Olive Wood Billiard

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alexnc

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Oct 25, 2015
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547
So I liked my first Olive wood experiment. So I decided to have another go and that I didn't really have a plain billiard - and so, a simple billiard. I uploaded two photos since the light makes such a huge difference. It's 6" long, 1.75" diameter with a 1.875" deep 20mm parabolic chamber. I'm hoping it smokes good!
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alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Olive is denser and a little heavier than briar, so I don’t think it would be likely to burn any more than briar. This is my 2nd one. The first one smokes nicely, it had a slight fragrant taste reminiscent of how the wood smells when you’re cutting or filing it at first. It smells great when you’re working on it. That’s fading but still there slightly, I’ve had it maybe 2 months now but haven’t smoked it more than 8 times. The jury is still out actually, it’s really hard to beat a well seasoned briar in my book. But my first one makes me think it will be a great tasting pipe with some time. I’ve not had one long enough to see it darken, I imagine it will sort of like an unfinished briar.
 

sumusfumus

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2017
518
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New York City
Just ordered, and now waiting for a never-smoked Tommaso Spanu Olive wood pipe. Bought it off eBay, last week. Pipe has been shipped. Can't stand the waiting game! ETA, for delivery: mid-July. ETA for the end of my patience: two days ago.

Never owned or smoked any Olive wood pipes. Do I smoke it like it was made from briar? Need some help and advice here, from experienced Olive wood smokers.

Also, what happens to Olive wood pipes as they age? Will the wood darken, will the contrasting grain patterns fade? I have never seen any pics of older Olive wood pipes...so, just curious.

Thanks for any help.
 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
As I understand it, and not from experience yet, the wood will darken over time and the grain will become more pronounced. This being my 2nd I’m no expert. I treat them just like a briar except I use linseed oil on them instead of wax, and that’s a preference. Wax would be fine. Here’s something I found, I hope yours shows up quickly and you love it! I noticed he has some great looking pipes on alpascia

 

sumusfumus

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2017
518
347
New York City
As I understand it, and not from experience yet, the wood will darken over time and the grain will become more pronounced. This being my 2nd I’m no expert. I treat them just like a briar except I use linseed oil on them instead of wax, and that’s a preference. Wax would be fine. Here’s something I found, I hope yours shows up quickly and you love it! I noticed he has some great looking pipes on alpascia

Thanks for the interesting information, and encouragement. My biggest fear about Olive wood....checking or cracking...but maybe I'm just worrying about nothing. The grain on my Olive wood pipe looks like a piece of marble cake...and I hope the grain stays that way.

Anyway, my pipe is in transit and I can't wait for it to arrive. I'll keep in touch.
 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Thanks for the interesting information, and encouragement. My biggest fear about Olive wood....checking or cracking...but maybe I'm just worrying about nothing. The grain on my Olive wood pipe looks like a piece of marble cake...and I hope the grain stays that way.

Anyway, my pipe is in transit and I can't wait for it to arrive. I'll keep in touch.
By the time it was acclimated and carved it’s probably past that cracking concern. Yours would be safe I would bet.
 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Just an interesting observation that I had not noticed until now. This Olive Wood pipe weighs more than the briar Dublin in the photo. Not sure how much more, but notable - and the Dublin is significantly larger with a bigger diameter and longer with identical chambers.

That’s surprising with the Dublin’s 2.25” diameter vs the Olive Wood’s 1.75” diameter having areas of 3.976 sq-in vs 2.405 sq-in. The article mentions that the olive wood has a higher density, but I didn’t expect a dramatic difference!


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briarbuck

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Nov 24, 2015
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I have a small Il Ducca olive wood that I like. Based on my experience It tends to hold flavors more than other materials.


 
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Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
3,310
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Louisiana
So I liked my first Olive wood experiment. So I decided to have another go and that I didn't really have a plain billiard - and so, a simple billiard. I uploaded two photos since the light makes such a huge difference. It's 6" long, 1.75" diameter with a 1.875" deep 20mm parabolic chamber. I'm hoping it smokes good!
View attachment 35190
View attachment 35191
The grain in that one has a tornado thing going on. Pretty cool 😎
 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
I’m pitting it against a well seasoned briar smoking both at once. The briar has been smoked a few years and is a stand out great smoking pipe. It has a light nuttiness the olive wood doesn’t. The olive wood is at a huge disadvantage being barely broken in if even that. It has a slightly different quality I wouldn’t call oily or even guess that it was olive wood if I didn’t know it. I don’t know how to describe it. Right now the briar smokes a little better. But not by much, give the olive wood a chance to get as seasoned and I bet the comparison might be a lot different.E0A46F1F-77A7-4C10-BF9E-CD72079DC18E.jpeg
 
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alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
841
547
Yes, they have a different character. The olive wood might replace that light nuttiness with something akin to how the wood smells when you re working it. I wouldn’t say it’s huge but it is a distinct difference, especially the last 1/4 of the bowl.
 
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