in the dirt to get that burl for me. To make a long story a little shorter, here is the result of the first and the largest piece. I've got two smaller ones left, one for the tree guy as a thanks for his dedication to preserving beautiful wood. Without his willingness to cut it out for me, it would have been chewed up in the stump grinder.

I turned this piece from soaking wet to finished thickness all in one shot. The wood was so corrosive I had to stop halfway through and steel wool all the exposed steel surfaces of the lathe and tool rest with WD-40. I had to plow through a prodigious amount of sandpaper too, since I sanded it to finish right away. I suspected it would wrinkle, and it did - like a raisin! However, it was a very nice effect, with the exception of having to re-level the base.

After letting it dry for about a week, I finished it with one coat of Bush Oil and buffed it. Overall size is 9" deep and about 8" in diameter. Thanks for taking a look.

Oh yeah, about the rest of the tree. The wood is very pretty, and is afflicted with ring shake through and through. But it burns well!


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