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Work in Progress - Spruce Burl Form

Part 5 - Stabilize and Sand the Outside

First of all, any cracks were again treated with a drop of thin CA which was allowed to wick into the crevasses. This should stop further cracking. wood turning tip: CA glue
Then the whole piece was soaked with acrylic floor polish. I just dipped a rag in the polish and applied it until the piece could soak up no more. It allows a good viewing of the finished colors of the wood but more importantly it soaks into the wood and then hardens, allowing a more consistent sanding. At this point I once again bagged the piece to allow the polish to dry. 10 to 20 minutes would be sufficient but it was unlikely I would return to the wood for a day or two. woodturning tip: hardening wood
Three days later I removed the plastic bag that had been over the piece to find that the acrylic was well dried and the burl ready to sand. wodturning project: ready to sand
I like to sand a piece like this with a sanding disk in a drill. The system allows for a lot of control but a burl like this one adds some difficulties that something like a plain maple bowl would not. The sap areas tend to quickly glaze the paper and render it useless. While the crepe rubber cleaners are almost useless, it can be cleaned with a few swipes of a brass brush. Steel brushes may leave residue that corrodes with some finishes. Then there is the difficulty of sanding areas where the the surface quickly recedes. This is basically a matter of moving the disk to a position that rides over the areas without catching and without rounding over the edges. woodworking lathe technique: sanding
Once the burl is sanded some areas are obviously sound. woodworking lathe technique: sanding comparison 1
Others suffer from the punky wood that we used the acrylic to harden. Even after sanding they reveal a surface texture that will never be smooth without fillers of some kind. One of the reasons I turn burls is the variation in surface texture as well as grain that so many of them give. I choose to leave this type of wood, others may attempt to turn through it. The choice is of course yours, but be warned that there may not be an end to the softness until your design is impossible. woodworking sanding and design constraints

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