No doubt, olive wood is extremely popular among woodworkers, especially for some smaller items such as souvenirs, art objects, tool handles, etc. Many people are interested in furniture made from olive wood, but the question is, can you make furniture from olive wood? Today, I’ll discuss that topic and give you my honest and detailed answer.
Olive wood is a great wood for making high-end small furniture. Yet not many people use it in the furniture industry since it can’t be used for large pieces of furniture such as dining tables because it’s a small curvy tree that doesn’t have a large and thick trunk.
As you can see from the short answer, it’s actually great for furniture. But of course, there are some disadvantages of olive wood when it comes to furniture creation. I’ll discuss that below, so make sure to check the rest of the article.
Is Olive Wood Good For Making Furniture?
I already said at the beginning of the article that it’s good. Now, I’d like to discuss some olive wood properties, which are important to consider in the woodworking process. It’s impossible to make everything from olive wood, and that’s why I’m writing this section.
Olive wood is hardwood, which makes it a perfect choice when making furniture. It’s three times as hard as oak, which is the most used type of wood in the woodworking industry.
Also, olive wood is easy to work with because it’s easy to turn and carve, despite its hardness. You can carve it with hand tools pretty easily. It also can be glued and finished well, which is fantastic.
Let’s see some disadvantages now. The biggest problem with olive wood is that it’s hard to get lumber from it. It takes years for olive trees to fully grow, and even then the trunk is very curvy, so it’s impossible to make high-quality and straight lumbers, which are important for making larger pieces of furniture.
Olive wood should also be dried slowly because it could wrap if you dry it forcibly. Another disadvantage of olive wood is that it can’t survive for too long in the open. That’s the reason you should only make indoor furniture from olive wood.
Because of its own oils inside, olive wood may be resistant to water-based finishes. That’s why many people seal the wood with a shellac wash coat, which is compatible with olive wood. Another thing, many olive trees will have gaps in trunks, which isn’t a good thing when it comes to industrial furniture.
So, even though olive wood has some great properties (check them here), it’s not suitable for most furniture manufacturers.
Types of Furniture Made From Olive Wood
Because of all of the above, not many types of furniture are made from olive wood. Yet, some of them may be very interesting to you, so that you can buy them, or even make them if you’re a woodworker.
Most common furniture made from olive wood:
- Small coffee tables
- Decorative chests
- Flooring (rarely)
- Coat racks and stands
As you can see, not many types of furniture are produced from olive wood. Again, the reason lies in its size and availability. All of this furniture will be high-end and will cost you much more than furniture made from oak, for example.
Larger pieces of olive wood furniture can be made by gluing slabs and planks. That way, you won’t have problems producing larger furniture such as dining tables. But again, not many people make that.
Olive woods are usually twisted and curvy, which makes them a fantastic choice for making epoxy tables. That way, you can show all the olive wood beauty, while still making the table extremely durable and staunch.
Why Is Olive Wood Furniture Expensive?
Olive wood is extremely expensive because of the woods’ availability, price, and size. Also, people working with olive wood mostly make only high-end furniture, and that’s one of the reasons too.
The availability of olive wood is very limited, and that’s mostly because people use it for olive fruit production, and it’s not worth selling the wood. Also, in some countries, it’s even prohibited by law to cut olive trees (for wood).
All that makes olive wood lumber, slabs, and slats hard and expensive to get. For instance, lumber prices start at $26 per board foot, but can easily cost more than $100. That’s what makes olive wood furniture extremely expensive. Much more than furniture made from some other types of woods.
How To Care For Olive Wood Furniture
If you already have some olive wood furniture or planning to buy it, I want to share a few tips and tricks on caring for olive wood furniture. That way, the furniture will last for years.
How to care for olive wood furniture:
- Regularly remove dust from it
- Wash it once a month by using soapy water, and then dry it by using some microfiber towels
- Once a year, apply a mineral oil to furniture. (clean it, apply 1st coat of mineral oil, let it dry, and apply 2nd coat of mineral oil). Don’t use olive oil or vegetable oils for that purpose. Mineral oil is the best because it won’t leave the furniture greasy.
Don’t use products such as Pronto for cleaning and maintaining olive wood furniture. That’ll make it greasy, it’ll change the appearance of furniture, and also may „kill“ the olive wood natural smell.
Is olive wood good wood?
Olive wood is extremely good wood, especially for burning and creating smaller pieces of art, furniture, musical instruments, utensils, and more. It has a great smell and rich appearance full of various colors.
Is olive wood a hardwood?
Olive wood is considered a hardwood. Its density is about 62lbs/ft3 (990kg/m3). It is one of the densest and hardest woods out there.
Is olive wood hard to carve?
Even though olive wood is very dense and hard, it’s pretty easy to carve, even if using hand tools only. It’s because of its tight grain and natural oils. Many woodworkers love to carve the olive wood because of the sweet aroma that comes from the wood while carving.
Can olive wood be used for flooring?
Yes, olive wood can be used for flooring and is actually fantastic for that purpose because of its hardiness. However, olive wood flooring, especially parquets are very rare because of the high price. In my opinion, olive wood flooring is beautiful, and if it’s more affordable, more people would use it.
Is olive wood good for tables?
When we’re looking at olive wood properties only, it’s fantastic for tables. However, the problem is that olive wood lumbers aren’t large, which makes creating tables much tougher. Most people do it by gluing more smaller slabs into one large table board.
Is the furniture made from olive wood any good?
Furniture made from olive wood is extremely high-quality and is considered high-end furniture. With proper care, you can expect it to last a few hundreds of years.
No doubt, olive wood is gorgeous! However, it’s not perfect, especially when we’re talking about making furniture from it. Olive wood is sometimes challenging to carve and process because of defects, but when finished, the result is fantastic, and the extra work (when compared to other types of wood) is totally worth it.
If you decide to make furniture from olive wood, or just want to buy it, my advice is to go for it. You’ll have a unique piece of furniture that no one has.