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-  The Carving Process  -

'Cherry Burl' Carved Cherry Bowl
by Steve Schmeck

8" x 5-1/2" x 2-1/2"    February 2005

Over the years I've probably thrown away hundreds of those ugly bumpy things that disfigure much of our cherry firewood. You know, cherry burls. I finally decided to try carving one and this is the result.

How was it? Tough to work. Tight weird grain but as the roughing gouge sliced through showed off the wood's beautiful
grain. Every cut revealed another exciting pattern.


 The Carving


This Cherry Burl is typical, I suppose, of burls; tight grain with a lot of tear-out...

Roughing out with a single-bevel hatchet.


Sawing the blank to rough shape.

I usually use a shop-made carver's screw
to secure the piece. Here I've roughed 
out the basic shape for the bottom of the 


Now I've flipped the bowl over and 
secured it to a plywood disk which is
in turn bolted to the bench. I used 
several curved gouges to clean out the
inside of the bowl.

Still getting quite a bit of tear-out so I 
switched from the mallet to fine slicing
cuts by hand to thin and smooth the 
inside of the bowl. Sanding is next...


Well, here it is! The bowl sanded up 
nicely and the color deepened with the
application of the oil finish. As usual,
I've let this bowl rest in the sun for a 
couple of weeks to be sure it is stable 
and won't give me or its future owner
any surprises. Over all this was a fun
bowl to carve because of the great
grain and color.        (2/18/2005) 

Updated 03/24/2016

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