View Full Version : Cutting a big stump burl into slabs

Burl Source
11-27-2011, 04:05 PM
For most this will just be useless information.
But...... several people have asked so, this is how we cut up a bigger burl into slabs.
These photos show one of the guys here cutting up a big maple stump burl into slabs.

The burl had been a decorative piece here on the grounds for several years. This gave the burl plenty of time to season and develop some good coloring along with a bit of spalting. In the first photo Josh is trimming off trunk pieces to make the piece easier to handle.


With the pressure washer he is blasting out dirt and rocks from the hollow inner portion of the burl.


Now it is pretty clean and ready to start cutting.


The burl is placed on a cutting table where he starts cutting using a pole mill. This sort of setup holds a chainsaw with a 5 foot bar parallel to the tabletop so slabs can be cut accurately.


First cut takes off a portion of the outer surface of the burl so we can see what is inside.


Now the first slab.


A few more slabs.


Now we are getting to the portion of the burl that I will be taking to cut up into blocks.
This part in closer to the inner hollow portion and has good color and burl figure.


He cut through a rock so it is time to resharpen the chainsaw before finishing cutting up the burl.

11-27-2011, 04:13 PM
Wow, what is that, Amboyna?

Burl Source
11-27-2011, 04:27 PM
Wow, what is that, Amboyna?
I wish!

It is western big leaf maple.
The colors are all wrong because it was left out in the weather for several years.
During that time the wood seasons and spalts a bit. Some minerals are also absorbed into the wood around the hollow area.
Now instead of being blonde as normal with maple it is orange-ish with some other odd colors.

11-27-2011, 04:46 PM
I suddenly feel very inadequate with my tiny 16" chainsaw. Very cool Mark I really like these posts. Thanks

11-27-2011, 05:07 PM
I suddenly feel very inadequate with my tiny 16" chainsaw. Very cool Mark I really like these posts. Thanks

:plus1: and :plus1:

Eamon Burke
11-27-2011, 05:12 PM

11-27-2011, 06:19 PM
Thanks for showing that process I always enjoying learning where stuff I use comes from.

Burl Source
11-27-2011, 06:33 PM
Now we are getting down into the hollow area of the burl.


Some of the slabs with a good natural opening will be used to make wall mirrors. The good solid ones will be tabletops and the 2 that are circled will get cut into handle blocks.


This is the 1st piece I will cut into blocks. It doesn't look too exciting right now because what is showing on the surface of the slab will be the edges of the blocks.


HHH Knives
11-27-2011, 06:39 PM
That looks spectacular. All them rays when turned the other way will be the GOOD STUFF!! Burly eyes and 3D figure!! I love cutting a burl, Its like a adventure! :D

11-27-2011, 06:40 PM
That radial saw is a cool bit of kit.

Burl Source
11-27-2011, 07:20 PM
Here I marked the slab how I wanted to make the cuts.
This way the stripes in the figure will go across the spine of the blocks, and the faces will show the bubbles and eyes of the burl figure.


Then I cut a straight edge for the faces of the blocks.


Next I start cutting the blocks.


One of the blocks.


The wood is still damp from being outdoors in the weather so now they will go into the dehumidification kiln to complete the drying before I trim them up and send them to be stabilized.

Mike Davis
11-27-2011, 09:03 PM
Very awesome stuff Mark!!!! I will get some pics up of the stuff i am butchering.

Dave Martell
11-27-2011, 10:05 PM
Great thread, thanks for sharing Mark.

Eamon Burke
11-27-2011, 10:09 PM
You make it look so easy. With your 5 foot chainsaws and all.