Mystery Burl Wood

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Forum topic by JR_Dog posted 05-02-2013 05:06 PM 1598 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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526 posts in 2833 days

05-02-2013 05:06 PM

I was wondering if anyone can help me determine what kind of burl this is? I just purchased it off Craigslist. It’s about 35 to 45lbs or more… 15”W, 19”L, and 10”H. I used my sander to clear away some of the outer and expose a little of the inner wood. I really have no idea what it is. The guy I bought it off from said it was given to him over 20 years ago and has been sitting in his basement ever since. If anyone has any thoughts before I cut it open please let me know.


*I cut a small section off it last night. I think it may be Cedar burl from comparing it to images on Google:

10 replies so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8865 posts in 3356 days

#1 posted 05-02-2013 05:19 PM

Good luck! What do you plan to do with it?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 3909 days

#2 posted 05-02-2013 05:59 PM

Don’t cut it…..turn it, not sure what it is but I would be thinking bowl but that’s me…good luck my friend

-- Cosmicturner

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 05-02-2013 06:38 PM

Hey Doc,

Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. I need to find out what it is first. My first thought is to use some of it to finish my Grandmothers Urn, and also to make some Bracelets/Bengals.

Hey Cos,

I don’t know if I’ll go the bowl route, my mini-lathe would have a very hard if not impossible time turning this beast. I’m not sure but do any of you think it’s possible it’s rosewood, or mahogany? It sort of has a cedar look to it as well but there is no cedar smell to it when I sand it.

View DocSavage45's profile


8865 posts in 3356 days

#4 posted 05-02-2013 06:49 PM

do you have a lot of it? If so you might go below the aged surface. Some of my older cedar is not aromatic, but it hasn’t cracked or split.

Cedar is also grainy and easy to dent? How big is it? could you band saw it in half to turn on your lathe?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 05-02-2013 08:01 PM

Hey Doc, it’s 15”W, 19”L, and 10”H, pretty good size chunk. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t actually have a band saw; ugh. It’s on the list but right now I’m saving for a drill press. Well I can tell you it’s certainly not easy to dent, finger nail test, but then again this is a burl chunk so it may be more dense then what the wood might regularly be; just a guess on that too. I have my feelers out to few others that deal with a lot of burl wood to get their advise before I cut it up.

Oh, and yes Cos… it’s going to be turned if I made it sound like that wasn’t going to happen in my previous post; just probably not a bowl – I love my lathe and will certainly use most of this for that but being a bit of a novice I just want to ask around before I hack it up. From the heft on this and it’s hardness I’m sure my new carbide cutter will be my best friend again soon.

View OregonBurls's profile


580 posts in 3661 days

#6 posted 05-02-2013 08:33 PM

looks like a fir or pine burl?

-- Greg, Southern Oregon, What can I say but God Is Good!

View MasterSplinter's profile


3 posts in 2363 days

#7 posted 05-02-2013 08:35 PM

Definitely a question for milo baughman. :)

View BobWemm's profile


2692 posts in 2439 days

#8 posted 05-02-2013 11:36 PM

I have absolutely no idea what this might be, but it sure looks good. If you want to send it down to me I can do a DNA (Did Not Arrive) test for you. It will just fit on my lathe, he he he.
If you want my address just let me know.

-- 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 joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 2586 days

#9 posted 05-03-2013 12:11 AM

Is it fair to assume you bought it from someone in Florida?? location might help determine species.

-- Who is John Galt?

View JR_Dog's profile


526 posts in 2833 days

#10 posted 05-03-2013 12:38 AM

Thank you Greg, I very much appreciate your insight. I wonder though, isn’t fir or pine softwood? This doesn’t feel like softwood to me – it has the same resistance to a fingernail dent as my scrap piece of bubinga; but like I mentioned in a previous post… that may just be a characteristic of burl wood no matter the species.

MasterSplinter – I just checked out Milo Baughman’s work… pretty impressive; somehow I think he has better things to do than answer my questions… but I guess you never know eh? lol.

Bob – Too funny; lol with the acronym, I may have to use that one in the future. Wow you have a lathe that would fit this monster – L.U.C.K.Y; although I’m not surprised considering the awesome pieces you pull off.

Joey – Yes I was thinking the same… wondering what type of wood is common and native for FL. Then I found out that there’s another woodworker that owns a Rosewood Farm in the same town I bought this burl… that doesn’t provide any proof but it’s sure great to wish sometimes.

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