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How to Cut Burl Wood : 13 DIY Steps for Beginners

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Woodworkers have been using burlwood for centuries because of its unique look and grain pattern. It’s a type of wood that is highly sought after and cutting burl wood is a delicate process.

So it’s important to know how to cut it correctly. Here we present the steps to cutting burlwood, safety precautions, and a few frequently asked questions.

The Following Steps Will Explain How to Cut Burl Wood

The Following Steps Will Explain How to Cut Burl Wood

Step 01: Prepare the Raw Material

The first step in cutting burlwood is to prepare the raw material. The logs you’ll be working with were probably harvested for another purpose, like their rot resistance and structural strength, but it’s important to check them over thoroughly for parts that are infested with insects or disease before beginning work.

Step 02: Prepare the Tools

You should use a sharp hand saw or chainsaw with a thin blade to prevent tearing and chipping. Sharpening the blade is also important for clean cuts, so be sure to carry sharpening supplies in case they are needed during the process. A bow saw, coping saw, or bandsaw can also come in handy when working on burls.

A Related Topic: Steps to Cut Down a Small Tree with a Chainsaw

Step 03: Marking the Cut Line

Use a pencil and tape measure to mark the cut lines on the raw material. Measure from both ends of the log, drawing a straight line across before marking each end with dots on either side of that centerline mark. You can then use a carpenter’s square or framing square to draw diagonal guidelines from corner to corner.

Step 04: Making the Cut

When cutting burlwood, you’ll need to make careful diagonal cuts on both sides of the line you drew in step three. The cuts should meet at the centerline mark you made in step three, so adjust your saw’s position until it is directly over each line before making each cut. This will keep the wood from splitting, but it’s also important to avoid cutting all the way through or you’ll make cropping more difficult later on.

Step 05: Cut the Burl from Its Host

Cut down to the burl, and then cut through it. Try not to put undue stress on the burl by cutting too deep or pull it away from its base too quickly. It may result in tearing and fraying of the material and creating a greater mess than necessary.

Step 06: Cut Off the Edges

Using a hand saw, cut along the outside of the burl. You should avoid cutting too deeply into the wood, as this can result in shavings or chips in addition to creating more of a mess.

Step 07: Cut Down the Center

Once you’ve cut along the outside edge, switch to a coping saw or small bandsaw and make a series of cuts through the burl. Start at one end and work toward the other, again not going too deep.

Step 08: Cut Off Any Remaining Chunks

Switch to a hand saw and finish cutting off any remaining chunks.

Step 09: Gain Access to the Inside of the Burl

Once you’ve cut away all visible surfaces, use a knife or small chisel to cut along the line created by the cuts made with the chainsaw earlier.

Step 10: Carve Out The Inside

Use a knife or other sharp tool to cut away any pieces of wood that remain in the burl, again taking care not to cause tearing or breaking.

You Can Also Read: Guidelines for hexagonal woodcutting

Step 11: Chip Away At the Bowl

Once you’ve reached this point, your burl should resemble an open bowl with some amount of attached chunks on its exterior. Carefully chip away at the bowl, taking care not to cause any damage to the adhering chunks.

Step 12: Sand down The Interior and Exterior

Using a handheld orbital sander or sanding block, smooth out the burl’s surfaces.

Step 13: Finish Up

Once you’ve finished sanding, you should have a smoothly surfaced slab and burl bowl for use as a decorative piece or whatever else you had in mind.

Safety Considerations When Cutting Burl Wood

Safety Considerations When Cutting Burl Wood

Before you begin cutting burlwood, it’s important to take safety precautions. Your saw will need to move both vertically and horizontally, so wearing protective gear is vital. Gloves can reduce the risk of a serious cut, while safety goggles and a dust mask will help to protect your eyes from wood shavings. In addition, earplugs can prevent hearing damage from the sound of a chainsaw. You should also make sure that your work area is well-lit and your footing is stable.

If you plan on using a rotary tool with burlwood, it’s vital to take precautions as well. Always wear eye protection when working with burlwood, as it’s very easy to chip or crack. Safety glasses designed for use with rotary tools are best, though clear plastic lenses can be substituted if necessary. Additional safety measures include wearing earplugs and gloves to prevent splinters. A dust mask can also help to protect your lungs from inhaling wood shavings.

When cutting burlwood, always take the necessary safety precautions and be careful not to damage the bowl or further chips or cracks in it. If you plan on using a chainsaw, it’s important to use one with the thinnest blade possible so that it doesn’t tear through the wood. Using a sharp blade can also help to prevent the chipping or tearing of the delicate wood.

How Should Burlwood Be Preserved After Being Cut?

How Should Burlwood Be Preserved After Being Cut

The wood should be preserved after it has been cut. Burlwood should be sealed with a top coat of lacquer, varnish, or shellac. This will help protect it from dirt and moisture and prevent the grain from splitting and cracking as it dries out over time. And it will keep your burlwood looking fresh.


What are The Various Types of Burlwood?

The different types of burlwood are layered burl, tree burl, maple burl, cherry burl, walnut burl, redwood burl, etc.

Where can Burl Wood Be Found?

Burlwood is found in the roots, trunks, and branches of trees. It is usually concentrated where the tree was injured, diseased or broken.

What are The Uses of Burl Wood?

Burlwood is a highly sought-after type of wood used for making furniture, coffee table, cabinetry, and intricate veneer trim.

When is The Best Time to Cut a Tree for The Burl?

There are a number of factors to consider before cutting a tree for the burl, such as the location and your access, but many people will cut trees in the late winter or early spring.

What is The Significance of Burlwood?

Burl woods are valued for their amazing patterns and grain patterns. The wood is highly sought-after by those who sell high-quality cabinets and furniture as well as those who work with intricate veneers.

How Long Does Burlwood Last?

Burl wood can last for a long time. But you should make sure to take care when cutting it because the wood’s grain patterns are notorious for splitting and chipping when cut incorrectly. You’ll want to use a thin blade saw to minimize these problems.


Burl wood is an excellent choice for intricate projects that require a decorative touch. It’s also used to create veneer trim, which can make your furniture look more high-end without increasing its expense. Care should be taken to minimize chipping and tearing as you work. It is best done with a thin, sharp saw blade. We hope this article has helped you understand the best way to cut burl wood.

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