Big wood "porn" or lots of pen blanks...???

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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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6,514
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Hi everyone,

Would be nothing new for me to show here wood, any shorts sizes and shapes however, is not everyday that myself have this much Olive wood root semi-process for drying and further processing.

The pieces in the pics belong to a single humongous Olive tree root of 2 I have been processing, from a lot of 7 for 13 tonne (some of it is dirt, rocks, etc...!) I brought in to my storage paddock last year, as some may remember here.

I've got 2 of the biggest ones washed and cut into "manageable" sizes (some still need 2 of us...!) but, being short of dry Olive root, I needed to get some done, as root will dry faster them the tree wood itself.

It all started 3 weeks ago, today (Sunday), one day at the paddock with all my "working team" and all the gear necessary to get this initial clean-up done so that I could put the big 36" chainsaw into work.

Since, I have been bringing the chunks home, give them another clean-up and then put them on the bandsaw for slicing. Most I want to cut in 2"1/2 to 3" thick slabs and stack them to dry while processing some smaller bits into square blocks or pen blanks, as I go.

Last Friday, with a sunny day ahead, I decided to bring all the slabs I had cut and thrown on the floor everywhere, outside on the lawn, give them a spray with the garden hose and take some pics before I would start stacking them, on top of a pallet and under cover.

The slabs showing, are only from 1 (one) root, the other is still in chunks and waiting to be done in the same way but, that takes time as the pieces are heavy and slicing them, discovers more and more dirt pockets inside the wood that blunt my 1"TPI x 40mm x 2mm thick bandsaw blade far to fast, making me re-sharp it a few times daily...!

Anyway, I decided to start with the biggest roots (still one more large left) as they were the oldest ones 150 years + and the ones I was expecting/predicting/hopping/anticipating/wanting to find the best "treasures" inside but, these two roots have nothing special about them and a big disappointment, indeed.

The thing is, with Olive Trees, the roots can hold the most amazing and rare grains and formations, you will ever see, including pockets of blue stained wood (very rare) and some inner burls that are NOT visible from the outside. This nature doings, require a long time, therefore the oldest the tree, the higher the chances but, and like so many other things in life, what is suppose to be and or assumptions/speculations based on previous experiences, can prove to be a false lead and or results.

I have great expectations for the other roots I have still to process, why...? firstly because I know that, any of them is capable to provide me with the biggest and welcome surprise, "treasures" and *gems* grow in trees, which ones...??? that takes a lot of trial and error, hard work and lots of luck...!

The second reason I have high expectations for what is unprocessed in that, about a month ago, and due to be running out of dry root as mentioned previously, I was not yet ready to tackle the big stuff so, I went to the paddock and brought home the smallest piece I had there, the same piece that I almost left behind, as it was a small piece (about 20kg) that the bulldozer had snapped from a larger root, in the process of ripping them off the ground. This bit was full of mud and didn't look much, with a good chance of being only sapwood but, I decided to grab it by hand, while the large bob-cat was handling the other roots into the truck and trailer, I walked with it to the truck and throw it in.

Well, it turned out that, that small piece that, even when washed didn't show anything special apart from that dark colour from the dirt stains but, when put in the bandsaw and sliced open, right through its centre, made my eyes nearly drop to my feet...!:eek: That thing was a chunk of blue stained Olive with a pocket of BURL inside it :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:.

There was some sapwood around it that I cut off and then proceeded to slice it into 22mm boards from where I cut the pen blanks from. I was so excited that I never though in grabbing the camera, I wanted to slice it up and see how much good stuff I had in there. Another thing I now regret was not, at least, take some pics of each slab/slice before I cut it into pen blanks, loosing immediately (as it would be expected) its natural grain configuration and patterns, damn...! I endup with about 100 blue stained blanks and about 50 burl full blanks and some shorts, and that, I have pics of...!:wink::biggrin:

Now, that's what I would be expecting from the inside of those large roots but, that wasn't to be, unless those already processed and as I said before, I have great expectations on the rest, as that small root piece that gave me such treasures, belongs to one of the largest roots, the PROBLEM IS, when I went to load the roots into the truck, was a pile that we couldn't get close to, not only due to the "marks" put around it but also from clear warning from the construction manager where, he didn't wanted the bob-cat near that marked area, as the Power company has had just installed a under-ground cement box from the connection junction of the power lines to the construction site/new wine factory being built.

The area was full of mud from rain the day before and also the big hole they dug up to put this box in, the dirt was thrown on top of a root pile next to it, where I knew they were 2 large roots and possibly a couple of small ones, now almost covered with soil so, they had to be left behind.

I did request to the construction manager to let me know when would be safe to remove the other roots from there, as they had to be removed either way, a road had to be built around it so, was only a matter of time.
I was never contacted and some time later, I went pass to have a look and the place has been all cleaned up, the road was in and the roots were gone. I knew that, they were not put a side for me but, have being taken to the dump by the people that went there with a machine to lift/remove the roots out/away and level the ground so, I lost those.

And that is where I could have lost a lot more than what I think I have, if the main root from where the "treasure" chunk came from, is not in my storage paddock, still to be clean/processed, that means that....! exactly...., and that will upset me considerably:mad: so, lets hope I got it...!

On the other hand, I also know that, if the main root from where that chunk came from is in the paddock, there is absolutely no guarantee that, I will find any more of it on the rest of that root. I have been on this road far too many times before to know that, no one can be sure of what is inside of a "sealed" piece of wood, ever...! Is the expectation, excitement of the search that keep my blood running in my veins, like a Viagra to my soul...!:eek::wink:

Suspense, excitement, disappointment are, all part of what I love to do and share with everyone, the woods are my passion so are all the "things" that come with it, good and bad...!
The wife (Merissa), years ago said that I was mad (she was probably, right...!), years later and after she was introduced and became an active part of "my world", she is now having a totally different perspective and opinion about "wood", she is now capable to see and appreciate nature's work, that has been one of my greatest successes in life...!

I hope you enjoy...!

PS: Apologies to those with slow Internet connections but, I don't know how do do it in any other way...!:redface::biggrin:

Cheers
George
 

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edstreet

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Aug 12, 2007
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No longer confused....
Sorry but that totally sucks ass they did not call you. What you are doing is pure 100% recycling in the best possible way yet they took it to the dump where it will sit there for a very long time and not get recycled and they wonder what is wrong with this world we live in today.

Many high grade wood comes from root/base of trunk junction and even still many 'burl' is not really burl but root structures.

Tho I must confess pen blanks is good for many of this but no bowl blanks?

Ed
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Sorry but that totally sucks ass they did not call you. What you are doing is pure 100% recycling in the best possible way yet they took it to the dump where it will sit there for a very long time and not get recycled and they wonder what is wrong with this world we live in today.

Many high grade wood comes from root/base of trunk junction and even still many 'burl' is not really burl but root structures.

Tho I must confess pen blanks is good for many of this but no bowl blanks?

Ed

Excuse me, Sir...! one of the pics show a box full of squares that some will be rounded other stay square, many of the thicker slabs already cut, will be processed as round blanks from big to small. At this moment, I'm processing these 2 large roots into slabs so that the wood dries faster, in the process, I'm making some pen blanks so that they dry fast as I'm nearly out of dry Olive root pen blanks.

Any slabs that break apart of small edges left from the slabs are processed fully in whatever the sizes they provided (those in the box on the floor). The summer is coming so the cut wood will dry fast...!

I have plenty of rounds and square Olive wood blanks ready, from previous logs so, I always thing of everyone when it come to cut my woods, I like to be able to have a bit of everything, that includes blanks sizes suitable to those that make other things, apart from pens so, don't distress, everyone is covered...!:wink::biggrin:

PS: The roots taken to the dump would have been pushed over in a hole and used as landfill together with tones of household normal rubbish...!

Cheers
George
 
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Randy Simmons

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
395
Location
Cary, NC
now I have to ask, is any of that for sale in somewhat small quantities? haha. But really, that is great work you're doing. Some bowls or other vessels from that stuff would be gorgeous. Cheers!
 

David Keller

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Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,618
Location
Enid,OK
Great photos, George! If I lived anywhere close, you'd need better security!:wink::biggrin: I got some olive root blanks from you a year or two back, and it's some of the best stuff I've ever turned... Thanks!
 

robutacion

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
6,514
Location
Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Sorry but that totally sucks ass they did not call you. What you are doing is pure 100% recycling in the best possible way yet they took it to the dump where it will sit there for a very long time and not get recycled and they wonder what is wrong with this world we live in today.

Many high grade wood comes from root/base of trunk junction and even still many 'burl' is not really burl but root structures.

Tho I must confess pen blanks is good for many of this but no bowl blanks?

Ed

Excuse me, Sir...! one of the pics show a box full of squares that some will be rounded other stay square, many of the thicker slabs already cut, will be processed as round blanks from big to small. At this moment, I'm processing these 2 large roots into slabs so that the wood dries faster, in the process, I'm making some pen blanks so that they dry fast as I'm nearly out of dry Olive root pen blanks.

Any slabs that break apart of small edges left from the slabs are processed fully in whatever the sizes they provided (those in the box on the floor). The summer is coming so the cut wood will dry fast...!

I have plenty of rounds and square Olive wood blanks ready, from previous logs so, I always thing of everyone when it come to cut my woods, I like to be able to have a bit of everything, that includes blanks sizes suitable to those that make other things, apart from pens so, don't distress, everyone is covered...!:wink::biggrin:

PS: The roots taken to the dump would have been pushed over in a hole and used as landfill together with tones of household normal rubbish...!

Cheers
George

I should also have said that, taking "stuff" to the dump costs $50.00 per tonne + they had to pay for the whatever machine used to pick them up and put them on the back of the tipper truck. The distance to the dump and to my place are very much the same about 30km so, if they simply decided to take it to my place instead of the dump, they would have saved about $400 for the 8 tonne I believe was there, and would only cost them for the machine and truck time/work.

The 13 tonne that I took first have save them about $650 in dumping fees, plus the cost of having the equipment and truck to pick it up and take it away which would be about the same as I paid to have it done which was $800.00 so, a saving of near $1,500 for them, without spending any time organising anything, as all that stuff had to be removed and taken away, regardless...!

So yes, I still not understand why they did what they did and as far as I predict to what happen, not wanting to believe that the fellow did it deliberately, I reckon, they left it there to the last minute and them time run out and they had to finish the new factory entry/access road in a hurry and who ever was contracted to do that, decided to not wast any time in trying to contact me and risk that, I wouldn't be able to get the same people and equipment that were there in the first time, straight away so, they just went ahead and got rid of it themselves...!

They had months to get that stuff out of there, I was there to get the first lot a good 4 months before the building had to be finished so, I reckon they didn't bother, until was too late, as I don't thing that the savings and the costs they have to pay to deal with the olive roots issue, was a concern to them, really a drop in the ocean when the contract probably involved 1 million dollars or there about's...!

Still, is a loss to me that, I was prepared to pay for to have, shame really...!:frown:

And if the building contractor has done it deliberately, just to be an ass, I wish him a Merry Christmas and a nice place waiting for him in Hell...!:mad::eek::cool:

Randy
Everyone knows that, I share all my woods with anyone that wants some so, you should be OK...!

David Keller
Yes, the root that provided the blanks you are talking about, is nearly all gone, reason why I'm so desperately looking to find another good one but so far, these 2 are not what I'm looking for, as I explained before so, I will find what I'm looking for, I'm "sure", well..., I like to think positive...!

Cheers
George
 
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