Lilac wood

A storm last year damaged a lot of trees and bushes around the yard, including breaking off a large piece of a double lilac my mother planted in the little garden by the old kitchen. Noticing the beautiful pattern in the wood, I set the pieces aside for later.

Today was “later.” 😀

I brought one of the branches into the basement to work on it (I am really enjoying having this work space!!!) and started by cutting various sections off, then working on the thickest “trunk” part of it.

What striking colours!

The photo on the left is the base, where it had broken off in the storm, and I had cut off the split part. The one on the right is where I’d cut a pair of branches off.

That’s the end I decided to cut a couple of slices off.

With Beep Beep and the kittens nearby, I didn’t want to use any power tools, even though I now have a Dremel with steel cutting blades that would be perfect for the job. It’s way too loud.

Lilac wood, I am discovering, is a surprisingly hard wood! It may have been quieter, but it was a lot longer to do it by hand.

Since I’m just experimenting right now, I only cut two slices, then used a brush on the edges to take off any dirt or loose bits of bark.

Then I sanded them smooth. Here’s how they looked, after I finished with the finest grit of sandpaper I have.

Then I applied a light coat of mineral oil.

I am really happy with how these look! Those purple rings are really something.

The next question is, what do I make with them?

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Lilac wood

    • Neither did I, until I had to clean up some dead ones last summer! I wasn’t sure the colour would stay after a year of seasoning; the parts of the wood where it had cracked had actually turned more of a bluish green. Which I would have been just as happy with. It should be interesting to see if the cut ends keep their colour, or if using the oil makes a difference in that.

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      • Hi, I made the same discovery about the colours when an old lilac had finally died and I removed the stump. I found that the beautiful purple colour slowly fades to brown when exposed to light. Haven’t tried to protect it using a UV protecting oil or transparent woodstain. Worth trying!

        Liked by 1 person

      • So far, the slices I cut and sanded, but have since left untouched, are still quite colourful. It should be interesting to see how they last without any other treatment.


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