Gnarly Maple Yields Awesome Figured Burls

      A sawmiller and wood turner shows off a highly irregular Norway Maple log and the remarkable figure in the wood it produces. May 13, 2013

I've been running this sawmill business for a few years now but I have never come across a tree quite like this. This is a Norway maple and it has burls all over it. Normally I find one or two burls and I just rip them off with a chainsaw. This one is so loaded with them in so many different places and so many different directions, I don't know where to begin. I also can't be sure if this is all just burls, or will it be birdseye maple underneath once I get inside the tree?

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Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
I deal with mostly burl. If you cut the burl caps off flush with the tree, the eyes usually radiate in a couple inches. Usually I take off the caps then take off a couple inches for a table slab. Looks like a nice tree.

From contributor B:
Burls and birds eye are not the same thing, so I wouldn't think you will see birds under the burls. I've cut up plenty of burled and figured maple, though not much Norway. My guess would be that the wood within that chunk will be heavily figured with patchy burling clear to the center of the tree. It will tend to move in all directions while drying. You may lose some to warp or cracking, but you should end up with plenty of nice wood.

From contributor S:
Looks like a dream log for a turner. Er, I meant to say - what are you going to do with that lumpy thing - I'll take it off your hands.

From the original questioner:
Well folks, we did get this thing cut up and here are some photos. No birdseye activity, but a lot of burl and figure. It should go in the kiln next week and I want to make something nice out of it fairly quickly. I did a couple of 1/4" slices to use as a veneer for maybe a console or sofa table.

The burls are pretty big, must be about 20-24" long and 18" wide as well as about 10-12" deep. How much would something like that go for these days? I don't sell many burls and the ones I do sell don't weigh more than a pound or two. These suckers probably way 50 pounds.

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From contributor T:
Nice! Would look good as a table.

From the original questioner:
This is one of the bigger burls after it has been roughly turned on the lathe. The grain pattern is incredible.

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From contributor L:
Nice! Hope it does not crack too bad.

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