What can I do with this Burl

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Blog entry by Karson posted 07-07-2009 10:41 PM 2995 reads 0 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I looking for suggestions for this burl. It was one of those purchases with no product in mind. I bought it 10 years ago so it’s well dried by now.

It’s 30” high with a small flat spot, maybe 8” wide, on the bottom and 32” high. The flat spot is at least 2” thick, The rest of the burl is not as thick.

It was sanded or planed flat when I bought it but it has shrunk as it dried so there are now low spots on the surface. The back is chainsawed flat, which means not really flat. The edges have been water blasted to remove all bark and so there are some sharp pointed pieces of wood.

I haven’t asked but I’m sure that my wife would not let me make a table out of it. Because, with the grandchildren and the sharp edges, it is probably not compatible.

Too big and heavy for a clock, and not sure if I want to cut it up into smaller pieces.

Looking for suggestions.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

50 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4103 days

#1 posted 07-07-2009 10:46 PM

a bench/chair of sorts?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4222 days

#2 posted 07-07-2009 10:47 PM

try carving it into a sign or something. a router would do a good job but if you do it by hand tools are gonna have to be razor sharp

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18639 posts in 4130 days

#3 posted 07-07-2009 10:53 PM

Hmm?? No clock, no table, no cut. I guess about all that is left is an almost a wheel for a wheel barrow :=))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4437 days

#4 posted 07-07-2009 11:10 PM


I see a table … a table …thats it. Round the points a bit if you need to.


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3724 days

#5 posted 07-07-2009 11:14 PM

Send it to me!!!....seriously, if a table is out of the question….then perhaps as inlay material, as a box, resawn for vaneer, as turning material – pens, plates, shallow bowls…....a decorative panel in a door….course most of those require some cuts…

I gotta stop, Im drooling all over my computer….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4363 days

#6 posted 07-07-2009 11:16 PM


I see it as a piece of art. Really, planed and smoothed flat, then oiled and waxed, I think it would make a beautiful wall hanging.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4393 days

#7 posted 07-07-2009 11:26 PM

Why not build a table top around it? I think it would look really cool as sort of a giant inlay in a dinning room table.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3781 days

#8 posted 07-07-2009 11:30 PM

Why not build a table top around it? I think it would look really cool as sort of a giant inlay in a dinning room table.

Now I like that idea…and make the table a totally contrasting wood to high light the burl.

-- Don S.E. OK

View dustyal's profile


1310 posts in 3929 days

#9 posted 07-07-2009 11:32 PM

Wood burn an ancient treasure map on it and then mount it on a wall and tell stories about looking for the lost treasures? uh, thought I’d try something off the wall… sort of speak… :) like a backboard for darts?

Well, could you ship it to your buddy for another platter turning? duh, just how many pens sets could you make from it? Did you mention the wood flavor.. like use it to smoke some meat on the BBQ?

Most logical would be a low coffee table or butcher block for the kitchen. Yes, for safety you’d have to lose the sharp corner-edges… We have one with sharp ends… and I wouldn’t trust it if we had youngsters in the house. Actually, I really don’t trust myself around it.

Try cutting a big piece out of the center and leave a ring of the outside edging? Use two different pieces for projects that retains the basic natural beauty? For a beautiful piece of wood it may be a bit awkward to use.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4615 days

#10 posted 07-07-2009 11:33 PM

ding ding ding .. I think we have a winner!! using it as the base/centre .. nice idea

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Peik Löf's profile

Peik Löf

115 posts in 3826 days

#11 posted 07-07-2009 11:35 PM

you could… give it to me, i think thats a pretty good idea

-- My signature is awesome.

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 4246 days

#12 posted 07-07-2009 11:40 PM

Sorry Buddy. I have no ideas to throw to you. It is an interesting shape so maybe you could do something to enhance that. An island shape of sorts.

-- Rich, Nevada,

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4855 days

#13 posted 07-07-2009 11:53 PM

I believe that keeping it as one piece would be better than making pen blanks from it. I’ve not really thought about removing the pointy spikes because that is one of the things that makes it so unique. A wall hanging might be the thing to do. I’ve got a friend that has a 36” thickness sander so i could probably get it flat. and a little thinner so I’m not hanging 80 lbs on the wall. (I don’t know if that is what it weights) If maple weights about 4lbs per bd ft this might be 8-10 bd ft maybe less. So between 25 and 40 lbs.

Keep the suggestions flowing we might be on to something here. I also like the idea of making another table outside of this one. Maybe with a glass top. How much does a 4 X 8’ sheet of glass cost. It would be tough to put in a leaf though.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4476 days

#14 posted 07-07-2009 11:53 PM

Karson, I have a piece similar to this and not as large that I finally decided could beocme the feature top on a few boxes.
I think I have a pic around tht shows the idea I have for the rest of it.

I’ll have to check

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4701 days

#15 posted 07-08-2009 12:13 AM

Sorry Karson, I couldn’t turn that, but someone could.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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