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Sebastiaan56
17th Jun 2007, 07:06 AM
Ahhh another learning day in the shed. My father in law gave me a piece of Olivewood from his property at Picton. These "Olive" trees bear no fruit but look and smell like the real deal. My portion was on the ground for a year before it was lopped off with axe.

Its heavy, hard and still a bit wet. I had an interesting 30 mins digging in every tool except the parting gouge. The heartwood is rather darker (see photo) and seemed to be the source of the catching. Later when I dried it in the microwave it exuded resin from the heartwood and cracked but only in the heartwood. I tried another piece with small eyes from branches it and the had same problems with dig ins, particularly on the eyes..

I was resonably sure all the digging in wasnt all my technique so I turned some Kauri pine as revenge and proved it was this "wood". So ideas please, how do I turn this timber? I like the colour and the drama of the grain. My father in law regards it as a pest so I have access to as much of it as I want. Would be great if I could turn it.

Sebastiaan

rsser
17th Jun 2007, 09:26 AM
Just a guess but you might have had some flexing in the piece.

I've only turned one bit of 'real' olive wood and it was dry and dense and no problem.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
17th Jun 2007, 02:47 PM
Like Ern, all the Olive I've turned has already been well cured and hasn't given me any problems. If I were in your shoes, I'd definitely grab some nicely sized pieces and simply stash them away somewhere nice, dark and relatively cool (eg. under the house) and forget about 'em for a few years.

From your description, it sounds as though the heartwood is significantly harder (or softer) than the sapwood, which may cause you grief. Or flexing, as Ern suggested. Have you tried scraping? If you have problems with gouging while using a scraper... :oo::no: well... let's just say that you shouldn't if you're using it properly!

Scraping usually means more sanding is involved, but if you're getting dig-ins anyway, it may actually mean less sanding. :wink:

rsser
17th Jun 2007, 02:55 PM
Sage advice as always from Skew.

Another option might be to take very light cuts with freshly sharpened tools. Minimise the tool overhang. Hope this isn't teaching you how to suck eggs.

Frank&Earnest
17th Jun 2007, 04:13 PM
Hi Sebastiaan. Are you sure that's real olive, as in olive oil :) ? The picture and your description don't look anything like the olive I have worked with, wet or dry. Resin? Marked sapwood/heartwood difference? My guess is that it is some sort of "native" olive, with very different properties. Unless laying in the wet has messed it up, but that seems a very long shot. As far as technique is concerned, I can only concur with the expert advice already given :wink: .

Richard Findley
17th Jun 2007, 08:27 PM
Hi Sebastiaan,

Just a thought, but African Olive is also known as as Ironwood and is quite a bit more dense than European Olive. Not sure what sort of Olive you guys get out there in Oz.

If it is very dense then a scraper is probably your best bet!

Good luck,

Richard

Sebastiaan56
18th Jun 2007, 07:02 AM
Thanks for the thoughts guys.

No, Im not sure that it olive apart from the fact that it looks like an olive, the timber matches the descriptions on the net and the tree looks like the olive tree I have a fruiting variety in the back yard. The key is that these dont bear recognisable fruit so it may be some deranged cousin of the real thing. Are there sterile olives?, native olives?, time for more google.

Good idea about the scraper Skew, Ill try that next chance I get. The parting chisel didnt grab, it was the skew and the gouge.

Olives are quite common in Southern Australia as there has been massive investment over the last 20 years partially due to a reasonably generous tax treatment of agricultural schemes. We are now seeing Australian olive oils in our supermarkets and some of them are very high quality. My father in law even reckons they have become a bit of a pest as the birds eat the fruit and distribute the seeds far and wide. He also has lots a Peppertrees, but I havent heard a good word about them for turining.


Sebastiaan

TTIT
18th Jun 2007, 09:02 AM
......................... He also has lots a Peppertrees, but I havent heard a good word about them for turining.


SebastiaanWhat am I !!?? - the sacred saint of peppercorn (http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/showthread.php?t=39998) ????:doh: Someone has to stick up for the stuff :shrug:

cedar n silky
18th Jun 2007, 10:38 AM
What am I !!?? - the sacred saint of peppercorn (http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/showthread.php?t=39998) ????:doh: Someone has to stick up for the stuff :shrug:
Hi TTIT-Not trying to hijack the thread, but HOW DO YOU DO THAT!! how do you substitute the whole address for one word (peppercorn)? Or as many of you guys (n gals) do -"here"

Sebastiaan56
18th Jun 2007, 11:16 AM
TTIT,

Its a pity you arent closer, Im sure my father in law would help load your car full of the stuff. From your description of the bowl its seems like it had its moments, how much CA did you use? Nice piece of work, attractive timber,

Sebastiaan

EX's Timber
18th Jun 2007, 11:44 AM
Hi TTIT-Not trying to hijack the thread, but HOW DO YOU DO THAT!! how do you substitute the whole address for one word (peppercorn)? Or as many of you guys (n gals) do -"here"

Here you go Cedar have a sticky here (http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=42401), it explains how to do so :2tsup:

Sebastiaan56
18th Jun 2007, 01:03 PM
OK, A few calls to the local council in the area has resolved a some questions. It is an African variety of the olive. It was imported by John Macarthur early in the 1800's for the estate now called Camden in NSW. Peppertree has exactly the same history. Both have gone feral and are regarded as pests and are endemic throughout the area. So you were right Richard.

There was a thread by Caveman where he described his experience of the stuff. Caveman are you out there? Richard do you have experience? Small cuts, extra sharp tools are what Ive picked up.

Seems that it is also used for pens, so you may well see blanks around the traps.

And yes, TTIT my FIL is bringing a piece of Peppertree for me so all will be revealed! How much CA did you really use?........, just teasing :wink:...

Many thanks for all the feedback, truly appreciated.

Sebastiaan

cedar n silky
18th Jun 2007, 01:32 PM
Here you go Cedar have a sticky here (http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=42401), it explains how to do so :2tsup:

You mean like this (http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=42401) .
Thanks DJS, and every one!:2tsup:

Alastair
18th Jun 2007, 02:07 PM
Hi Seb

Need to ask all the obvious questions, ie bevel rubbing , tool overhang etc, but something I came across a while ago might also be pertinent.

One of the guys at our SWG group was having a similar problem with a Blackwood blank he was turning. I put it on the group lathe, (Leady), and was able to turn without trouble. His lathe was one of the MC**** variants.

What we eventually worked out as a reason, was that while the blank was round, it was still out of balance, due to varying timber density. It appeared that at the speed he was turning, there was enough 'flex' in his lathe at the 'resonating' speed to mean that the toolrest was moving with respect to the periphery of the blank, allowing the gouge to 'bite' each revolution. The Leady was stiffer, and thus problem not evident. He solved the problem by increasing speed out of the resonating frequency.

I have had a similar experience turning an out of balance Coolibah burl, and had to resort to scraping. Seems to happen with hard timber, and differential toolrest movement.

Hope this helps

Alastair

Sebastiaan56
18th Jun 2007, 02:34 PM
Hi Alistair,

I saw the SWG Leady lathe yesterday at the show. That will be my next lathe. Im using a Record Power about 15yo with the 1.5 inch rails. None of the cam locks or any of that fancy stuff, all adjustments with a ring spanner. It is bolted to the bench but I will check out the resonance you have suggested. There was a density difference for sure,

Im going to try 800rpm with a scraper and see how it goes,

Sebastiaan

Frank&Earnest
18th Jun 2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the thoughts guys.

No, Im not sure that it olive apart from the fact that it looks like an olive, the timber matches the descriptions on the net and the tree looks like the olive tree I have a fruiting variety in the back yard. The key is that these dont bear recognisable fruit so it may be some deranged cousin of the real thing. Are there sterile olives?, native olives?, time for more google.

Good idea about the scraper Skew, Ill try that next chance I get. The parting chisel didnt grab, it was the skew and the gouge.

Olives are quite common in Southern Australia as there has been massive investment over the last 20 years partially due to a reasonably generous tax treatment of agricultural schemes. We are now seeing Australian olive oils in our supermarkets and some of them are very high quality. My father in law even reckons they have become a bit of a pest as the birds eat the fruit and distribute the seeds far and wide. He also has lots a Peppertrees, but I havent heard a good word about them for turining.


Sebastiaan

Yes, there are varieties, both "native" and imported. (TTIT, I know how you feel - am I the patron saint of olivewood? :D ) Indeed your picture reminds me of a little statue from Israel a relative was given as a gift from a tourist there. You are also right about olives in SA - I remember that a few weeks ago somebody (sorry mate, too lazy to look for it, hope you read this) posted an inquiry about the value of saving prunings for turning and carving. This was indeed a traditional use, large pieces are rare, you do not kill an income producing tree that grows very slowly for hundreds of years.

Nowadays there are many more turners than carvers, though, so probably the main use would be for pens. Just to show what it looks like, I attach pictures of a small branch I have saved a long time ago (but a couple of years should be enough to dry it out) and a pen-size cylinder I have cut from it, turned and polished (no pretences, just 5 minutes' work). I like the classy subtle grain and the horn-like appearance, but most pen turners seem to prefer bolder contrasting grain. Whether there is a market for storing and cutting pen blanks from prunings might depend on that.

Caveman
18th Jun 2007, 11:16 PM
There was a thread by Caveman where he described his experience of the stuff. Caveman are you out there?

Hi Sebastiaan - yep was pretty hard stuff, but I found that with lighter than normal cuts and a real sharp tool I normally get a nice finish that requires very little sanding (unusual for me!).

When I've tried a 'pulling' cut as on the outside profile of a bowl the wood becomes quite grabby, but using a 'pushing' cut with bevel rubbing a nice clean finish remains.
I've only used a scraper to get a smooth transition on the inside of bowls between side and bottom.

Looks like your doing some spindle work whereas I've only done bowl/faceplate work on olive.

The olive I've used a bit of is Olea europaea ssp. africana - obviously a real close relative of the European olive. The ones further south of here go under the Ironwood common names.

HTH.

derekcohen
18th Jun 2007, 11:19 PM
Wild Dingo gave me a small piece of Olive about a month ago. It was just enough for a pen or marking knife or ... well Lynndy liked the marking knives I was making and convinced me to turn this one into a letter opener:


http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/Marking%20and%20Measuring/Letteropener-olive1.jpg

It turns wonderfully - nice tight grain. And if you want to know where the name "olive" comes from, look at this colour:


http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/Marking%20and%20Measuring/Olivewood1.jpg

I had a small piece over and combined it with some Jarrah for this:


http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/Derek50/Marking%20and%20Measuring/Markingknife-OliveandJarrah3.jpg

Regards from Perth

Derek

Richard Findley
19th Jun 2007, 04:17 AM
Hi Sebastiaan,

Just a thought, as I'm not a big fan of scraping but there are times when it is best, especially on dense wood. I've found that a scraper can be a bit "catchey" if used on dense wood with a raised burr and that its best to flatten the top face off on an oil/diamond stone after grinding. This helped me when using African Blackwood for boxes.

Hope this helps,:2tsup:

Richard

Richard Findley
19th Jun 2007, 04:49 AM
Hi Derek,

Are you sure this is Olive wood?:? To me... and this is purely from your photo... it looks more like Imbuya (sometimes called Brazilian Walnut) which I have used before. It has a very distinctive peppery smell when it is turned.

Only a thought:; . Good use of small bits of wood though:2tsup:

Cheers,

Richard

tashammer
19th Jun 2007, 02:11 PM
Frank & E that looks like quite a nice piece. Chess pieces and the like? i wonder what it would be like as inlay?

Frank&Earnest
19th Jun 2007, 02:44 PM
Frank & E that looks like quite a nice piece. Chess pieces and the like? i wonder what it would be like as inlay?

Yep, both uses tried and true through the centuries. The best finger size parquetry was also olive, before the world became small. By the way: happy to send it (1"x5") to whoever in Oz wants to have a go at making something out of it - picture required!

Sebastiaan56
24th Jun 2007, 08:02 AM
Ok, ditched the skew and the fingernail gouge, bought a scraper and here is yesterdays attempt. The foot flew off into about 5 pieces and rahter than continuing an lonsing it all I decided to stop so now it has a stumpy foot. Doesnt tip over as the wood is so dense.

When turning the foot do people make a deep parting cut to define the piece? Comments please.

Many thanks to all who commented, this forum is an amazing place where the skilled freely share their knowledge and experience. I do appreciate it:2tsup: Im ging to try a longer stem today and will post the result.

Sebastiaan

Frank&Earnest
24th Jun 2007, 12:22 PM
Yes, the grain is showing well in this one. Pity about the foot, but don't throw it away, there seems to be enough meat there to allow you to refine the shape later on, when you have got more used to it. Nice try!

Re the early parting cut: I don't, I think it weakens the piece unnecessarily, but take the advice of much more experienced turners than myself.

Frank&Earnest
24th Jun 2007, 10:31 PM
Just to test the new chuck and the new lathe, I have toucheded up the old olive mallet turned many years ago on el cheapo. You will still see the marks of use and a bit of cracking. Of course this is bone dry timber. Because it is so hard, it is difficult to give light skimming passes with a gouge. Basically it is skew or nothing, but it should not dig in if you do not make a mistake. It happens to the best of us, right Skew?:)
The good news is it comes off the tool shining.

3' one pound mallet.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
25th Jun 2007, 12:40 AM
It happens to the best of us, right Skew?:)

So I'm told. I know it also happens to hacks... well... to me, anyway. :D

I always try to get as good as possible a finish straight off the tool, purely as good practice in technique... but not at the risk of losing the piece. When things get hairy I'll quite happily revert to the good ol' 80-grit gouge. Hell, I'd train termites if I thought it'd work! :p

Wayne Blanch
25th Jun 2007, 03:50 PM
I'll quite happily revert to the good ol' 80-grit gouge. Hell, I'd train termites if I thought it'd work! :p

Damn, all that time wasted, :doh: You've mentioned trained termites before and I have been working on it for weeks now:D