Mike Dewsbury- Creative & Artistic Woodturning

Some Technical Stuff


Burrs are the lumpy growths found on many trees, and in native species are most common in oak and elm.

They seem to result from the tree starting to grow a branch, stopping and starting another and so on.
These vestigial branches appear as 'cats paws' in the finished timber.
Burrs are much prized by wood turners and are becoming increasing scarce.

They can vary in size from around 2" in diameter to this huge oak burr in Fitz Park Keswick.

Banksia Nut
These are the fruit from the Banksia Bush Banksia grandis a small tree that grows in Western Australia.
When mature the nuts are hard and solid with seed pods running from the outside towards the centre core.

Most woods will exhibit spalting but it is much more pronounced in the lighter timbers like beech.
The black lines and colouration result from fungus growing within the tree which become more active after the tree has been felled and the tree begins to rot.
Once the timber has been dried this activitiy ceases and it becomes stable, the difficulty is picking the correct time to dry the wood~ too soon and there is little marking ~too much and the wood is too rotten to work.

An example of a spalted plank of beech.

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