Maple Burl Table

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Project by Derek Hugger posted 03-03-2018 11:16 PM 2892 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first time I’ve attempted a finish like this. For the most part, I’m really happy with it. Here’s the process I used:

The first step was to fill all the holes. I used HVAC foil tape as a backer, and poured a two part epoxy mixed with a black dye into all the crevices. When it cured I sanded it all back (I don’t have a planer – that would have been the better tool to use). Next came the real science experiment. Rather than using an off-the-shelf stain like a Minwax, I wanted to try something that would really make the grain pop. I read online about several different acid treatment techniques and decided to try one. I spread a tannic acid solution on the wood, allowed it to dry, and then put ferric nitrate over it. It turned a sickly looking bile green. Next, I hit the hole thing with a heat gun (lots and lots of heat), causing a chemical reaction that turned everything a chalky cinnamon brown. Then, I sanded it back. Next, I applied several coats of Tru-oil to it. It was at this point the wood transformed and came to life. The whole process was significantly more work than I had anticipated, but in the end, the result looked pretty darn good. Under the right light, the grain looks like it’s on fire.

As only six photos are permitted, I’ve attached three of the finished piece and three in-process shots. One of the in-process photos shows the slab after pouring the epoxy, one shows the green color of the acid treatment, and one shows the slab after heating and sanding back the acid residue.


17 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8573 posts in 3608 days

#1 posted 03-03-2018 11:28 PM

Must be a good process because it looks just great!
Well done.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View TangoFox's profile


60 posts in 949 days

#2 posted 03-03-2018 11:30 PM

Doesn’t matter how long it takes if you get results like that!

Fantastic piece all around!

View chrisstef's profile


18098 posts in 3816 days

#3 posted 03-03-2018 11:53 PM


-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View wcp's profile


156 posts in 1409 days

#4 posted 03-04-2018 01:44 AM

That’s absolutely stunning. Job well done.


View madts's profile


1941 posts in 3150 days

#5 posted 03-04-2018 02:13 AM



-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View swirt's profile


5338 posts in 3782 days

#6 posted 03-04-2018 02:41 AM

Just wow! The results are amazing. Thanks for the process description. I had not heard of that before.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BobWemm's profile


2870 posts in 2736 days

#7 posted 03-04-2018 03:31 AM

That is amazing. Double WOW.
Great job.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View BRTree's profile


30 posts in 1663 days

#8 posted 03-04-2018 03:34 AM


-- Dave Heishman, Blue Ridge Tree

View TungOil's profile


1382 posts in 1305 days

#9 posted 03-04-2018 12:52 PM

Wow that grain really pops!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Andrek's profile


549 posts in 2720 days

#10 posted 03-04-2018 02:26 PM

A lot of work, but a lot of great result and pride, this is gorgeous.
Thank you for sharing.

-- andrek

View Kayvon's profile


89 posts in 3116 days

#11 posted 03-04-2018 04:52 PM

Amazing. That’s it. Just amazing.

-- Kayvon

View doubleDD's profile


9545 posts in 2853 days

#12 posted 03-04-2018 04:54 PM

You processed this into one heck of a table. Well done.

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

View John's profile


1840 posts in 2080 days

#13 posted 03-04-2018 07:43 PM

Fantastic finish on the table, great job!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View mbs's profile


1685 posts in 3750 days

#14 posted 03-05-2018 02:18 AM

Its beautiful!

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3093 days

#15 posted 03-05-2018 04:59 AM

Out standing, your finish method sure turned out fantastic.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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