LumberJocks

Wood Library - Holly

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by GaryK posted 05-20-2008 04:25 AM 1494 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Holly – Ilex opaca

I love this wood for trim and inlays on dark woods.

It has almost no figure from grain pattern or color. Holly is a chalky white to a light shade of gray.
The texture is very fine and uniform.

It’s an easy wood to work with. Cuts clean and smooth with hand or power tools. Capable of a very smooth and hard surface. Flexible and strong, bends nicely.

Very expensive but a little goes a long way as long as you are using it as stated above.

You can also ebonize it easily.

I would love to make an entire project out of it one of these days!
.
.
.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX



10 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3155 days


#1 posted 05-20-2008 05:26 AM

Gee Gary I’ve got about 200 Bd ft of it, what do you want to make.

I’ve not found a finish that keeps it white. What have you found?

Click for details

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2743 days


#2 posted 05-20-2008 05:37 AM

The best thing I have found to keep it white is waterbased poly. Everything else seems to turn it yellowish.

What would I make? I’ve never even considered it due to the cost!

It takes a lot of rough wood due to all the knots and it usually warps when kiln drying. You need to dry it fast to get it it’s whitest.

Then you got that grey streaking to work around. Where did you get so much!

That table looks great!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2523 days


#3 posted 05-20-2008 12:27 PM

thanks for the info Gary, I’m going to be using some holly for the inlay on my armoire and like you said a little will goe a long way. I will probably only get about 1 BF due to cost. thanks for the post.

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2483 days


#4 posted 05-20-2008 03:36 PM

This is interesting. I guess the high cost is because most holly trees I see are about 4 -6 inches in diameter. I do have one in my backyard that is probably about 10-12. If anything ever happens to it, I’ll have to make sure to salvage what I can. I never knew holly was even workable. Thanks!

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3082 days


#5 posted 05-20-2008 03:44 PM

yep, I was surprised to see Karson make a whole table out of it. I recall seeing the boards in his (or another) post. Must have been a champion tree!

Ironic that you can ebonize it so easily!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6704 posts in 2734 days


#6 posted 05-20-2008 05:05 PM

Hi Gary;

Good post.

Holly has been being used for inlays for hundreds of years, and is the ideal wood for this purpose.

And it’s true that water borne finishes keep the color the whitest.

Nice job on the post.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View gator9t9's profile

gator9t9

294 posts in 2459 days


#7 posted 05-20-2008 05:57 PM

Note to HOKIE MOJO…
I used to have a Holly tree in the back yard. That tree was about 20 ft tall and the trunk I suppose was 6-8 inches. ...we sold that house ..and this was just the beginning of my love of wood …I did not see the usefulness of Holly wood …If i had ..I would have chopped that *&^%$ tree down ….oh yes ..That tree made the biggest mess of those prickly leaves I have ever seen oh yes and if you dont get those leaves up and in the burn pile …(that was when we could burn such things ) ..and the leaves do not decompose within our lifetime …
Yes had i known that wood was so valuable and so pretty …I would have cut that tree down ….I hated it …

But that was long ago and now my consolation….Is in the Sawdust of my shop….. Oh wrong lyrics ..

-- Mike in Bonney Lake " If you are real real real good your whole life, You 'll be buried in a curly maple coffin when you die."

View Karson's profile

Karson

34916 posts in 3155 days


#8 posted 05-20-2008 07:36 PM

The Holly tree was cut down by the sawmill owner that I be-friended. We went into his back yard of the mill and he said pick a tree. The one I selected was about 18” in diameter and about 20’ tall to the many branches. So I’ve got some 2 X 8” about 10’ long and a lot of 1” stuff.

I put it in the loft of my workshop, and had fans blowing on it for 3 months. That was during the fall and winter. It was not heated so I had no splitting problems but I do have some blue stain streaking. It’s the same fungus that you sometimes see in pine. I’ve read that the best way to minimize the fungus is to cut the log down, cut it into wood and get it into the kiln the same day.

The top of the table has some of the blue stain visible. It is interesting that the 2” wood was placed on the stairs to the 2nd floor, the ends pointing up and it does not look like it has as much visable stain. I tried wood bleech and it made the stain lighter but didn’t make it white.

Thats why you don’t see much Holly around as lumber, because thats not the way that timber men work. About half of the trees in my yard are Holly, the biggest is about 12” in diam. But, a couple are about 30’ tall.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2743 days


#9 posted 05-20-2008 09:39 PM

Kerson – I have heard that you want to cut it in the dead of winter and put into a kiln ASAP.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2103 posts in 2483 days


#10 posted 09-15-2008 09:53 PM

I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve was reading that hackberry is another wood that tends to stain quickly. I wonder if a light spary with something like diluted oxyclean (milder than chlorine bleach) could help prevent the fungus from the start?

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase