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Russian Olive

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Forum topic by poopiekat posted 10-17-2019 03:18 AM 435 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poopiekat

4540 posts in 4279 days


10-17-2019 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question olive turning

I’m getting some Russian Olive logs from a tree that came down in our recent snow/ice storm. This tree came down in my neighbor’s yard, and she wants me to take whatever I want to cut from it.
The question is, is there anything specific to Russian Olive that I should know? I mean does this wood have value as turning stock, or should I not bother trying to turn it? I could probably resaw it and somehow incorporate it into a project, the wood I have seen of it so far has a dark heart and yellowy sapwood, ...or was it the other way around? I’m confused, I had to process a bunch of elm from my own yard as well.

What has your experience been with this species? Thanks!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!


9 replies so far

View Mike Turner's profile

Mike Turner

65 posts in 2701 days


#1 posted 10-17-2019 08:12 AM

I have made a few flutes out of it. 95% of the time I have no problem but once in a while one will dry and twist a little.(I bore the blanks while the wood is still green.) It is a lovely wood.Some with more color than others.

Dont let it get away.Do try turning some!!!!

-- Mike,North Carolina

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Jim Finn

2754 posts in 3466 days


#2 posted 10-17-2019 11:55 AM

I have carved it. It carves well.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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HokieKen

11442 posts in 1683 days


#3 posted 10-17-2019 12:41 PM

I have had some small pieces of Olive wood and find the colors and grain very pretty. The little bit I’ve had turned really well. I wish my neighbor had an Olive tree for the taking ;-p

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

3131 posts in 2717 days


#4 posted 10-17-2019 04:22 PM

Russian Olive is not an olive. It has a hardness near cherry and walnut. In the US it is an invasive species so use all of it you can. It was brought in during the dust bowl era and is extremely difficult to eradicate.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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splintergroup

3017 posts in 1767 days


#5 posted 10-17-2019 06:10 PM

Many of my projects are made from Russian Olive. Dark center heartwood that looks great with oil and fills my color gap with a nice brown lying between oak and walnut. I think it looks good when cut anywhere between flat and quarter sawn. It tends to be rather splintery, if re-sawing, seal the ends asap. Better to re-saw then seal versus sealing the logs and planking out later.

The worst thing about this wood is the smell when cutting. Gagarific!

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poopiekat

4540 posts in 4279 days


#6 posted 10-17-2019 06:12 PM

Thanks, guys, for all the great replies!
So far I’ve snagged eight logs, all 20” to 24” long and 6” to 10 ” in diameter. Yeah, I’ll go for more, but the contractor she is negotiating with has already seen the tree, and presumably his quote includes salvaging the timber.
In the Canadian prairies, any species that can withstand -40F is considered ornamental and exotic, not a weed!!

TY, all! Mostly I was dreading the news that it might be toxic or something.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Lee's profile

Lee

140 posts in 1422 days


#7 posted 10-17-2019 11:51 PM

Just finished a bowl of Russian olive, tricky to turn as the grain changes from hard to soft, but it is a pretty wood.

-- Colombia Custom Woodworking

View Brawler's profile

Brawler

86 posts in 375 days


#8 posted 10-18-2019 04:48 PM



Russian Olive is not an olive. It has a hardness near cherry and walnut. In the US it is an invasive species so use all of it you can. It was brought in during the dust bowl era and is extremely difficult to eradicate.

- johnstoneb


Yeah, I got it all over my yard, the stuff grows like a weed. Even if I dig it all up, it is all over the area and eventually comes back.

-- Daniel

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

4540 posts in 4279 days


#9 posted 10-19-2019 12:19 PM

I guess the opinions vary according to your local climate. It’s not a common tree in Manitoba. Though there’s plenty of cut wood in people’s yards available for the taking, this poor olive tree came down in an ice storm, and people are ringing her doorbell constantly to see if the logs are available. I’m glad I got a bunch of it already. Lee: That’s a fine turning you got there! I’ll have to laminate some stock together to make projects of that size.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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