How to cut a Burl
I get asked pretty often how to cut a burl. Every once in a while people will find a burl and want to know how to cut it for the best look.
This is just a quick and easy overview about how to cut the burl and why you might want to cut it this way.
The example I am using is a piece of Lace Redwood burl.
First thing I did was cut off a manageable sized piece that I could cut on my bandsaw.
Next I cut off a piece from the side at a right angle to the outer surface of the burl. This was so I would have a flat surface to go against the table on my bandsaw for the cut that comes next.
The next cut was as close as I could get that would be parallel to the outer surface of the burl.
This is the piece that came off the outer surface.
By cutting parallel to the outer surface the face of the wood reflects the eyes and lace that was showing on the outer surface.
The cut that was at a right angle to the outer surface shows some burl figure but nowhere near as nice.
And the end grain portion.
The figure and grain in a burl will twist and turn a lot throughout the burl so it is easier if you cut the burl into chunks so you can make cuts like shown above. Otherwise you get portions that look like the different faces shown above. Not necessarily a bad thing, but with burl I try to cut to show the true burl figure as much as possible.
Nice, Thanks Mark for posting this.. Im sure it will help someone out when processing a burl.. I know I have had a hard time on some burls getting the right first cuts to optimize and get the best figure on the face like you mentioned.. Its a fun challenge and always awesome adventure for me to see what beautiful treasure is inside!!
Thanks for posting this Mark.
I have been back to this thread a few times. I have a few yet i want to cut up, and have been leary....At least now i know i am doing it almost right.
You have to be cutting a smaller burl or have a bigger bandsaw cutting like this.
I can cut another burl like a larger maple burl cap showing another way to cut them if anyone is interested.