Turning Archive 2005
Jim Shaver Oakville, Ont.
About 6 years ago an area not too far from my home was being cleared for the expanding development of a new neighbourhood. As part of my daily routine I would drove past the area, for a number of weeks wondering what was going to happen to the lovely stand, a 50- 50 hard wood - soft wood mix, I paid close attention to the progress of the clearing.
Finally one day I saw that the entire area had been cut and cleared with the trees lumbered and organized in such a fashion as to give confidence that the large trees were going to be logged and milled.
I came back later that evening and took a walk into the area to survey what kind of trees had been there, there were many red oaks and maples, along with some birch and them a few sizable pines.
Away from the logs was a sizable series of piles of debris, cut branches and scrub that looked like it was destined for the chipper. In that pile I also saw what appeared to be a burl. It looked like it was trimmed from the side of a maple, perhaps the tree cutter thought it was of no value and had discarded it, my eyes lit up!
I thought otherwise and decided that maybe I had a treasure on my hands, so ankle deep in wet mud, a cold drizzle in the air and now in darkness I lifted the body of the burl onto my back and bent over stumbled with it back to my van, some 100 meters away. It was a painful struggle but in the light of my shop it revealed that it might yield some potentially nice wood. Quickly I found some white latex paint and applied a coat to the open face of the wood to seal it and hopefully arrest the drying process from cracking the wood.
I remember thinking to myself at the time, I am not much of a turner so if I let it dry for a few years and develop some turning skills maybe in time the wood and my abilities will arrive at a better time together.
Well, like I mentioned, I have been tripping over this now in my shop for 6 years and I think itís time to cut it into manageable parts. Itís fairly heavy still, and I now know I could not haul it out of the woods today like I was bale to even 6 years ago.
I am wondering what your opinion of this wood is as you see it here, is it something that has been a pipe dream or do you think itís potential is at hand?
Thanks for viewing,