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I Forge Iron

Dishing Stump

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For a long time I've been telling myself that I'd get around to making a dishing stump for making Celtic Bronze and Iron Age cauldrons.

Having a friend with a lot of acreage getting the stumps were no problem. My bigger issue was how to go about hollowing out the depression. Certainly, I could start working a vessel hot and just let it burn out as I worked. But given the size of the cauldron I planned to make that could take a while. Finally, a friend pointed me to these:


They are a tungsten-carbide burr designed specifically for grinding out wood.

I bought the coarsest available and it really hogs out the wood. In 20 minutes I dug out a 9" dia bowl form in white oak end grain. It rarely clogs (green or punky wood were the only things I've found that clog it) and when it does it's easily cleaned with a wire brush.

The only downsides are that I had to remove the guard from my right-angle grinder because these discs are thicker than the typical wheel. (I plan to modify the guard so it fits again). The second is the amount of "saw" dust. with that coarse a burr I had anticipated shavings or chips, but it gives off a ton of dust. So, good ventilation is a must.

So if you need to shape big dishing stumps these burrs work fantastic!

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Yes, I looked into those. But, after asking around the Woodnet forum I was told that they weren't particularly great on end grain or doing sloping curves.

I should expound a bit about the guard issue. Those burrs ARE designed specifically for a 4" right angle grinder. After taking a closer look at the issue it appears that at some point I dropped the grinder and bent the guard just enough that the burr rubbed on it.

After some simple straightening it's up and running just the way it's supposed to.

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