Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Burl and Wrought Iron Furniture

Bigleaf maple burl table with a wrought iron base
Brian specializes in turning bowls and platters on his lathe, but has recently completed some magnificent maple burl coffee tables. 

Last winter Brian made burl tables for our home, and a previous post about them on our blog,  Maple Burl and Wrought Iron Tables, led to a commission for a couple who have a cottage on Lake of Bays.  They chose the perfect piece of wood for their table from a slab of a maple tree that was covered in burls.  

Once again Brian worked with Matt Church, an artist and blacksmith, at The Artisan's Gallery , to make the  base for this table and three others, each with their own distinctive grain, colouring and details.

Matt Church designed the bases from wrought iron to fit and complement the unique shape of the table tops.  As the tables are maple, Matt formed the legs to appear as branches and twigs with interlaced maple leaves.

Brian shaped each table top, maintaining the raw edge, as he sanded and buffed the tops to a fine finish.

Multiple layers of urethane were rolled onto the table tops.  They were allowed to dry and then sanded between coats until there was a lustrous hard surface.

With each coat and the final polish, the contrasts in colour and grain were revealed and enhanced.  This table is made from a cross section of a huge bigleaf maple burl. The lighter sapwood and bark edge encircle the inner, darker heartwood centre, creating a rare and highly-prized effect.

Once the table tops were complete, Brian positioned the bases on the wood and screwed them into place.

Red maple table with a wrought iron base

The choice of Matt Church's wrought iron bases with their maple leaf motif was a perfect match to the finished table top.

Bigleaf maple burl table

Close-up photos of the tables detail the beauty of the burls with their irregular grain, bark inclusions and rich contrasts of colour.  These tables would be a splendid addition to any home.

Red maple table with a burl live edge
Artisan's Gallery wrought iron leaf

We are only a few days from the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour and it will be a wonderful opportunity to travel along the beautiful Muskoka roads with their colourful leaves and awesome scenery. You are welcome to visit Limberlost Woodturning on the last two weekends of September from 10:00-6:00. For more information, go to:
Maple burl tables with wrought iron bases


  1. Really looking very good thanks a lot for sharing it.

    Wood Table

  2. Thank you Bob. Making furniture is a change from my usual work of turning bowls and platters at the lathe. I got a great deal of positive feedback from the visitors at the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour and two of the four tables have sold. I hope to make more burl and wrought iron furniture in the future.