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fresh olive limb. how soon can i use it?

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Forum topic by Stephen posted 09-12-2020 04:31 AM 796 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Stephen

42 posts in 3728 days


09-12-2020 04:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My neighbor had his olive tree removed today. I snagged a limb about 5’ x 5” diamiter.
I don’t want to use it so soon that it will warp and crack.
I’ll paint the ends to slow down the drying but how long in Tucson’s dry climate do I let it rest?

-- Loving it in Tucson .... Stephen


35 replies so far

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Loren

10712 posts in 4531 days


#1 posted 09-12-2020 08:24 AM

Several years, I would guess. I think fruitwoods take a long time to dry. You can cut it into boards now of course, and drying will go faster that way. Making boards will reduce the likelihood of cracking through the log, which is a pretty high likelihood imo.

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

2128 posts in 430 days


#2 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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LittleBlackDuck

5797 posts in 1704 days


#3 posted 09-12-2020 09:29 AM

Somewhere I heard to allow 1 year for each 25mm (may take a few extra days for 1”). Naturally this doesn’t allow for environment and type of timber, however, it is just a rule of thumb to do some quick mental arithmetic with… For example, it may be futile to consider working on it in under 3 years time and maybe make plans for 5-6 (if uncut).

Slice and dice and you’ll use it sooner… A moisture meter could be a prudent investment, though I have no idea what the ideal “working” moisture level should be and the returned values would be surface predominant… I guess RTFM.

With my limited knowledge of timber storage, I believe sealing the ends was/is a wise move. I have an old electric fry pan with paraffin wax that I can dip a 300mm dia. twig into,

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#4 posted 09-12-2020 09:47 AM

Through a lamp (lighting), connect to one end + (plus), and to the other end – (minus). This method will speed up drying. It is advisable to put on plastic bags at the ends to slow down evaporation. Drive nails into the ends, through the bags and connect the nails together. GOOD LUCK …. but small cracks are inevitable.

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#5 posted 09-12-2020 09:59 AM

Through a lamp (lighting), connect to one end + (plus), and to the other end – (minus). This method will speed up drying. It is advisable to put on plastic bags at the ends to slow down evaporation. Drive nails into the ends, through the bags and connect the nails together. GOOD LUCK …. but small cracks are inevitable.

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#6 posted 09-12-2020 10:02 AM

Reading the comments, I remembered the proverb – I heard a ringing, but I don’t know where he is …
May the Almighty forgive me…..

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#7 posted 09-12-2020 10:10 AM

More nails possible. Not deep 1.5 – 3 cm

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5797 posts in 1704 days


#8 posted 09-12-2020 10:23 AM



Through a lamp (lighting), connect to one end + (plus), and to the other end – (minus).
- Sasha

I hope those unprotected “nails” are not connected to an electrical power point.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#9 posted 09-12-2020 10:33 AM

You can clearly see it in the photo. Yes, the nails are plugged into the outlet. The trunk itself lies on a dry tree. Do not be afraid will not Kill … LOL …
LBD Or are you kidding ????

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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Sasha

1213 posts in 2096 days


#10 posted 09-12-2020 10:37 AM

Laughing …. In Russia. for practical (good) advice – Say Thank you.

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5797 posts in 1704 days


#11 posted 09-12-2020 11:25 AM

.


You can clearly see it in the photo. Yes, the nails are plugged into the outlet. The trunk itself lies on a dry tree. Do not be afraid will not Kill … LOL …
LBD Or are you kidding ????

- Sasha


No I’m not kidding… loose electrical wires is a sure way of getting accidentally hurt.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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HarveyM

120 posts in 2905 days


#12 posted 09-12-2020 11:37 AM

Here’s an article on woods & moisture. One method they mention is cutting a test piece, weighting it, oven drying completely (0%) & reweighing. From that you could calculate the weight target for any percent moisture content you want. (they also describe using moisture meters)

http://owic.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/pubs/EM8600.pdf

-- Just a Duffer

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

1357 posts in 3966 days


#13 posted 09-12-2020 12:05 PM



You can clearly see it in the photo. Yes, the nails are plugged into the outlet. The trunk itself lies on a dry tree. Do not be afraid will not Kill … LOL …
- Sasha

Thats an interesting technique for drying…I’ve never heard of it before.
You are an adult and are obviously aware that it could kill you.
Be aware, be careful, and carry on…

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

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ibewjon

2080 posts in 3676 days


#14 posted 09-12-2020 12:17 PM

It can KILL and start a fire. No chance I would try that inside, or outside. The loose connections to the nails can arc and start a fire. And would that be 240 volts? Scary.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

5797 posts in 1704 days


#15 posted 09-12-2020 12:26 PM


...You are an adult and are obviously aware that it could kill you….
- Tony_S

It can KILL and start a fire. No chance I would try that inside, or outside. The loose connections to the nails can arc and start a fire. And would that be 240 volts? Scary.
- ibewjon


Those was my immediate, unqualified thoughts… I do not encourage recommendations that could kill you… even under the recommenders direct supervision… Sorry Sasha, do not agree!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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