Finish for Olive? *PIC*

John K Jordan
I'm cutting into a slab of Mediterranean Olive to make a wedding present (for a girl I've known since she was 4 years old!)

Has anyone used oil on Olive? I generally prefer the soft sheen of multiple applications of oil, such as Watco, but I've never tried it on olive. Will it darken it excessively over time? I know that watco oil doesn't play well with some woods - for example I put some on a beautiful piece of Cocobolo once and within 6 months it was almost as black as ebony. I'm doing some tests with different finishes but I don't have 6 months to wait - the wedding is in December! I've also used beeswax for these, melted into the surface with a heat gun, so that's another option.

I've heard that some finishes like lacquer and poly are less likely to react with the wood over time and I've used them but for something that will be used for food I don't want a film on the surface.

I wiped on naptha on a section of the bottom to see how the oil might bring out the figure (sanded only with a bit of 220 by hand here):

Naptha doesn't add any color (it's like putting water on it without the drawbacks of water) so the browns and yellows in this picture is about what it would look like with oil. I applied oil to some sanded scraps a little while ago and the wood looks just like the photo.

BTW, if you haven't used naptha, maybe try it. It doesn't affect the wood or any finish applied later, wipes away sawdust and sanding grit, doesn't raise the grain, and drys very quickly. Besides showing what the finish might do to the figure in the wood it helps me see hard-to-see sanding scratches, tearout, and other defects.

Any turners of Olive hanging around?


© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.