Olive wood - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Olive wood

My father-in-law wants me to make him a salt cellar/salt container. He said olive wood. How hard is olive wood to work with? What is the best finish for it? And, have any of you guys made anything from olive wood? Do you have pictures? Post them if you have them.
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 12:13 PM
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I've not done anything that big with Olive...only pens and bottle stoppers. It's nice to work with; cuts easily and finished nicely. Smells like fresh pressed olive oil when you cut it. I'll try and find a pen that I made from it and post later.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thank Sawdust! I'm hoping to find a piece about 3" diameter and maybe a couple inches deep.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 01:11 PM
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As sawdust said it's easy to work. It will take a polish from just buffing also. If you leave it unfinished it might impart a flavor to the salt I would think.
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 02:42 PM
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+1 on its being a pleasure to work with and a pleasure to look at, BUT if you happen to plan on using a polyurethane finish be sure to start with a couple of coats of DEWAXED shellac. The oil in olivewood sometimes makes it reject poly.

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post #6 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 02:47 PM
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I agree with the others. Olive is nice to work with.

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post #7 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 04:00 PM
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As much as I enjoyed working with olive wood, I found it to be very oily. I initially turned a salt mill out of olive wood but found that the oils in the wood continued to come out and turn the salt to stone, so to speak. I eventually sealed the interior as much as I could and converted it into a pepper mill. Made a nice mill.

As requested, here's a shot of the mill.

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post #8 of 23 Old 05-29-2011, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pic Kenbo. That's a good looking mill! Is there a way to seal it enough to hold salt? I believe this is just going to be a small bowl to sit by the stove. My wife has one in white pine that I turned. She uses it to hold salt. It has a food safe finish. Would something simple like that work? I really like the mill. I would like to turn some mills. I'm fairly new to this, and only have experience with a few woods mainly. Don't know anything about olive wood. All this info is great. I love this forum. Thanks to everybody!!!
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-30-2011, 06:54 AM
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I agree. Olive is a very nice wood to turn. It smells great too. If you can use a skew, you won't even need to sand.

Come visit me at WoodChux and see my work, get free woodworking plans, and find the lowest priced bottle stopper kits around.
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-30-2011, 04:39 PM
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Beautiful wood and a joy to work...

I, too, have had difficulty with the olive oil contained therein...

Follow Paul's advice above if'n yer using any type of poly...

I have used poly for food containers, though not an item that would be cut upon...

No problems for holding dry goods like salt.

Pics when completed!

p

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post #11 of 23 Old 05-31-2011, 01:39 AM
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Nice...................post............
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post #12 of 23 Old 05-31-2011, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thank for all the info guys! Where is the best place to purchase olivewood?
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-01-2011, 09:02 AM
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Greece...

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-01-2011, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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It does happen to grow there, as well as several other places. Ha! I ordered a 4x4x18" piece yesterday from West Penn Hardwoods. We'll see how it goes. I will post a pic when finished. Thanks again everybody!
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-22-2011, 01:38 PM
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Carving in Olive wood.

This is my first time using Olive wood. I got it from a place in Bethlehem for a Nativity set that I am giving my wife for xmas. Had some issues getting the full shipment so I was only able to mostly finish three pieces. Fortunately they are the most important ones. I found that for carving Olive wood works great
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post #16 of 23 Old 12-22-2011, 04:30 PM
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Those are cool, And yes those are the most important ones. Merry x-mas

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post #17 of 23 Old 12-23-2011, 08:56 AM
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Awesome carvings youngti. I love olivewood for duck and turkey calls. And as mentioned before, hold your tools right and little to no sanding. I use CA finishes, so there hasnt been a problem on anything I have made
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-17-2015, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
As much as I enjoyed working with olive wood, I found it to be very oily. I initially turned a salt mill out of olive wood but found that the oils in the wood continued to come out and turn the salt to stone, so to speak. I eventually sealed the interior as much as I could and converted it into a pepper mill. Made a nice mill.

As requested, here's a shot of the mill.

Attachment 24936
The natural oil in olive Wood can be a real attribute to the wood depending on how the wood is going to be used. However, in some cases the oil is not a good quality to have. Staining and finishing Olive Wood can be a pain because of the natural oils that are in it. Folks that make tobacco pipes out of Olive Wood stabilize and remove oils by first cutting and drilling their piece to a rough shape and then submerging the rough shaped pieces in a sealed container of denatured alcohol for a week. The denatured alcohol draws out the oils from the pours of the wood making it a much easier wood to stain and finish.
Most sources of Olive Wood are not kiln dried but only air dried. This denatured alcohol process not only draws out the oils but it also will draw out the internal moisture of the wood as well.
After a week of soaking in the denatured alcohol it is important to create conditions that will allow the alcohol to dissipate slowly. Some will wrap the piece in several layers of newspaper and set it aside on their workbench for a month and then remove the piece from the newspaper and then allow it to finish air drying until the piece is no longer cool to the touch.
It must be allowed slowly or else the piece will check or crack if it dried out too quickly.
I have tried this method of curing and de-oiling Olive Wood and it works great.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-17-2015, 03:41 PM
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I've made two peppermills from Olivewood and both pieces were really wet and like Harkwood said, you can't hurry it or it will crack. I would imagine a 4" X 4" piece might take especially long to dry.
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-17-2015, 03:43 PM
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One more thing. I also had trouble finishing my Olivewood; I was using General Finishes WoodTurners Finish. I love the stuff, but it was blushing when I applied it. I called General Finishes and asked what to do - they suggested a wash coat of shellac before using the WoodTurner's finish and it worked like a charm.
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