Burl wood has many uses, from veneer to solid natural wood furniture. It is also highly desired by furniture makers and Diy woodworkers alike. Strole through any arts and craft show and you will see it used in pens, bowls, jewelry, and custom furniture. While also found in knife handles, accents in cars and many other trinkets and art pieces. Although burl wood is found in many wood species around the world it is not common. A little known fact is it is only found in 5% of the trees. Though we feel some of the best is found in the United States ore specifically the pacific northwest. There are many styles of natural wood furniture but we proffer to work with solid live edge wood or wood slabs. We also proffer to use natural wood that is responsibly harvested from trees dead standing trees or log and stumps on the forest floor.
Burl wood furniture
Below watch a video of Kelly Maxwell and Littlebranch Farm crew building a wood slab table.
For many years the trend of using thin wood slices glued to a less expensive material or plywood creating veneer. In the 18th century, Thomas Chippendale used veneer wood in his famous furniture. Later the piano industry in North America became the first to use veneer plywoods. This style can keep cost down but at what cost. Thomas was only one of many master furniture craftsman of 18th and 19th century. Many of the pieces are breathe taking and show the skill of the craftsman. I often enjoy browsing antique store and marvel at the beauty of the natural wood furniture. I find it interesting that so many have a veneer that is damaged beyond repair. Any wood furniture is susceptible to damage but it seems that veneers are at greater risk. I have no experience with repair and refinishing but understand veneer is difficult if not impossible to repair.
Burl Wood what is it?
Often client’s will ask what is burl wood and where does it come from. Basically, in a nutshell, it is an abnormality or growth in a tree. While burls bulge from the tree many hide in tree roots in the ground. Under the bark surface, the wood surface reveals pins or nodules. The big leaf maple burl will have sharp pins protruding from the burl. These transmit into the wood as part of the unique wood grain pattern. Another common question what causes burl? It is believed that some sort of stress from a virus, fungus or an injury or other environmental cause. It is amazing the effects of stress even but that is another subject.
Custom burl wood furniture
We specialize in custom natural wood furniture built from live edge wood, wood slabs, and natural wood. The main wood species are old-growth redwood burl, Claro walnut, Bigleaf maple. Also, we use western juniper also known as twisted juniper. Throw in some driftwood, stumps, and roots and we have the ingredients to build artistic rustic wood furniture. Whether it is a rustic modern office desk featuring a live edge wood supported acrylic or metal base. Or a rustic vanity custom built from a salvaged root base natural wood is bound to warm your home’s decor. I have often said the only limitation is the imagination and sometimes the budget. There are many artists building high-quality burl wood furniture. We are in Nashville, TN if you are in town stop by the studio at 901 2nd ave south in SoBro district of downtown.
Custom Wood furniture
Earlier in this article, I spoke about desiring to use wood slabs that are responsibly harvested. Basically, I’m not a tree hugger but I do believe in being responsible in sourcing material for my rustic style burl wood furniture. One of the greats joys is sanding burl wood table and watching the complex wood grain unfold in front of you. Recently I was working on a massive Big Leaf maple burl 84″ by 64″ and 2.5″ thick live edge wood slab. It was a stunning piece of wood in before I started but wow the depth, movement, and color. Although the real reveal was when the hand rubbed finish was applied. The final table featured a fire charred root base supporting burl wood slab. Nothing warms and bring balance to a home’s decor like natural wood furniture. Whether your taste rustic furniture or rustic modern built from natural wood contact use.