Remount and Finish Bowl – No Rush To Finish Russian Olive

Russian Olive Bowl

May also be viewed on YouTube.

This bowl is turned from Russian olive from Idaho. It is generally considered a weed tree, planted for wind protection. It is now classified as a invasive species.

My sons’s in-laws had not qualms over cutting down with the tree. I rescued several chunks from the burn pile to take home and turn. I’ve never before turned Russian olive. Looking at the log’s end grain, all that I could see was a medium brown color.

When roughing the bowl, the wood seemed somewhat dry – definitely not as much water as other woods I’ve rough turned. I roughed it out anyway, waxed it and set it aside to dry.

After a couple of years, it’s ready to remount and turn. Since I did not then keep the nub on the bottom to mark the center, I used my cole jaws to reform the tenon. This had a disadvantage in that now I had to turn the exterior while mounted in a 4 jaw chuck. This meant that I was trapped between the headstock and the bowl. I felt constrained.

Still, I did complete the bowl and soaked it in walnut oil for a finish. The bowl is ten inches in diameter and about two inches in height.

Many would find fault in the soft sections of the grain. They sanded away creating a wave pattern. However, I like the result and may want to magnify the effect in future bowls.

2 Responses to “Remount and Finish Bowl – No Rush To Finish Russian Olive”

  1. Walter says:

    Alan, thanks again for an interesting video. Your comments on the character of the Russian Olive wood were particularly interesting, how its hardness varies between the dark and light parts of the grain, especially after sanding. I have not seen that effect myself, but have not had the opportunity to turn anything too exotic. It’s these unique behaviors of different woods that makes turning such a rich hobby.