Mulling Over My Mulberry

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Forum topic by zombeerose posted 02-02-2012 08:03 PM 2667 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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88 posts in 5238 days

02-02-2012 08:03 PM

I was fortunate to acquire a log from a mulberry tree from a friend yesterday. It’s not huge but it appears to have great potential with what looks like several small Burls. I have never worked mulberry before nor have I had the opportunity to work fresh Burls so I am eager to start playing.

So that leads to my question…how would you guys slice and dice this log to get the most pizzazz?

-- Maximize - Your Time, Your Experiencies, Your Life, Yourself!

6 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4158 days

#1 posted 02-02-2012 08:25 PM

I don’t think I can provide a good suggestion on how to “slice and dice” this log based on these pictures.

I will comment that I have turned some Mulberry and, therefore I have some experience with it. The stuff I turned did not include any burl wood.

It is a relatively soft wood (like poplar) and it seems to have a lot of sapwood. The stuff I turned was probably about 50/50 sapwood/heartwood. It’s quite pretty after it has been turned and a finish applied. The sapwood is a pale yellow in color and the heartwood is about the color of carmel.

I’ve turned a couple of bowls our of Mulberry. If I owned your piece, I think would be looking to do a lamp or candle holder type of thing (spindle work). I would probably also go a little off center to get the mixture of sapwood and heartwood.

Below is a picture of a bowl i turned from Mulberry -

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View hairy's profile


3275 posts in 4615 days

#2 posted 02-02-2012 10:04 PM

I’d be tempted to resaw it into boards for box making or something similar.

I would think a lot of those bumps would get turned into shavings making it round on a lathe.

It might work for carving, maybe you could keep a lot of that figure that way.

If it’s 50/50 heartwood to sapwood, it’s not a real big piece. You might get some spindle stock out of it.

I brought home a few truckloads of mulberry about 3 years ago. When it’s fresh, it’s a very bright yellow, but turns to a burnt orange color over time. I don’t like the way wet mulberry smells, but that went away after it dried out.

I turned this from mulberry. I turned a cylinder about 4” x 6” and hollowed it out with a big forstner bit, leaving about 1” wall thickness. I packed it into a paper grocery bag and filled the bag with the shavings. I waited 11 months and then finish turned and power carved it. As shown here, this is wiped down with mineral spirits.

Red mulberry is not one of my favorite woods, but it can turn out nice. I’d apply some wax sealer on the ends, or paint with latex paint to keep it from checking.

That’s an interesting piece you have, it should be worth doing something with.

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

View zombeerose's profile


88 posts in 5238 days

#3 posted 02-06-2012 01:13 AM

Thanks for the ideas and sharing the pictures. I have sealed the ends with latex while I wrap up another project.

-- Maximize - Your Time, Your Experiencies, Your Life, Yourself!

View saw4fun's profile


176 posts in 4422 days

#4 posted 02-10-2012 10:29 PM

I would make a shallow slice parallel to the face with all of the “burls” to start with. If they have burl grain keep on slicing but if they look like end-grain/knots I would rotate it 90degrees and cut off of that face instead. From my somewhat limited experience with mulberry, it has a tendency to warp and twist so sawing thicker than your intended usage thickness may be necessary.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3935 days

#5 posted 03-02-2012 06:17 AM

I have been hoarding and playing with mulberry lately. I heard it turns brown quickly though. Some of mine is pretty dry, I thought, but still yellow.
I sliced up some…maybe a fair amount bigger in diameter…kindof at an angle to get nice lines and got these pieces…
okay, nevermind, I can’t figure out how to load them from the phone, but, nonetheless, they were pretty.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3935 days

#6 posted 03-04-2012 05:14 AM

i seriously love this stuff!! i just want more and more, and hope it holds no ugly surprises in the future, especially since i used it in my friend’s mother’s urn!!!

actually, i have tried playing with some of the gnarly things, and many of the ones i opened up were all sapwood around the knobbys. i was sad. slice deep around them if you want some cool grain swirls though. if you can get big ones, they have really awesome swoops.

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

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