Manznita Burl Bowl #2

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 04-11-2013 08:17 PM 1683 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the 2nd completed Manzanita Burl (Root Ball) bowl in our endless series of upcoming manzanita burl bowls. We’re thinking we’d better # them for tracking purposes.

I’m not going to ramble endlessly about the material just the short version is this stuff is fun to turn but likewise a nightmare. It’s everything about what NOT to put on a lathe and stab with a sharpened metal spike; THAT is what makes it so much fun. Not to mention that the net result is unique every single time. No two of these are ever going to be the same.

Finish is Waterlox marine sealer and Renaissance Wax – no stains, no extra color. All natural!

This one is simple – no inclusions of epoxy stabilization or materials added. Just strait sold wood – hollowed out the old fashioned way with a standard tool and rest. Pending is some projects with our new hollow coring devices and bowl coring rigs.

We love the color and dramatic contrast in this material so you’ll be seeing a lot of it!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

6 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4310 days

#1 posted 04-11-2013 08:28 PM

that is some beautiful stuff, what will be your price range on the ones you do this size…might want to save my pennies..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

514 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 04-11-2013 08:28 PM

Very nice. Looking forward for the next ones you promised.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2961 days

#3 posted 04-11-2013 10:34 PM

This is really stunning stuff. I remember seeing manzanita when I fought wildfires in California years ago. I remember it as shrubs. Does your success mean that it gets big enough to have roots big enough to produce burls this big or are there simply lots of species of manzanita?

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4254 days

#4 posted 04-11-2013 11:57 PM

Yes – It’s a scrub tree / shrub. The root balls get to be a descent size I have a few that are probably 12×12x12 range and I’m bidding on more of them all the time. Been just getting them off Ebay mostly. Most of the time is a large section or the whole root ball that we’re working with.

I think they dig up the whole tree to get them out. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of them available. I’d love to get a chance to raid a road crew clearing around highways or something. I can imagine truck loads of these things available!

I’m finding this stuff fascinating to work with – and as we get more into the epoxy fillers and stabilizers with all sorts of inclusions and colors its getting even more fascinating. I’ll post one of the bowls with a black/gold filler shortly.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 4945 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 12:29 PM


If you have a few minutes to spare on Monday April 22, and can get yourself to the NJ Woodturners meeting in Roseland, I’m going to be demonstrating bowl turning to the club. Willing to bet you that you will walk away with 5 things you’ll do differently.

I can probably also help you acquire manzanita more cost effectively if you so desire. I’d have to dig out his contact, but I know a guy who follows the road crews and will ship pallet loads very cost effectively.

-- Steven

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4254 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 01:07 PM

Steven – Thanks for the invite. It is my intention to venture out to some of those meetings ASAP.

I am very curious to learn more but it’s a matter of time and resources sometimes. I’ll check the calender – and yes I’d probably pick up a lot.

I’m admittedly stabbing spinning chunks of wood with sharpened metal spikes and figuring out tricks and techniques as I go. I tend to like to learn by screwing up on my own with creative things.

I’d love a pallet of manzanita! I tend to have a habit of bulk buying and thus far have not achieved this in this medium. I’m also sure there’s others around here that would enjoy that perhaps depending on cost we could do a split order even. I could also likely get our local lumber mill involved in a bulk purchase.

What’s the meeting location?



-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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