Bowl Making! - Showing off some of our new toys in action!! #15: Massive Manzanita! - The pallet arrived the project begins!

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Blog entry by Eric M. Saperstein posted 09-19-2014 08:56 AM 2758 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Artisans Joins the Olana Museum Part 15 of Bowl Making! - Showing off some of our new toys in action!! series Part 16: Moving along - 3 big bowls turned »

Well we got ourselves in about 800lbs of manzanita burl … root ball that is … California scrub tree … the golden state’s original ornamental wood.

I plan to spin these into an assortment of bowls. I was hoping for a bit wetter but it is what is is the state of CA is in a drought and this is drying out EVERYTHING! So working with this has been a little more challenging and beating me up more than I would like but the results are coming out beautiful!

And YES all with a scraper … I like my scraper what can I say with this stuff it works. When you see the rocks that pop out of this stuff it should be obvious why hitting one of those with a bowl gouge would be bad. Its not once and a while, its every one of them and it destroys tools. I have four chainsaw chains to sharpen now … and we had to buy the carbide nugget cutters. The gnarly ones with the 1/8” solid carbide chunks brazed to the metal wheel. They cut! I like them, but I have to setup behind a plywood shield and I need to bring my chainsaw chaps and vest to the shop this weekend to really be safe. But for now I lean over a 3/4” piece of plywood so if the grinder kicks it does not get ME.

Video and images are coming as the process progresses. There’s a ways to go but we are hitting the chainsaw hard, the grinders are grinding, the lathe is spinning. I have to get back on the camera more with the lathe two got turned and I don’t have any footage but we have a three camera shoot on the first one. I will get more on the rest.

In video production now is “Seven Bowls in Seven Minutes” and “Monster Manzanita – The Pallet Project”

Meanwhile we will share some images of the root balls … a short “Manzanita Chainsaw Madness Minute” ...

I’m looking forward to sharing the next wave of videos. As I learn more about editing and how to setup the shots they are really turning out great. The first two definitely had room for improvement. The next two will show what I’ve learned in both turning and video production.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

5 comments so far

View BenhamDesign's profile


283 posts in 2576 days

#1 posted 09-19-2014 03:17 PM

Nice, who did you order the pallet from?

-- What I do in and out of the shop at

View DocSavage45's profile


9052 posts in 3998 days

#2 posted 09-19-2014 05:34 PM


Looking good! Be safe! Protect your face and eyes! Looks really challenging.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3959 days

#3 posted 09-20-2014 12:19 AM


-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View hunter71's profile


3557 posts in 4342 days

#4 posted 09-21-2014 02:18 AM

Woha, a good haul. Now the fun begins

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4403 days

#5 posted 09-21-2014 03:11 AM

This batch came from ... Manzanita Burlworks. Also can find them on ebay, there’s only a couple suppliers on there I primarily buy from one of them in CA.

The drought in CA is taking its toll on this stuff, its dry as hell and hard to work right now. Hoping they get a rainy season this winter so next spring is a bountiful harvest of moist burls. We shall see … and we’ll see what sells this winter to justify the whole project.

Skipped turning today, had a freaking stress headache the last few days its finally starting to to dissipate. The plan is to round out some more tomorrow. Hoping to get a chance to get some footage, I got two done without much video just gotta keep moving along to get these prepped. As this turned out its dry enough that they can be ready for sale if we can ever get this event in NYC scheduled.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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