Lilac wood

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Forum topic by john2005 posted 11-28-2012 02:18 AM 2738 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1599 posts in 1221 days

11-28-2012 02:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

So I have access to a trunk from a dead lilac. It has been described as approx 10” in dia and approx 18” long. It was cut about a year ago and the ends left open. I asked him to at least seal the ends till I figure out if its worth using for anything. Question is, what does this wood look/work like? It seems dense. Is it a tool killer or does it work well? Any feedback would be appreciated. I just don’t want to cut it up if its junk wood

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

4 replies so far

View willie's profile


522 posts in 1497 days

#1 posted 11-28-2012 02:55 AM

I turned some several years ago. It was freshly cut. It was a light blonde color with some purple streaks running through it. I turned a lamp from it and made sure I highlighted the purple in it. Within a month all of the purple had turned a boring brown. I got some light checking in the wood as it dried and it smelled great while working with it. It was easy to work, especially green, but there was no appreciable grain pattern to it. If you can get it free or cheap, check it out. At worst, it’s firewood!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View EPJartisan's profile


1113 posts in 2168 days

#2 posted 11-28-2012 06:41 PM

DUDE…. Lilac is gold to me.. if you are going to burn it.. ship it to me and I will pay for everything. Lilac is a cultivated shrub, who closest relative is the olive tree… in fact you will find lilac works almost the same as olive wood, except it does not produce oil… it is very dense.. it carves sweetly and the grain figuring is amazing.. like a blond olive wood…. great for turning and carving… spoons, pipes, anything that requires a dense wood with no leeching of color or chemicals or oil. IT does not dull tools, it works like a dream, but I usually get it only in small pieces or thin logs.. the thickest I have got was 7” dia …. For the piece to be 10” dia… that is one OLD lilac. Inappropriate drying can cause lots of checks in the log, but the great thing is even the checking is stable and can be filled in. NOT junk wood. :)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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2363 posts in 2004 days

#3 posted 11-29-2012 12:52 AM

Take it before someone else gets it. I have a small piece of lilac for a reel seat insert. Going to turn it one of these days.

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1599 posts in 1221 days

#4 posted 11-29-2012 02:22 AM

So I went ahead and got the piece. Its approx 24” long and about 14.5” at the base. the center is rotted out about 1.5” in dia. Lots of burly looking lumps under the bark. At the other end it branches into 5 limbs that have all been cut short. One of the limbs was brought as well, but it has already cracked about 12” up in a spiral fashion. Could be salvageable for handles/small pieces. For now I plan to wax the ends and let it just sit for awhile. Hopefully the cracking will at least slow and give me some time to figure out some ideas. Seems self-destruction is the one thing EVERYBODY agrees on. We’ll see how it goes and hopefully I have some pics for ya. Thanks for the feed back.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

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