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found wood #15: just showing off a pretty piece of olive wood

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 1637 days ago 1502 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Inside Jacaranda Part 15 of found wood series Part 16: Cora's Mexican restaurant wood »

This is from the olive haul I got almost a year ago for free from some tree trimmers. Early this month, in the mood for some more resawing, I cut up another of the logs into blanks around the insane amount of checking.

I’ve probably heard every trick now to keeping wood from splitting – freezing, microwaving, alcohol dipping, Anchorseal, storing in a bag of shavings after turning, filling cracks with coffee grounds or wood dust and thin CA glue – I’ve tried many of them, and simply nothing keeps olive from cracking all throughout if it wants to, and too much of it wants to. The trimmers also threw every log over an ~8’ tall iron fence onto a hard sidewalk when giving it to me – there was no other way to get it over the fence – so that may have also introduced micro-fractures all through the wood. I simply don’t know. I just know this stuff splits like a shattered window. Oh, and I even tried cutting a round from a ~6” log and surrounding it with a band clamp tightened as hard as it would go. It bulged into a dome and still split open like Pac Man overnight :(

Anyway… I got a bunch of smaller stuff in the bottle stopper blank range out of this log, but one larger, check-free length was just gorgeous. I thought I’d finally get around to sharing some pics:

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

I guess there is a tiny check here, but it’s superficial:
pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

pretty olive blank

You can see the rest of the less interesting blanks in this previous entry, or dominating the middle shelf here:

olive blanks on shelf

It’ll probably be quite awhile before I figure out exactly what I want to turn out of it, and until then it’ll be air drying through its Anchorseal up on the shelf, as it has been most of the past month.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator



10 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#1 posted 1637 days ago

Were most of the trimmings branches?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2447 days


#2 posted 1637 days ago

This is a gorgeous piece of wood, Gary.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2274 days


#3 posted 1637 days ago

one of my fav. and the smell it makes when cut/turned is incredible.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2007 days


#4 posted 1637 days ago

Topamax – Probably. I had forgotten about that. I know branch wood not only grows under stresses that cause it to warp and crack later, but is actually chemically different from top to bottom. Good catch! The trunk was pretty massive – around 3’ in diameter. I wanted it, but didn’t know it was olive at the time, and I was driving a hatchback, too :) I’ve since seen dozens of olives around the streets and neighborhoods of LA, so I’m always on the lookout for any trimmers, or damaged trees. This is far too beautiful a wood to chip or mulch. I’ll know better how to take care of it this time, too. I’ll Anchorseal it immediately upon getting home, maybe even on the drive home!

Sharon – I love the smell, too! It reminds me of pears, but a little spicy. Maybe a kind of warm, cinnamon-y applesauce. However, I’m apparently quite allergic to it. It makes my lungs swell up. I feel like someone’s sitting on my chest and I have to lay down and breathe slowly through it for an hour or two until the tightness and labored wheezing subsides. The first time it happened was the worst, and I thought I’d have to get to a hospital. It was that bad. Definitely need to control the dust when I work with it, especially when sanding! This the only wood I’ve ever reacted to, and boy did I react. It’s a shame, because it sure does smell nice :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View lew's profile

lew

9991 posts in 2381 days


#5 posted 1637 days ago

Beautiful piece of wood, Gary.

Made some pens from olive wood recently and the aroma is fantastic. I did not realize that this was a wood to which some folks have an allergic reaction. Luckily, I guess I’m not one of them!

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2216 days


#6 posted 1637 days ago

Very nice wood.
Never have chance to see sawn olive wood, seen the tree once in Jordan.

I like to share this pic of olive tree I saved from a FWN KNOT member who lives in Israel.
http://i534.photobucket.com/albums/ee343/Masrol/Health%20Care/OlivetreefromRing.jpg

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#7 posted 1637 days ago

woodworn, that tree looks like me, short and stocky :-)

Lew, I think just about anything can cause allergic reactions in some people. My mother is an RN. she says they even change over time. You might get over one and get another. You get more susceptible as you age. When I was overdosed on Topamax, I became very reactive to most strong fragrances. I could not walk down the soap aisle in the grocery store or pass someone with strong perfume on without going off.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2007 days


#8 posted 1637 days ago

woodworm – Yep! That’s definitely a Euro olive. Big one, too. I don’t often see such a big base to the olives around where I live, but they still have that distinctively gnarled appearance. There’s a kind of powdery drab green to the leaves that also makes them an immediate ID, even at a distance for me now. One neat feature, which I found while still trying to ID the logs I picked up a year ago was that everything in the branches is opposite (as opposed to alternate) and rotates 90° from the previous node. Also, the stems of the smallest, leaf-carrying bits are square, so the leaves sprout oppositely from 2 faces, then switch which two faces, then switch back. Here's an example. Resting on my finger is a leaf, with one opposite it on the square stem. Climb the stem toward its tip and there’s a pair of opposite leaves on the other faces, 90° to the first set. Climb higher and there’s another opposite pairing on the original two faces. All of the stems do this up their entire lengths. The little flower buds do this, too. Note that it’s a tiny square stem with stems coming off opposite sides, then turning 90° for the next opposite pair, then again. There’s a single terminating bud to each, but even 2 of the buds are opposite in those with 3. The larger, woody branches are also alternatingly opposite. It finally falls apart at the highest levels and looks more wild and less structured from a distance.

Topamax – Yeah, allergies are rough, but I’ve moved on from some. I was allergic to some fruits (and mildly to all of them) when I was younger, but that’s faded considerably. I was also incredibly allergic to ragweed pollen for all of my childhood, until about college. Now I seem unaffected by it. It was so bad that the allergist said he couldn’t give me anything, and that mine were the strongest allergies to the stuff he’d seen in his career. I was a mess all through school in the spring and summer months. I’d go through a family-size box of tissues in a day, and each would be completely soaked. My eyes would also swell entirely shut so I could either see through tiny, blurry slits, or not at all. As for wood, many are known sensitizers, which means that the more you work with them, the more allergic you get. I’ve heard of woodworkers who simply can’t go near woods they used to use anymore, because they’ve built up too much of a reaction to them.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14721 posts in 2301 days


#9 posted 1637 days ago

Makes my migraines sound pleasant ;-)) Sorry you had such a bad time. I have never heard of anyone having it that bad and nothing working to help them.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2216 days


#10 posted 1636 days ago

Gary, thank you for more links to the images of “olive tree”. During my short visit to Jordan last time, I did not have chance to see the tree with either flower or fruit.
I was amazed with the remains of huge grinder bed made of granite stone. Is was once used for producing olive oil. According to the tour bus driver, the top part (the moving part also made of granite – no longer there) could olny be turned/rotated by the power of one camel.

Topamax,

”woodworn, that tree looks like me, short and stocky :-)” LOL …you really made me chuckling….

Thanks everyone for sharing.

Thanks again for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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