Reply by wildwoodbybrianjohns

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Posted on fresh olive limb. how soon can i use it?

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2208 posts in 459 days

#1 posted 09-12-2020 08:36 AM

Depends on what you intend to do with it, I suppose, but olivewood holds moisture for a very very long time. It will for sure check from the heartwood, especially from knotty and/or crotch areas, and is highly likely to warp if you slab it. Also is typically very branchy, so the grain is often wavy and holds alot of tension.

Best way to cure turning blanks, or knife scales, etc., is to completely coat them in thin layer of beeswax, then wrap in brown paper (like what you use to cover floors when painting). Once moisture level is around 30%, then you can clean them up and air dry until you get to a moisture content you can work with.

If you slab it, You´re looking 2 – 3 years cure time of slow air-drying, minimum, if you dont have access to a kiln. Expect checking anyway; i usually fill checks and such with tinted epoxy, but ONLY after sufficient drying time. If you fill checks too soon, the epoxy will act like wedge and drive the checks deeper.

I have cut up really old fence posts to repurpose, and while the outer surface is grey and split and appeared rotten, the interior is still wet, sound, and hard as a rock.

Unless the wood is bone-dry, and even then, olive will just laugh at sandpaper and gum it up real fast. A card-scraper is much more effective. Also very prone to tearout from surface planer due to wavy grain patterns.

A couple of examples, to show where you can expect checking.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

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