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What is this?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by odie, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. odie

    odie

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    I was roughing our a Red Mallee Burl bowl yesterday, and revealed this in the very bottom of the bowl interior. The black stuff is hard and very brittle.....kind of like dried tar, or glass, or something like that. The cavity holding the black stuff almost looks like it was bored out from a bug.....or, maybe it was naturally occurring.....dunno.

    This bowl may be a failure, because the bottom of the cavity is only about 1/4" from the bottom of the spigot. At any rate, some of the cavity and black stuff will have to be part of the finished bowl. Wish I had flipped it to the top of the bowl. That way, I could have eliminated all of it.....but you never know what you'll find inside a piece of wood! :(

    This RMB bowl has an initial MC of 16%, and I would normally anchorseal it, but I decided to skip the anchorseal, because it would have been tough to remove the wax emulsion from inside the cavity.......hope I don't lose this $115 piece of wood, because now it'll dry much faster during the seasoning process because of no anchorseal......we'll see! :)

    As I type this, I just got the idea of taping over the black stuff, and go ahead and anchorseal the rest of the bowl.......(heading out to the shop right now to do that......zooooom, makin tracks!)

    -----odie-----
    IMG_6350 (2).JPG
     
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  2. John Shillabeer

    John Shillabeer

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    Heh Odie:
    That is one gorgeous piece of timber in spite of the black stuff.
    Do you have a contact down under and did you import it yourself? Care to share ?
    John
     
  3. odie

    odie

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    Hello John.....

    I get a few pieces from a lady turner who imports herself, and has a few hand-picked turners whom she will sell to.

    But, run a search, and you'll find quite a few U.S. dealers who have RMB in stock right now.

    -----odie-----
     
  4. odie

    odie

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    I think I have the answer to what the black stuff is.....:D

    Cook Woods has some RMB in stock right now, and they call this Red Mallee Resin Burl:
    [​IMG]

    -----odie-----
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I call those pitch pockets. Not sure of the true technical term.
    I have seen similar deposits in quite a few species.

    I was told it was where the tree was damaged and the cavity fills with sap. Over time the mineral deposits solidify quite hard.
    One in citrus was sort of a white color and about like concrete.
    I have seen some similar to yours in Cherry quite a few times.
    Seen a few in other hardwoods.
    One i found in a hickory crotch was almost a tree shape and filled most of a 12” platter.
    Red gum eucalyptus fas them often,
     
  6. odie

    odie

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    Makes sense to me now, Al.......thanks. :D

    -----odie-----
     
  7. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Great looking piece of timber. Not uncommon to see that in some trees here, the famous last cut, and you discover an inclusion pocket.
     
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  8. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Beautiful wood Odie, glad you found out what that pocket was called...... Can't wait to see that piece when you are finished.......! :D
     
  9. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Odie,
    You could use a Dremel tool and undercut along the outline edge of the black resin and fill the void with black epoxy and then do your second turning when ready. It will look natural to the wood and burl inclusions in the piece and provide some strength for the bottom which you stated was already too thin. If you drill through the bottom while cleaning the tree resin out you can follow a random pattern the same as on top and fill the entire void with black epoxy. Fill the void with resin and then hit it with a heat gun this will force the air bubbles out of the epoxy and provide a solid uniform layer of epoxy to turn and polish.
     
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  10. odie

    odie

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    Thanks, Mike.....:D

    You definitely have a creative idea there! :)

    It's going to be awhile before I bring it to stabilization, so I have some time to think about it. I'm thinking I might use a dental pick and see if the resin will come out of there cleanly. If so, it might be ok to leave the cavity as is, as it appears the natural walls of the cavity might give a pleasing natural look to it, without looking bad. If that doesn't work, then your idea is a very viable solution to the problem. Thank you very much for your suggestion. :D

    -----odie-----
     

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