Ancient Olive Tree Woodturning in Australia

The Olive from which the hollowed and fluted ball was made is a historic piece of wood. The Olive Tree it came from was planted on St.Helena Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland. The tree was planted in 1860 by the wife of the first warder of the island which was developed as a Prison Island for Convicts. I was lucky enough to get a few pieces when the tree died. The Huon Pine came from an ancient forest in Tasmania, and the Mulberry support is from the root of an old tree from my garden at Montville.

    (see this unique piece in the Flute Master Gallery)

The piece stands 450mm high

The pommel was hollowed through a 20mm hole in the top after the outside was turned.

The Mulberry was hand carved.

The Two fine finials were turned between centres .

The twelve 9mm slots in the pommel were cut out using a Flutemaster. I used a 9mm round head router bit in a Fordham router. It was very difficult and physically demanding to cut the slots as I could only cut a shallow groove with each pass. The whole shop was bathed in smoke as I progressed –I am hoping the new cutters I have ordered from you will make this easier.

The web between the slots is 1mm wide at the top of the pommel where they all meet the top opening. This area is very delicate and had to be done very carefully.

We have our annual Turnfest Event at SeaWorld at the Gold Coast this coming weekend. It is like the AAW event in your country. There are leading woodturning demonstrators from all the world attending and I would not miss it for anything – I go every year. When you make your fortune, you should attend one year and demonstrate your equipment.

Kind regards