Turning the burr sycamore tree...

12 October 2014, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

In my last post, I acquired a beautiful burr sycamore tree and have spent the last two weeks cutting up and preparing the timber. The patterns inside are amazing – unlike anything I’ve seen before…

I started by chain sawing the timber into blanks and managed to get a good variety of sizes. Some of these were small enough to be cut on the band saw, whilst others were much larger in size. I ended up with quite a range of styles – the very burry lumps were ideal for natural edge pieces, with the rest destined to become fruit bowls.

Here are some of the natural edge blanks, ready for mounting on the lathe…


A few of the blanks after rough turning – although quite subtle, the swirly patterns are just the same as those in oak or elm…


The top image shows just how ‘spiky’ the edges are. I will most likely leave the bark in place, giving a dark outline to the finished piece and adding some extra character. The photo below shows a selection of the burry fruit bowls…


The patterns and grain are stunning…


There’s still two big ones to turn – and these are going to be quite special...

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

Your comments

  1. Gravatar of faessi
    faessi29 October 2014 12:00

    Wow great Jonathan! You have to try to colour some of these bowls!

  2. Gravatar of Jonathan Leech
    Jonathan Leech30 October 2014 22:08

    Hi Faessi,
    That sounds like a great idea - sycamore is a pale wood, so should work well with colour. Can you recommend some good quality dyes?

Leave a comment

Post comment

Featured work

Hand, made, spalted, beech, wooden, platter

Posts by month