Around Christmas and Easter, you will often notice that jewelry shops and church scenes feature many exotic wood designs. A longstanding favorite material for these designs is olive wood, a wood frequently found in Europe and Eastern Africa. This beautiful material features a creamy color with many darker swirls and patterns along the surface.
Because of its aesthetic beauty, many woodworkers love using olive wood for turning projects. However, others have a more cautious approach. Given its exotic status, they worry that it may be tougher to use than the wood they know.
So, without further ado, let's begin! We will examine olive wood's benefits for turning in more depth below. We will also mention how to buy it and what its typical uses are.
Olive Wood For Turning: Is It Practical?
Olive wood has several features that make it appealing for wood turners. It has gorgeous coloring that almost resembles marble, with darker colors twisting and turning along the cream-colored surface.
It is also a relaxing wood to work with, releasing a soothing aroma as you work on it. Once you have sanded it down and scraped off the roughness, it has a uniquely soft texture.
The downside of this exotic wood is that it is dense, often gnarled and knotted, giving it a unique look but making it hard to shape quickly. It is also prone to many flaws. If you want to buy this wood for turning purposes, it is best to purchase logs no longer than 24 inches.
As an olive tree grows, it often rots towards the middle. This rotting results in variously sized voids in your olive logs. So, while olive wood is practical and can produce many products, it also takes patience and skill to turn since you might find those gaps can change how you shape it.
Where to Buy Olive Wood
Unless you live in Greece, Italy, or Spain, you probably will not find many local olive wood supplies (though exceptions exist). As such, you will have to rely on an exotic wood supplier to get you the best quality of this unique wood.
These suppliers can pick out the wood that will produce the best results for your turning project. They can help you identify the necessary lengths and properties for the task at hand.
Another crucial factor to consider is the type of olive wood. Different species of olive trees grow in various regions. Roman olive wood is not identical to Bethlehem olive wood, so each one will have unique characteristics.
Exotic wood suppliers offer many different types of olive wood. As such, you can pick the one best suited to your project.
Common Olive Wood Projects
As mentioned earlier, olive wood often shows up around Christmas and Easter. It does so because this exotic wood has much biblical significance . It even gets mentioned in the Bible as a material used in building Solomon's temple.
As such, Nativity sets, crucifixes, and rosary beads frequently use this wood to create these spiritually significant items. However, plenty of non-religious products utilize this wood as well. Letter openers, knife handles, furniture, and bowls also feature as standard products produced from this wood.
Start Your Olive Wood Project Today
Olive wood has significant potential for any wood turner to use it to create a unique piece. If you would like to work with this unique asset, find an exotic wood supplier today!
We at Global Wood Source offer several types of wood for your projects, including different variations of olive wood. Search our store today to find the wood you need!
Global Wood Source is a family-owned and operated lumber yard and mill specializing in exotic woods from around the world and rare domestics. We acquire and inspect each piece of log and timber obtained from forests and jungles worldwide.