Maple Burl Box, The Fast Way.

  • Advertise with us
Project by Andy posted 05-23-2016 02:13 PM 1083 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I cut this burl off of a maple tree in my woods just a little over a month ago. Now I have a dry, stabilized, and finished maple burl box. I let the burl sit for a couple weeks before rough turning. You can see from the pictures I was getting some torn grain after the rough turn and the burl had to be stabilized to get a clean cut. This is the process I came up with.

After I got the rough shape turned I dried it in the microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds at a time over about a week span until it stopped losing weight on the scale. It started out at 224 grams and stopped losing weight at around 195 grams. I imagine you could get cracks drying it this way but I didnt have any problems.

I could not find any wood stabilizer solution so I came up with my own. I used polyurethane thinned with about 25% mineral spirits to stabilize the soft fungus infested wood. I knew I had to keep the poly from drying and inhibiting the finish from getting deep in the wood so I submerged the box completely in the polyurethane can for about three hours and then let the poly soaked wood dry and cure for about 4 days.

-Turning and finishing-
After the poly was cured it turned beautifully, there was virtually no torn grain. So now I could just turn it like a regular box without having to worry about getting clean cuts. I finished the box with polyurethane too and since it was already soaked into the wood that was really easy because the wood didnt soak up the poly at all and I started building a layer right away. The box is 4” tall and 3” in diameter. Thanks for viewing, Andy.

-- Andy Smith

9 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


8593 posts in 2521 days

#1 posted 05-23-2016 02:57 PM

That Maple sure has some nice highlights on it. Great job bringing them out with that finish too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23190 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 05-23-2016 05:19 PM

That a gorgeous box, Andy. Thanks for the stabilizing tip!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Steve Cherry's profile

Steve Cherry

178 posts in 2309 days

#3 posted 05-23-2016 06:37 PM

Beautiful, thanks for such a good explanation of your process.

-- Steve - Front Royal, VA

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3345 days

#4 posted 05-23-2016 07:59 PM

This box turned out nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3301 days

#5 posted 05-23-2016 09:14 PM

You’ve taken a lot of care with this piece Andy, nice result

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View John's profile


1536 posts in 1748 days

#6 posted 05-24-2016 01:18 AM

That’s a beauty Andy!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

743 posts in 3768 days

#7 posted 05-24-2016 11:04 AM

Beautiful wood, nice box.

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View Sharryn's profile


15 posts in 2444 days

#8 posted 05-24-2016 01:20 PM

Stunning piece of work Andy, and thanks for your description of the process. Makes me appreciate it even more.

-- -Sharryn

View Ivan's profile


14917 posts in 3346 days

#9 posted 05-24-2016 05:24 PM

Prety interesting spots, make this cup even more beautiful.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics