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Work in Progress - Spruce Burl Form

Part -2- rough shaping begins

With the bark off we begin to see the potential in the burl as the grain is only partly hidden under the dark brown under layer of bark. woodturning design: bark removed
As the burl is rotated by hand, one of the difficulties of working with one of these pieces is made obvious. This is such an uneven piece of material that it is almost impossible to get it accurately centered. In addition, there is little reason to center the piece when it would be good to turn away most of the branch and leave burl wood, even though this likely means turning with an offset to the piece. woodturning technique: mounting on the lathe
Oops! As I began to cut away at the top of the burl, I found the the tail center was mounted not in solid wood, but in a sap pocket under the bark. After I picked the wood up off the floor, I laid it on the lathe and used a chisel and mallet to remove the rest of the bark and a fair bit of hardened sap. Always wear a face shield. woodworking safety: face shield
As turning commences once again, the contrast and amazing grain becomes apparent as does the irregularity of the burl surface. wood turning design: burl aspects
Continuing down the piece I am reminded how the adage of "always riding the bevel" can easily fall apart. There is no consistent bevel to ride in a piece like this. Instead it is a matter of approaching the wood in an effective and safe angle with a sharp tool. This is where the practice comes in to play from having turned a lot of regularly shaped pieces of wood. wodturning technique: practice makes perfect
Surprises come in all shapes and sizes. As I was adjusting the tool rest with the wood lathe turned off, I noticed a passenger in one of the worm holes. I was quite surprised to see a grub in such a dried up piece of burl. Usually they are found in more freshly cut pieces. wodworking surprise, a grub along for the ride

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