Home Goods Cutting Board

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Todd in PA

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I'm new to pen making. I bought a box of hardwood cutoffs from Amazon and I'm happy with what I got. Mostly cherry, but some beach, ash, and the rest I'm guessing is oak. Nothing exotic. This is good for me because I'm still practicing. None of it is stabilized or anything, but it's turning ok as is (I haven't turned any of the question-mark oak).

I was in Home Goods last week and they had a stack of olive wood cutting boards for around $20. Do you think it would be worth cutting that into ink pen blanks? Has anyone tried it? I assuming it's solid wood and that the finish is only a few mm off the top.

~Todd
 
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monophoto

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I haven't been in Home Goods in more than a year, so I can't comment on their cutting boards.

A lot of treenware items made from olive wood don't have any finish at all. The wood is naturally oily which makes it hard to finish, so it often is just sanded and perhaps buffed.

But nowhere it is written that recycling wood is a mortal sin. There's one guy on YouTube who seems to use only wood from old furniture that has scrounged from dumps.
 

ccccchunt

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Silverdale, WA
Trader Joe's had Olive Wood charcuterie trays on the shelf right before Christmas. I kick myself for not buying a bunch of them. I think they were 12 dollars and I have seen them being re-sold on Amazon for up to 30. They were outstanding grain olive wood. Maybe next year!

I have a 5 foot high DVD rack that I bought for just the wood. It is curly koa and the top, bottom, sides and 5 shelves are all 3/4 curly koa! I think I got the thing for about 75 bucks at the time.
 

duncsuss

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Look through the stack of olivewood cutting boards in Home Goods and you will probably find a few that have gorgeous burl. I got a couple when they were less than $10 each (I've paid as much for a single pen blank of olive burl).
 

EricRN

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I want to know where they are able to source olive wood big enough for cutting boards and be able to sell them for $20!!
 

Todd in PA

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I have a 5 foot high DVD rack that I bought for just the wood. It is curly koa and the top, bottom, sides and 5 shelves are all 3/4 curly koa! I think I got the thing for about 75 bucks at the time.
This is terrific. Just because no one needs a DVD rack anymore, the item goes to clearance. It just takes someone to see the potential in the raw material. Good find!
 

Todd in PA

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There's one guy on YouTube who seems to use only wood from old furniture that has scrounged from dumps.
I'm a property manager and I see a lot of old furniture left behind or put by the dumpster. I keep my eyes open for any items made of hardwood. I've never found any exotic wood, but once or twice a year I get a pickup of maple or cedar boards from an abandoned dresser. Now that I have a lathe, I'll be taking a closer look at any round items.
 
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I have purchased Italian Olivewood cutting boards from Home Goods and other similar stores when I first started. I just cut them to blank size on the band saw and away I go.

One board I was able to get 15+ blanks out of so for $12.99 I think it was a good investment.
 

howsitwork

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I'm a property manager and I see a lot of old furniture left behind or put by the dumpster. I keep my eyes open for any items made of hardwood. I've never found any exotic wood, but once or twice a year I get a pickup of maple or cedar boards from an abandoned dresser. Now that I have a lathe, I'll be taking a closer look at any round items.
Todd

DONT limit yourself to round items. Anyth8ng of decent thickness can be made “round” on a bandsaw. Laminating planks to make thick sections to turn needs care but can be very rewarding. Also a few cutting boards with a turned groove to stop crumbs will endear you greatly to SWMBO and the in-laws
 

henry1164

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Jan 3, 2020
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Webster, NY
Got this cutting board for $9 shipped from the Amazon Warehouse. The retail price for this is $125. Was in warehouse because of some damage but i didn't see any. Other bargains can be found at Amazon Warehouse - URL: https://amzn.to/2wZDCRK.
Description of this item: BigWood Boards W220-LLH-X Thick Board with Large Longhorn Handle in Cast Aluminum, 15-Inch by 24-Inch by 1.25-Inch, Monogrammed"X", Walnut (not exotic but turns quite attractive grain when finished). Cut it up into a variety of pieces - straight grain, cross grain, angled grain - 3/4" square and 7/8" square.

Got the equivalent of 76 blanks - $0.11 per blank. AND the metal bull heads are going to be used in another (non-pen) project for a complete recycling.
board.jpeg
IMG_3568.jpeg
 

monophoto

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When I first got into turning, I bought a lot of cutoffs from a couple of treenware factories in Vermont - maple, ash, birch and walnut. It was high- quality kiln-dried wood and it was very inexpensive. Sadly, they no longer sell their scraps, but burn them to heat the factory in winter.

I’ve also bought ‘factory second’ cutting boards from a specialty timber dealer in Western Massachusetts that later became turned plates and trays.

Any source of wood is fair game!
 

sorcerertd

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North Carolina, USA
Trader Joe's had Olive Wood charcuterie trays on the shelf right before Christmas. I kick myself for not buying a bunch of them. I think they were 12 dollars and I have seen them being re-sold on Amazon for up to 30. They were outstanding grain olive wood. Maybe next year!

I have a 5 foot high DVD rack that I bought for just the wood. It is curly koa and the top, bottom, sides and 5 shelves are all 3/4 curly koa! I think I got the thing for about 75 bucks at the time.
I was watching for those at TJs this year and didn't see them. Last year they were all over the store. Beautiful wood.

That being said, I've seen some cool pens made from plywood and pallet wood. Nails are usually pretty easy to spot, but watch out for staples.
 

Todd in PA

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Port Matilda, PA
I did go to Home Goods after work and didn’t find any olive wood boards. But I decided to pick up a serving board made of acacia. I don’t even know what that wood is, but I kinda get the impression that this isn’t a prize species. Still it had some wild color gradient, and the grain seemed tight so I bought it. $17.

The thing is as long as my arm and could probably make 50 pens. I’ll probably cut a few at an angle rather than maximize volume. BTW, I read here that ~30* is better than 45* for angled blanks.
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cmiller

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Nov 23, 2015
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Eugene, Oregon
This is a great way to get blanks. See attached for my before and after shots of a $15 cutting board. Bonus: it came with a fat cheese knife sort of thing made out of the same wood that my son will turn into a fishing lure.
 

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penicillin

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About a year and a half ago, a local city had to cut down the olive trees on one of the main streets. The wood was free for anyone who wanted it. One of the club members brought many very large chunks to a couple woodworking club meetings that followed. I am still kicking myself for missing out, but they were too big to carry home on my motorcycle. I see club members displaying nice projects with olive wood during "show and tell" at our virtual Zoom meetings these days. :-(
 

cmiller

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Of course, the problem with the TJMaxx/Home Goods olivewood is the certificate of authenticity. Most olivewood comes with a COA, does it not? Some info about the (alleged) Holy Land origin? What will it say now? "This authentic olivewood was sustainably harvested from the cutting board aisle in TJ Maxx, purchased after waiting in a long line of soccer moms, and driven home in a minivan." Just doesn't work.
 
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Of course, the problem with the TJMaxx/Home Goods olivewood is the certificate of authenticity. Most olivewood comes with a COA, does it not? Some info about the (alleged) Holy Land origin? What will it say now? "This authentic olivewood was sustainably harvested from the cutting board aisle in TJ Maxx, purchased after waiting in a long line of soccer moms, and driven home in a minivan." Just doesn't work.
So far, the only olive wood I've provided COA's for was the Bethlehem variety. I've made several with Italian olive wood from cutting boards and haven't needed one and customers haven't asked.
 

Buckmark13

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Aug 14, 2018
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Of course, the problem with the TJMaxx/Home Goods olivewood is the certificate of authenticity. Most olivewood comes with a COA, does it not? Some info about the (alleged) Holy Land origin? What will it say now? "This authentic olivewood was sustainably harvested from the cutting board aisle in TJ Maxx, purchased after waiting in a long line of soccer moms, and driven home in a minivan." Just doesn't work.
Go into Word, type one up, and presto...COA

Just kidding, but that's about what a COA is worth. Sorry to stir the pot as I appreciate the different perspectives and threads on it. I just couldn't resist
 
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