Chained to the burl

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Blog entry by Transition posted 01-28-2012 08:32 AM 7678 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I came across a nice sized burl in a tree that had come down. Unfortunately, there was a chain sticking out of it. But I didn’t want to pass up the burl. I figured, “No problem. I’ll just unscrew the anchor and still get a nice sized bowl.” While attempting this I broke anchor (or what I thought was the anchor) at the wood’s surface.

So I mounted the piece on my lathe anyway and started to turn. My intent was to carefully remove enough wood around the metal so that I could get a purchase on it and twist it out. I was fairly successful at removing the wood. However I quickly discovered that the “anchor” ran deeper than I thought. I took the wood off the lathe and started at it with a chisel.

After about a half hour of work, my growing suspicion proved correct – the “anchor” was actually part of the chain, which extended into the wood about 3”, and formed a loop arond the center. Someone must have put the chain on this part of the tree when it was less than 6” in diameter, and forgot about it. I’m guessing that the growth of the tree around the chain gave rise to the burl. I did manage to save some of the wood and I hope to post a turning.

Pic shows where I dug in to the wood (starting from the bottom of the pic, and moving left)

Pic shows cross section, where two severed ends of the embeded chain (dark grey marks, left & right) are exposed.

And as a bonus I was able to recover some antique chain parts!

So be forewarned: If you ever see a chain sticking out of a burl…

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

5 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5392 days

#1 posted 01-28-2012 08:42 AM


Good thing you noticed it!

That could have been a very BAD thing!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4577 days

#2 posted 01-28-2012 02:31 PM

Last week I salvaged a log from a tree downed by a storm that had a 8 or 10’ section of logging chain stuck in a void in the center. It looked like it got caught in the crotch and someone packed the exposed length in the hole and the tree grew around it. The tree service it it with their chainsaw. I’m just glad I didn’t find it with my sawmill blade!

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4144 days

#3 posted 01-28-2012 02:36 PM

glad that no blade was damaged.. very interesting. count the rings n see how old those parts are :)

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

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4896 days

#4 posted 01-28-2012 07:22 PM

Neat how the tree was able to grow around the chain

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View wiser1934's profile


530 posts in 4487 days

#5 posted 01-29-2012 04:42 AM

thanks for posting this. the burl is gorgeous. looking forward to seeing a post from that burl

-- wiser1934, new york

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