Olive Wood need help deciding what finish to use

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Forum topic by BullVictory posted 08-11-2011 04:49 PM 4258 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BullVictory's profile


57 posts in 1944 days

08-11-2011 04:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: olive wood

This block of olive wood is for my father who wants to mount a brass eagle to it. Really a mantle piece I suppose. Anyways, I’ve never really done any work with olive wood before. As you can see, this piece is pretty unique with a little bit of figure and a nice contrasting grain. As always the camera flash really doesn’t show just how pretty this wood is. In the end, I don’t want a stain or dye and want to be able to clear coat it. I was thinking of using boiled linseed oil because I’ve heard that it really brings out and makes the contrasting grains in wood “pop.” I wasn’t sure what avenue to pursue to top coat.

Any suggestions are welcome!

10 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2115 days

#1 posted 08-11-2011 04:52 PM

I love olive wood, so I’m interested in the replies. It’s a very “waxy” wood to me for lack of a better description. I’d say anything other than a clear finish would be sacrilege. I like mine with just a coat of wax. I’m looking forward to the responses below.

Oops, I should mention that I can’t see the pictures on this computer.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View rsain's profile


50 posts in 1911 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 08:19 PM

Pics working here. Very nice piece!

You have about 26! (yes I mean factorial) options available to you. All depends. I rather like the combination of your’s and Al’s idea. I wouldn’t want to coat it with plastic (i.e., poly).

BLO with a coat of wax. Buff to a nice sheen. Keep it simple and pretty. Let the olive wood show!

- ryan

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2077 days

#3 posted 08-12-2011 03:11 AM

I would suggest tung oil. It will provide some protection and really make the grain and color pop out. Since it is more of a static piece that won’t be handled regularly, tung oil will be a great finish.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View KnickKnack's profile


1062 posts in 2989 days

#4 posted 08-12-2011 08:56 AM

I’d go with linseed oil.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View RonWoods's profile


18 posts in 1910 days

#5 posted 08-12-2011 10:55 AM

Picture are Ok here. I think a finish with linseed oil will be just great as a member has already mentioned above. So I will not waste a lot of time on it anymore. Just post some pictures of the finished piece, when you do finish and let us know what you used.

-- I need your woodworking ideas and questions on a Woodworking Survey. You can find the survey on my profile page. Earn a reward after filled up.

View BullVictory's profile


57 posts in 1944 days

#6 posted 08-12-2011 04:35 PM

Cool. I was thinking of going the Linseed Oil route as well based on what I’ve read about it before. What are the differences between Boiled and Raw Linseed Oil? Would there be an advantage to using one over the other? What about “drying” time? I like the idea of putting some sort of top coat on the piece, I do want to stay away from a plastic finish and would prefer a more natural, as Bertha suggested a Wax.. but what type of wax?

Thanks for the advice guys!

View Docopac's profile


43 posts in 2030 days

#7 posted 08-16-2011 12:54 AM

When I want to just highlite the natural color/grain of wood, I use Tru Oil gunstock finish. Look at some high quality walnut or quilted maple gun stocks and you can see what your finished product will look like. If you decide this is the type of finish you want PM me and I’ll try to give you some pointers on it.

-- Docopac (a carpenter in a different medium)

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2250 days

#8 posted 08-16-2011 12:57 AM

linseed oil finish is the best in my opinion


View chrisstef's profile


15479 posts in 2429 days

#9 posted 08-16-2011 01:42 AM

boiled linseed oil will dry much much faster than raw linseed oil. Ive heard a lot of good about Renaissance Wax. Love the olive wood by the way!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1057 posts in 1953 days

#10 posted 08-26-2011 08:41 AM

That’s a pretty block of wood.

You might want to consider shellac.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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