Olive Wood

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Project by Thomas Porter posted 05-26-2008 09:40 AM 4477 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay so some times I bite off more than I can chew. This is one of those times. My friend Mike (in the first picture) said he wanted to get rid of an Olive tree at one of his rental properties. This immediately sparked my interest and I told him that when he wanted it to come down, I’d be happy to do it and take it away. I had never cut down an olive tree before and I’ve seen how beautiful it can be so I thought… worth a shot.

Holy Crap! This tree was hard. The main branches were a cakewalk but the main trunk of the tree was very difficult. It took me 7 chainsaw chains to get it in the truck and I used a backhoe profusely to get the thing moved. VERY HEAVY. I have a bunch of lumber now that I need to mill up and cover the endgrain with the waxy solution stuff, but I’m not sure I’m going to cut down a tree for a while.

Just as a happy note. The burls I got are gorgeous. This was a very big and odd shaped tree. There’s going to be some sweet turnings from this puppy.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ,

20 comments so far

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3984 days

#1 posted 05-26-2008 10:13 AM

Thomas, you sure are lucky. That last image makes it look as though there is some great figure to be had. Shame I live so far away – Sydney, Australia.

-- Bob

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4299 days

#2 posted 05-26-2008 12:59 PM


You’ve got some beautiful wood there.

I’ve had very good results using waterproof Carpenters glue for sealing the ends.

I give them a couple of coats, until you get a glossy finish

Have fun!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#3 posted 05-26-2008 01:46 PM

Wow!!!! This is a lot of wood. I can see a lot of beautiful projects hidden beneath the bark.

Have fun.

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

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3901 days

#4 posted 05-26-2008 02:28 PM

I know I shouldn’t but I’m coveting!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3822 days

#5 posted 05-26-2008 02:48 PM

Any chance you can clean up that end piece and throw some mineral oil on it, so we can see that grain pop?
I would love to be a fly on your wall when you process that tree.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3767 days

#6 posted 05-26-2008 02:54 PM

Good for you! Looks like some awesome wood.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3991 days

#7 posted 05-26-2008 02:56 PM

Wow… what a great tree and relatively free to boot!

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 3786 days

#8 posted 05-26-2008 03:08 PM

nice! Make a spoon for me.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3885 days

#9 posted 05-26-2008 03:38 PM

Beautiful wood and now the work begins.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Karson's profile


35121 posts in 4400 days

#10 posted 05-26-2008 03:52 PM

A nice unique tree. So great looking wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3785 days

#11 posted 05-26-2008 03:56 PM

Olive is so beautiful. I have recently found that I must be one of the unlucky one’s that cannot work with this wood.
I decided that I would carve a little do-dad, something fun out of Olive.
Little did I know this was from the same tree that gave me a rash from hell.
In the first pic …lol, Is the wood I should not touch. Must be a fungus or somthing in the wood. I only carved it did not make any dust or any that i could see. Carving makes chips thats it.
I notice the wood smells very sweet or maybe a little like whiskey…If yours is the same beware!!!!!
I hope you have better results than I did and good luck with that Olive wood.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4326 days

#12 posted 05-26-2008 04:19 PM

nice score!
that should provide a few beautiful projects!

View gator9t9's profile


331 posts in 3704 days

#13 posted 05-26-2008 05:39 PM

So where do you live ….I would love to take some of that lousy looking wood off your hands
I have never seen such a large olive tree …wow man oh man !
I had heard that olive is ” Hard as the Hobs of Hell” one friend told me once …

Sure does look nice ….so is it just gonna sit out back and look like firewood now ?

-- 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 GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3988 days

#14 posted 05-26-2008 05:48 PM

That is one nice score you made. Looks like you earned it though.

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

View Thomas Porter's profile

Thomas Porter

127 posts in 4131 days

#15 posted 05-26-2008 06:51 PM

I live in Phoenix. I’m definately willing to part with some. There’s more here than I plan on using.

I’m going to cut up most of it as turning blanks and a select few logs as lumber. It was a very windy, twisty tree so there’s not a lot for bards but plenty for turning blanks. I was out trying to heave the majority of them out of the back of my truck today. Ugh! I’m sore.

As to the man who was allergic to the olive. That’s pretty common. There are some trees that people are just plain allergic to. For me it’s aromatic cedar… nothing else. Olive tree allergies are so bad here in Phoenix that you can no longer plant particular olive trees here anymore. It’s actually illegal. Can you believe that? It’s horrible come allergy season. Luckily for me, I’ve lived here all my life and I was covered in olive tree sawdust and muck from the tree and I didn’t get any redness or itchiness at all.

The smell of an olive tree is very distinct. It does have a sweet whiskey smell to it. Kindof potent and strange. It’s the normal smell. The root burl and the heartwood are the most fragrant. I think thats because the inside of the tree is basically dead and rotting away. Most olive trees have hallows on the inside and become homes for bugs. This one had a big nest of cockroaches in it. It also had an ant colony. Note to all of you people who want to fell a tree: If your scared of bugs… don’t handle the chainsaw. :-) Squeemish jumpy people and chainsaws are a bad mix.

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ,

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