Six Sets of Chittum Burl blanks now available

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BruceA

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UPDATED 10/10 - NEW pictures added of B, C-D, and F four sides

Darrell’s Chittum Burl is offering SIX SETS of Chittum burl blanks for his first sale on Penturners.org

Darrell has personally sourced all his Chittum burls from the forests and mountains of north Alabama and south central Tennessee, where this rare wood grows in the wild as the American Smoketree. The burls are usually under the ground surface, and take hard work to dig them out, and then haul from the mountainside. Darrell’s been at the harvesting for over fifty years as a winter hobby, and has probably the most extensive collection in America – no kidding!

This initial offering is comprised of sets of four to six blanks that are mostly shorter than 4 inches, and suitable for single barrel pens. The shorter blanks are less pricey than a full 5 inch length (easily $35 and up for this top quality). The intention of this sale is to get some of these into the hands of turners who can produce sample pens to show off the stunning quality of the wood, and also give Darrell a chance to get up to speed on using the IAP messaging system for sale transactions. He’s an old dog, but he’ll “eventually” learn the new tricks!

A note on Chittum burl quality – the things that make a Chittum blank top quality are the combination of the eyes, dark lines, feathers, and chatoyance once they’re turned to a high gloss finish. Take a close look at the photos and you’ll see that these blanks are excellent examples of high quality Chittum.

Chittum is an excellent turning wood – it doesn’t chip out, sands like a dream, and is a good density without being “too hard” to work with. It takes a CA finish VERY well (search for Chittum burl on this site, and there are recent examples of Chittum burl pens). Also, it isn’t irritating like Cocobolo or the oily woods.

You may contact Darrell through his account here on IAP at “Darrell’s Chittum burl”, or direct to his email at darrell0959@gmail.com if you would like to purchase one of the sets here. His Paypal Account is the same: darrell0959@gmail.com

Shipping is $8.00
They will be shipped out the next day following your purchase.

In an effort to get these sets into as many hands as possible, we ask that you limit your purchase to one set per turner.

Group B
4 pieces 5/8” + or – 1/16” x 4-7/8” long
$ 52.00 for set
B-1.jpg B-2.jpg B-3.jpg B-4.jpg

Group C-D
5 pieces 5/8” + or – 1/16” x 4-7/8” long
$65.00 for set
C1.jpg C2.jpg C3.jpg C4.jpg

Group F
4 pieces ¾”+ or – 1/16 x 3-1/4 to 4”
$ 57.00 for set
F1.jpg F2.jpg F3.jpg F4.jpg

Group H
4 pieces ¾ + or – 1/16 x 2-7/16” to 2-7/8”
$52. For set
H1.jpg H2.jpg H3.jpg H4.jpg
 
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Fred Bruche

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For this kind of high priced burl blanks, I would definitely want to see the 4 faces before purchasing. Does the letter indicate they were cut from the same block (i.e. expecting somewhat matching color and pattern)? Also, "to get some of these into the hands of turners who can produce sample pens to show off the stunning quality of the wood"... is there an expectation that pictures of the finished pen to be used for Darrell's business advertising?
 
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Since this wood is a true burl the appearance from one side to an adjacent side may have a different appearance. The appearance from one side to the opposite side usually looks alike. If the burl is cut perpendicular to the ground the face is more likely to have what I call a feathers look. If the burl is cut horizontal to the ground the face is more likely to have the eyes look. Since your pen is round it will probably exhibit a combination of both of these features .The blanks can also have some swerled grain present. The overall look of the burl wood changes depending also on just where in the burl a particular blank is cut from. The letter on each blank is a reference to the group only. The color of the wood changes very little to none at all. If the burl is one that is "dead and down" it may tend to be a little darker. Type of finish also of course can change the final look.
I do not keep pen blanks sorted into separate groups as one burl is pretty much like the other.
The pictures are for the purpose of introducing chittum burl wood to pen turners.This wood is very rare and lends itself to use in pen making.
I have found over the years very few people are familiar with good chittum burl.
Hoping this answers your questions.
 

BruceA

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Jan 27, 2008
Messages
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Location
Fayetteville, TN, USA.
Fred, there is no intention to use any photos from pens shown here for outside marketing purposes. The hope is that buyers/turners will share their results as examples of what is possible with this scarce burl so others may be encouraged to try it. It's not cheap, but it has extraordinary beauty when finished. Darrell has an elite clientele that use the chittum burl for duck calls, pistol grips, knife scales, pen blanks, and carvings. I'll ask Darrell to share some pictures of his personal "creations". Amazing stuff...

I happen to live a few miles from Darrell, and met him at a local craft show 4 years ago, and he got me started making knives. He's shared some of his chittum "scraps" with me, and I've made a few pens. Check out my photo album for some Chittum examples. I can't say enough good about this type of wood for penturning!
 

Fred Bruche

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Feb 11, 2018
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Location
Philadelphia 19146
Thank you Darrell! I am admittedly not very familiar with chittum burl but what you are describing is definitely not unique to chittum and pretty much applies to most burls in my experience. Quoting you "adjacent side may have a different appearance", "The overall look of the burl wood changes depending also on just where in the burl a particular blank is cut from" are all reasons for wanting to have a look at the other sides of the blanks you have for sale.
 

Fred Bruche

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Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
232
Location
Philadelphia 19146
Fred, there is no intention to use any photos from pens shown here for outside marketing purposes. The hope is that buyers/turners will share their results as examples of what is possible with this scarce burl so others may be encouraged to try it. It's not cheap, but it has extraordinary beauty when finished. Darrell has an elite clientele that use the chittum burl for duck calls, pistol grips, knife scales, pen blanks, and carvings. I'll ask Darrell to share some pictures of his personal "creations". Amazing stuff...

I happen to live a few miles from Darrell, and met him at a local craft show 4 years ago, and he got me started making knives. He's shared some of his chittum "scraps" with me, and I've made a few pens. Check out my photo album for some Chittum examples. I can't say enough good about this type of wood for penturning!
I have no doubt it's an amazing wood to work with. I have dropped pretty $ on unique blanks, a few vendors (not necessarily here) can attest to that. All I'm saying is if I'm in the business to buy pen blanks in the $15-20 range I would rather know exactly what I'm committing to buying :)
 

exoticwo

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Norfolk, Virginia 23509
The letter on each blank is a reference to the group only. The color of the wood changes very little to none at all. If the burl is one that is "dead and down" it may tend to be a little darker. Type of finish also of course can change the final look.
I do not keep pen blanks sorted into separate groups as one burl is pretty much like the other.
Does this mean that the Groups posted are NOT what we would receive ??
I also would like to see photos of ALL 4 sides of group G & H if they are the actual groups you are selling......Thanks........Al
 

Fred Bruche

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Philadelphia 19146
Fred, You may contact Darrell through his account here on IAP at “Darrell’s Chittum burl”, or direct to his email at darrell0959@gmail.com. His Paypal Account is the same: darrell0959@gmail.com - You can send the $65. and include your shipping details. Thanks for your purchase!
Payment sent. The message from PayPal should indicate the shipping address, please let me know if that wasn't the case. Thanks!
 

BruceA

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Jan 27, 2008
Messages
243
Location
Fayetteville, TN, USA.
Hutch, YES all four sets shown above are still available.
There were originally 6 sets, and two have sold and have been removed from the listing.
The four sets remaining are great quality burl, with plenty of eyes, along with feathers and deep color variance.
Thanks for your interest.
 
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