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Make a burl bowl

If you live close to a timber or wood merchant, you may be lucky to be able to pick up a burl for this project. Burls are abnormal growths on trees, usually eucalypts, that develop when they experience environmental stress such as fungal or insect attack. They're sought after by woodworkers for the tangled-grain pattern and hardwood durability.

This bowl is made from a two-kilo burl and requires only basic carving skills. It's hollowed out and smoothed on the inside, with the outside left rough and textured. Do this with a chisel. Don't damage the timber, and clean off the excess with a wire brush.

 

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1. Position wood blocks underneath for support. Clamp onto a work surface and make sure the bowl is secure and will not slip around while you are working.

2. Use a carving wheel on an angle grinder to carve the shape, working from the centre with smooth strokes and checking thickness with calipers.

3. Use a mini-grinder attachment to plane the shape and remove deep gouges, sweeping the cutting wheel from side to side to remove high edges. A Dremel MultiTool is also ideal for this step of the project. Smooth with 80-, 120-, then 180-grit sanding discs and then sand by hand with 240-grit sandpaper.

4. Fill cracks or hollows with Alcolin QuikWood, leave to dry then sand away excess with a power sander and repeat the hand sanding. Finish off by sealing with Woodoc 5 or 10 interior, or Woodoc 30 or 50 exterior sealer.

 

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