Tony's great adventure

Tony's great adventure

Tony Bryhan

This article appeared in the 2007 February issue of Chips & Chatter.

Tony Bryhan doesn't do anything small. He doesn't have to. Many of us are limited to turning small items because of the size of our lathe. Not Tony! Last summer Tony put his VB36 lathe to a test. A man commissioned Tony to turn a giant speaker cone. Tony's client purchased a large Big Leaf maple burl for Tony to turn. The burl (pictured above) weighed in at around 600 pounds. It measured approximately 3' diameter and 4' long in a cone shape. The burl contained quite a bit of water weight. It also had pockets of limestone rocks embedded in it which Tony discovered the hard way.


Tony began this big adventure in the height of one of San Jose's hottest summers. The sheer size of this giant burl didn't deter Tony, nor did the 100 degree heat. The goal was to turn the diameter down to 32 inches but there were chainsaw marks from the original harvesting of the burl which caused the final diameter to be 28 inches. The inside of the cone had to be pure parabolic curve. The burl had many inclusions. The final length of the cone was 30" and the small end measured 9" with a 2 inch opening. The project took approximately 6 weeks to complete.