View Full Version : Three different woods

15th Apr 2015, 09:15 AM
I've turned handles for some coffee spoons with some indigenous South African timbers. Nothing fancy, just quick and dirty, but I thought some might be interested in seeing some of our timber. From left to right - wild olive; African blackwood and sneezewood. The olive and sneezewood are from old fence posts, and the blackwood is a piece given to me by a friend. They're all very hard but work well and take a good finish. I've always loved turning olive, the grain is just wonderful, and the blackwood is also beautiful. It's the first time I've turned sneezewood, and yes, I sneezed, while trimming it on the band saw. I took care not to create much dust while sanding on the lathe.

Finish on all three is just sanding (ending on a old and almost smooth piece of 400 grit abronet) and then buffed on the a cloth buffing wheel. I didn't want to oil them yet, as I wanted to keep the smell of each timber for a while.

The coffee spoons are from Woodcraft in the US.

Any comments and criticism welcome :)

dai sensei
15th Apr 2015, 12:03 PM
Can't say I know of "sneezewood", do you have an actual species name?

15th Apr 2015, 01:12 PM
Can't say I know of "sneezewood", do you have an actual species name?Ptaeroxylon Obliquum...extremely durable and prized for fence posts.Native of South Africa...MM:2tsup:

15th Apr 2015, 05:23 PM
Thanks MAPLEMAN, I should have put the species in the OP.

Wild olive - Olea europaea subspecies africana
African blackwood - Dalbergia melanoxylon
Sneezewood - Ptaeroxylon obliquum

Sneezewood was used extensively for fence posts and railway sleepers as well as for fuel. It's hardness and oiliness make it good for bearings too. I've not found any for sale commercially, and was lucky to be offered a couple of old fence posts when visiting a farm recently. The tree is protected, which explains the scarcity of commercial timber.

16th Apr 2015, 06:10 PM
Nice going on the coffee scoops. Does the wild olive have grain swirling with colour difference quite noticeable?

16th Apr 2015, 08:15 PM
Yes, it's a very striking grain, and very pretty.