I have been very lucky with some very kind donations of wood. When I went to Motueka in the South Island for a conference, I met up with an old friend who lived in Motueka, but once lived in Hawkes Bay. He had an orchard... of Olives.
He gave me four little logs of Olive wood. I cut them into twelve billets for turning. Here are two pieces, one on the lathe, the other ready to turn. I can get a wonderful polish on Olive, as you can see in the foto. The second piece has some very nice grain, with coloured stripes along it.
This foto shows my current stack of billets which have been made into turning blanks with a hole drilled down the middle. Only two pieces of Olive are left. None of the cedar he gave me is left. That was easy to turn but was hard to get to sound. The rest of the pile is made up of Jarrah from Western Australia, I had to buy in Carterton, some radiata from my firewood, and some Indonesian Rubber Wood, from a piece of furniture rescued from somewhere,
The Radiata is most unpromising. However, I am determined to give it a try.
The rubber wood is OK. As you can see, it is from the legs of a now defunct table.
The Rubber wood from the other side. It has a grain, but is hard and dense enough to sustain a good polish. The black marks are from the band saw.
This foto shows why I love the olive wood. The grain has colour and character. The small knot will not be a problem, but I try and avoid them. They always require filling and gluing.
If the drill does not go straight, the blank can still be be rescued. Cut and glue. You can see the line where I glued, on one side, more wood to give room to remove wood on the lathe. The piece on top is cut from the bottom. The Jarrah is valuable as I had to pay for it. REAL MONEY!!
This is Jarrah from a telefone pole. It is very marginal for turning, but I may get a pipe from it. I may not. Who knows?
This split in the blank of Jarrah [the piece in the previous picture] shows why it will be difficult to turn. The chuck will hold this end together, but the other end is on a spike! If it does work It could be a great pipe. If not, it will be great firewood. mnbjll
Cheers Chris the Pipemaker