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Russian Olive bench

Listing #497   Listed on: 12/30/2006

Company Name: Urban Lumber Inc.Here's a bench I made from 3 consecutive slabs from a rather large Russian Olive that stood in my neighbors back yard. The butterflies and square pegs are Bocote.


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Here's one of the slabs fresh off the mill. Russian Olive is considered a noxious weed around here and the city forester has declared war on them. From what I've been told they've had several sewer colapses due to root invasion from Russian Olive. The forestry department has been ordering them removed from the alleyways, and as a result I've been getting alot of logs, though only a very small percentage are suitable to mill


 
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here it is


 

Viewer Comments:


Posted By: Alan Dreyer     [01/10/2007]

Very nice work! Like you, I enjoy turning whole parts of trees into thick, solid, heavy benches. A few questions I hope you can answer: did you air dry or kiln dry the wood. Also, what kind of finish did you use? I intend to use a good brand of spar varnish on my projects, because it is very durable, waterproof, and flexes with wood movement, an important consideration when finishing a large project that will expand and contract quite a bit as the seasons change. If you used a good type of varnish, spar or otherwise, that you used with good results on your Russian Olive bench, please write me with the brand name. Thanks a lot.



Posted By: urbanlumberinc     [01/11/2007]

It was air dryed in a fan shed that works a bit like a solar kiln. As far as finish goes I used General Finishes Armor Seal. It's an oil based product that you can brush or wipe on. I've applied four coats and allowed them to harden. Next I'll wet sand up to 4000 grit, then buff it with some automotive polish. If all goes well I'll have a glass like finish when I'm done. Armor Seal is available at Rockler, and I think I paid around $15 for a pint. So far I've liked it enough to use again, but we'll see how well it polished up.



Posted By: mitch waldon     [11/01/2007]
Hello,

I've loved the look of Russian Olive for a long time. Have you had trouble drying it without it splitting? I have this somewhat hairbrained idea that it would make good flooring, but would have to find a supply to feed the flooring mill I know about here in Edmonton, Alberta. You mentioned that most of the logs you are getting from the city forestry dept. are not suitable for milling. Why is that? Do you think it might be a stable enough species to make into flooring? Seems hard enough to be fairly durable. Any ideas about a supply? Thanks- Mitch


Posted By: keith     [07/26/2008]
such a shame that the russian olive tree would be considered a weed. I would love to work with olive. I have an olive root knife and its by far my favorite of all lumber materials


Posted By: Kent     [01/12/2009]
I live in Wyoming and have access to several thousand acres of Russian Olive trees. Most are small, but there are a few monster trees that are over two feet in diameter and have straight trunks up to about 20 feet. Would the lumber from such trees have any value? I love to work with oak, and wonder if the wood from Russian Olive would have any similarity to oak. If any of you have work much with Russian Olive lumber I would appreciate knowing what the quality of the lumber is like. Thanks


Posted By: Larre     [10/26/2009]
There is a lot of things that you can do with a Russian Olive. The Fruit is edible containing many vitamins and nutrients, The Wood can be used for just what is seen here, and the seeds can be pressed for oil. Great work on the bench!! Peace...


Posted By: GT     [12/26/2011]
I have used smaller pieces of Russian olive for the tavern/home bar beer bottle cap displays I make. Makes a very nice addition to the bar.


Posted By: Jeff     [03/06/2013]
My hobby is building massive benches. Russian Olive is beautiful, but very difficult to work with. I live in Wyoming and have access to a lot of it.


Posted By: Jason Woodhead     [11/12/2016]
I found it to be a very nice wood to work with. I made a few drawer front, I found if let it dry slowly it have a few checks I then filled the with epoxy. It finishes well and looks good

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