Wild or African olive

This hardwood is typical of the South African Highveld. It can grow to gigantic size of 18 meters in height and 40 metres in foliage width. Most trees are however of medium and smaller sizes. Trees structure is often extremely irregular. (See pictures)

To enables the recovery of large enough slabs well trained staff and sawing know how is required.

The hearthwood is yellowish to reddish with marked dark line making it a very attractive wood. It is popular in furniture making, carving, turnery, it even finds application in the musical industry.

The most popular applications include cigar and jewellery boxes, bowls, knife handles, pens and chess pieces.

African olive has been crafted into unique flutes and more rarely into historic and baroque instruments.

The supply of this wood is subject to concession, annual cutting and transport permits.

The heartwood

The wood is hard, heavy and non-porous. The bark is grey to brown black. The sapwood is whitish. The heartwood is reddish brown with strongly marked dark grain. It is aesthetically pleasing explaining its numerous applications.

Saw milling charactestics

The wood is hard and therefore cut in stages. In a first stage, the logs are broken down in slabs on a band saw with a flexible thin blade. In a second stage into parts tungsten tipped blades. The blades tend to clog. Good cleaning of blades is obtained in sugar soap baths.

Seasoning

It dries slowly. Slabs must be rested several years before they can be sawn into thin parts without warping.

The standard parts we endeavour to keep in stock

Turning squares in mm
3/4 x 3/4 x 6 20 x 20 x 152
1 x 1 x 6 26 x 26 x 150
11/2 x 11/2 x 3 38 x 38 x 75
11/2 x 11/2 x 6 38 x 38 x 150
11/2 x 11/2 x 12 38 x 38 x 310
11/2 x 11/2 x 16 38 x 38 x 410
11/2 x 11/2 x 18 38 x 38 x 457
11/2 x 11/2 x 24 38 x 38 x 600
2 x 2 x 4 51 x 51 x 100
2 x 2 x 6 51 x 51 x 150
2 x 2 x 8 51 x 51 x 205
2 x 2 x 12 51 x 51 x 300
2 x 2 x 24 51 x 51 x 600
3 x 3 x 12 76 x 76 x 300
3 x 3 x 18 76 x 76 x 457
Bowl blanks  
4 x 4 x 2 100 x 100 x 50
5 x 5 x 2 125 x 125 x 50
6 x 6 x 2 150 x 150 x 50
6 x 6 x 3 150 x 150 x 75
8 x 8 x 2 200 x 200 x 50
8 x 8 x 3 200 x 200 x 75
10 x 10 x 2 250 x 250 x 50
10 x 10 x 3 250 x 250 x 75


Clients, Turners and carvers

Botanical name Olea europea, sub-species africana
Family Oleaceae
Local name Olienhout
English name Wild olive
Distribution Widely spread in Africa, Arabia, India to China.
The tree Evergreen, up-to 14 meters tall. Bark grey-brown and rough, grows in all sorts of habitat, especially woodland, stream banks and rocky hill slopes
The wood Sapwood light brown and heartwood dark reddish brown to dark brown, attractive light black figure, strong, very hard and heavy (air-dry 1.1 t / m3). The wood darkens with age.
Seasoning It dries quickly in small dimensions, slowly in large ones.
Workability It works well on the lathe and with the chisel.
Use A popular wood for turnery, carving, cabinet making and furniture.