Men’s Sheds have a history of making Things Of Wood as part of an overall strategy for the maintenance of brain health We use both plantation grown, both local and exotic timbers and recycled timbers. The information here-in is modified from copyright material published by FAITH LUMBER PVT LTD
Aromatic Red Cedar | Juniperus virginiana
Heartwood tends to be a reddish or violet-brown. Sapwood is a pale yellow color, and can be appear throughout the heartwood as streaks and stripes. Regarded as excellent in resistance to both decay and insect attack, Aromatic Red Cedar is frequently used for fence posts used in direct ground contact with no pre-treating of the wood. Common Uses: Fence posts, closet and chest linings, carvings, outdoor furniture, pencils, bows, and small wooden specialty items. Although Aromatic Red Cedar is included in the cypress family (Cupressaceae) which includes many species of cedar, it’s perhaps more closely related in junipers in the genus Juniperus. In tree form, it is more commonly called Eastern Redcedar, while the wood itself is usually referred to as Aromatic Red Cedar. Though Eastern Redcedar trees are widely distributed throughout the eastern half of the United States, it is a very slow-growing species, and most trees harvested tend to be fairly small in diameter. Because of this, Aromatic Red Cedar boards tend to be knotty and narrow. Other Names: Aromatic Red Cedar, Eastern Redcedar, Juniperus virginiana. Distribution: Eastern North America.
Western Red Cedar | Thuja plicata
Western Red cedar is typically reddish to pinkish brown, often with random streaks and bands of darker red/brown areas. Western Redcedar has been rated as durable to very durable in regard to decay resistance, though it is not resistant to insect attack. Common Uses: Shingles, exterior siding and lumber, boatbuilding, boxes, crates, and musical instruments. Western Redcedar is a commercially important lumber, used in a number of applications ranging from rough-sawn lumber for use in home construction to clear quartersawn material for classical guitar soundboards. Other Names: Western Redcedar, Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata. Distribution: Pacific Northwest United States/Canada.
Generally a uniform and pale yellow to almost white. Live bamboo that has been left standing too long frequently develops fungal decay, discoloring the wood with brown or black streaks and patches. Being a monocot in the grass family, bamboo does not have any sapwood/heartwood or growth rings. Texture is very uniform, and ranges from medium to fine depending on density. Bamboo that has been split and processed into lumber will have intermittent variations in the fiber at each node on the stem. Bamboo used in exterior conditions is perishable, and will deteriorate in a matter of years. This is also paralleled in the short natural life cycle of bamboo, where many species quickly reach full maturity after only two or three years, and are subsequently attacked by decay mold and fungi, typically collapsing only a few years later. Bamboo is also susceptible to insect attacks such as powder-post beetles, termites, and marine-borers. Common Uses: Veneer, paper, flooring, fishing rods, ladders, scaffolding, musical instruments (flutes/woodwinds/chimes), furniture, window blinds, carving, turned items, and small novelty items. Scientific Name: Hundreds of species among dozens of genera from the Poaceae (grass) family (Many timber-producing bamboos are from the Phyllostachys and Bambusa genera). Distribution: Most timber-producing bamboos are from South Asia.
Cypress | Taxodium distichum
Radiata Pine | Pinus radiata
Radiata Pine is fine but uneven in texture, and is light brown to yellow in colour. It is a widely available softwood popular used for general construction and decorative purposes. Radiata Pine is a widely available softwood used for general construction, in engineered wood products and for decorative purposes. Radiata Pine is a softwood whose availability and ease of use make it popular for all kinds of construction and decorative uses. Other Names: Monterey Pine, Insignis Pine. Radiata Pine is native to the central coast of California but is widely planted in Australia and New Zealand. It makes up 28% of Tasmania’s timber plantations and is a environmentally sustainable softwood popular in all types of construction and decorative uses. These include framing, lining, glue laminated beams, veneer and plywood. It can be used for many exposed structural and non-structural applications if it is treated with the right preservatives. The texture of Radiata Pine is fine, but uneven, and knots are common. The timber is fairly soft and has a low density, often with very wide annual growth rings. The sapwood is white to pale yellow, but often indistinguishable from the heartwood, which is light brown to yellow. The grain is usually straight, apart from a central core of 100mm, which can twist if the moisture content of the timber changes. Radiata Pine is easy to work, apart from the knots, and it readily accepts preservatives. Timber that is high in resin can be hard to glue and the resin may mar painted and stained exteriors. It does not cause staining of alkaloid surfaces such as fibre-cement and concrete. Radiata Pine is not resistant to termites. It can be preservative treated to increase its durability.
Queensland Kauri | Agathis robusta
Queensland Kauri is an Australian softwood with a fine even texture, pale cream to light or pinkish brown heartwood and a straight grain. Other Names: South Queensland Kauri, Dundathu Pine, Black Kauri, Blue Kauri, Mountain Kauri, North Queensland Kauri, Bull Kauri, Agathis palmerstonii, Agathis atropurpuea, Agathis microstachya. Its species name, Agathis robusta, is derived from its cones, which look like a ball of thread (agathis), combined with its vigorous growth (robusta). An attractive timber suited to many indoor uses, including fine cabinetry, the Queensland Kauri was heavily logged in the early years of European settlement. Large trees are therefore much more rare now than in pre-European times; despite this, the species is not classified as endangered. Queensland Kauri occurs in two localities: in southern Queensland on Fraser Island and around Maryborough; and there is a northern population on the Atherton Tableland west of Cairns. Although these two populations were once given different scientific names (A. robusta in the south and A. spathulata in the north), they have since been discovered to be the same species. Queensland Kauri is a large, coniferous tree with a straight trunk, growing to a height of 25-40 metres with a trunk diameter of between 100 – 200cm. The trunk is clear of branches for over half its length. The characteristically straight and symmetrical trees are covered with smooth to flaky grey-brown bark. Woody scales from collapsing cones gather at the base of these trees. The timber yielded by this species has a fine even texture that is pale cream to light or pinkish brown in hue, with a straight grain. Queensland Kauri withstands some exposure. It dries quickly with little degrade but needs protection against blue stain, microscopic fungi that commonly infest the sapwood of trees. Queensland Kauri timber is commonly used for cabinetwork, turnery, joinery and shelving. It is suitable for use in pattern making, lining, flooring, vats, boxes, battery separators and plywood. It is otherwise used for making furniture and violin bellies.
Baltic Pine (Norway Spruce) | Picea abies, syn. P. excelsa
Norway Spruce timber is white to pale yellow in colour with a natural lustre and is used for general construction purposes. Norway Spruce is an economically important coniferous species grown in Europe and North America. It is used widely in general construction. Superior grades are prized as a premium tonewood. Other Names: Nordic Whitewood, Baltic White Pine, White Deal, European Spruce, Romanian Whitewood, White Fir, White Spruce, Violin Wood, Picea excelsa, Carpathian Spruce. Norway Spruce is one of the most economically important coniferous species in Europe, where it is forested for paper production, and for its timber, known as Deal or Whitewood. The timber of this species is flexible and durable. Its relative lightness, long length and straightness make it ideal for telegraph poles, wooden ladders, oars, roofing timbers and paper pulp. Construction grades are commonly used for non-structural applications such as flooring and cladding, inexpensive furniture, joinery and general carpentry. Top-grade Norway Spruce is a premium tonewood prized by luthiers for its acoustic properties; it is a timber of choice for acoustic guitar soundboards. The sapwood of Norway Spruce is white to pale yellow in colour, its heartwood is not always distinguishable but often tinged with brown and reddish-brown hues. Growth rings are prominently marked by the darker, denser summerwood. The grain of Norway Spruce is relatively fine, and typically straight. Knots are clustered together rather than randomly distributed. Timber surfaces often exhibit a slight lustre. Norway Spruce is easy to work, except for the small tight knots that quickly dull tool edges. It glues satisfactorily using standard bonding procedures. Norway Spruce can give poor results when being stained, due to its closed-pore structure. A sanding sealer, gel stain or toner is recommended when colouring Norway Spruce timber. Norway Spruce is resinous, and its sawdust is reported to cause skin irritation and respiratory problems among some users.
Klinki Pine | Araucaria hunsteinii
Douglas Fir | Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas Fir is softwood timber, finding a range of weather-protected applications in heavy construction. Other common applications include general building framework, flooring, lining, fascias and pergolas. It is also used in joinery, turnery, carving and plywood. Douglas Fir is one of the world’s best-known timber species. Other Names: Oregon Fir, Oregon Pine, Oregon, Green Douglas Fir, Blue Douglas Fir, Columbian Pine, Common Douglas, Coast Douglas Fir. Douglas Fir is one of the world’s best-known timber species. Native to the west coast of North America, it is forested extensively in timber plantations throughout Europe, New Zealand and South America – regions where the species has become naturalised. The heartwood of Douglas Fir ranges in colour from yellow through orange to a deep reddish brown. Sapwood is often distinctively paler, occurring in a band from 50 to 75 millimetres in width, depending on the timber’s source. Grain is generally straight, with a pronounced difference in colour between earlywood and latewood that results in a highly distinctive figure on back-sawn surfaces. Texture is often coarse and uneven. The timber machines and turns well, but planer blades must be kept sharp in order to avoid surface ridging. Care is required with the use of standard fastenings and fittings, as nails may tend to follow the timber’s growth rings. Douglas Fir can be satisfactorily bonded using standard glues and procedures. Due to the timber’s high resin content and occasional earlywood–latewood ridging of the dressed product, care is required in selecting timber for finishing applications and in preparation of surfaces for paints and varnishes. Douglas Fir is only moderately durable, and both sapwood and heartwood resist impregnation with preservatives. The timber lacks termite-resistance and sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer attack. Douglas Fir is commonly found as sawn timber in weather-protected heavy construction applications such as mining timbers, posts and poles. Treated pilings and boards are used in marine structures and for landscaping. Other common applications include general house framing, flooring, lining, fascias, bargeboards and pergolas. It is also used in joinery, turnery, carving and plywood.
Celery Top Pine | Phyllocladus asplenifolius
Celery Top Pine is a Tasmanian softwood used in boat building, joinery and turnery, and interiors. Celery Top Pine is an attractive, durable and easily worked softwood, pale when cut and then darker with age, used in boat building, joinery and turnery, and interiors. Other Names: Tasmanian Celery Top, Phyllocladus rhomboidalis. The heartwood of Celery Top Pine is pale yellow to pale brown, which darkens to gold as the heartwood ages. The sapwood is narrow and not readily distinguishable. The texture is fine and even and the grain is usually straight, and the growth rings are conspicuous and very close together. The heartwood is durable below and above ground, though it is susceptible to the lyctid borer and is not termite resistant. The strength, durability and ease of working of Celery Top Pine have made it popular in the making of vats (specially for acid storage), garden furniture, joinery, kitchen utensils, turnery, carving, and in boat building.
The distinction between hardwood and softwood is botanical, rather than referring to the strength or hardness of the wood. Hardwoods are relatively broad-leafed trees with seeds that are produced in an enclosed form, such as a fruit or nut; softwoods are coniferous or cone bearing trees with needle-like leaves. Due to a higher density, hardwood is usually stronger than softwood but this is not always the case; for example, balsa is a hardwood and white cypress is very strong softwood.
Hardwood timbers are ideal for high strength structural applications, such as bearers, joists, lintels and roof beams. The natural durability of most hardwoods also makes them perfect for external applications, such as decking and cladding, and for interior flooring and stairs. Hardwood timbers are also highly recyclable due to their long above-ground life.
English Oak | Quercus robur
Has a medium yellowish-brown color, though there can be a fair amount of variation in color. Other Names: English Oak, European Oak, Quercus robur. Distribution: Most of Europe, to Asia Minor, and North Africa. English Oak has been rated as having very good resistance to decay, and is commonly used in boatbuilding applications. Common Uses: Cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer. English Oak falls into the white oak group, and shares many of the same traits as White Oak (Quercus alba). English Oak is used extensively for both interior and exterior building applications throughout Europe.
English Oak | Quercus robur
American Black Walnut is a premium cabinet and furniture making timber, native to the eastern regions of North America. Other Names: American Walnut, Black Walnut, Virginia Walnut, Canaletto, Black Hickory Nut.
American Black Walnut is a medium to large hardwood, native to the eastern regions of North America. Its heartwood ranges from a golden to rich chocolate brown colour, sometimes with narrow streaks of a darker purplish-brown. Sapwood is a distinctive creamy white colour. American Black Walnut is a fine and generally straight-grained timber, although sometimes it has an attractive wavy or curly grain, giving it a highly decorative figure.
By virtue of its appearance, durability and ready workability – being only moderately hard – American Black Walnut is an excellent cabinetmaking timber. It performs well with both machine and hand tools and can be polished to a high finish. It is also an excellent timber for carving and turning and is suitable for steam bending. It glues satisfactorily if conditions are carefully controlled. It is suited to high-end cabinetwork, and is a timber of choice for gunstocks. Other applications include general furniture and joinery work.
American White Oak | Quercus alba
American White Oak is a light to dark brown coloured hardwood that can be used in structural, exterior and interior applications. American White Oak is the trade name for a variety of hardwood species from the Quercus genus. The timber is imported from eastern USA and used for a variety of applications, including furniture, flooring and joinery. Other Names: Northern White Oak, Southern White Oak, True White Oak, White Oak, Overcup Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Chestnut Oak (Q. prinus, Q. montana), Overcup Oak (Q. lyrata), Swamp Chestnut Oak (Q. michauxii).
American White Oak is a hardwood common throughout the eastern United States.
The name ‘White Oak’ encompasses numerous species, eight of which are commercially available as timber. Very similar in appearance and colour to the European Oak, American White Oak has light-coloured sapwood and a light to dark brown heartwood. White Oak is mostly straight grained with a medium to coarse texture, with longer rays and more figure than American Red Oak. It has large distinctive growth rings, and some medullary rays may be present.
American White Oak is used for a wide range of applications, including shipping and boat building, flooring, architectural joinery, exterior joinery, railways sleepers and timber bridges due to its strength and resistance to decay. It is also an excellent timber for high-grade furniture, interior woodwork and paneling. Because of its impermeability, the timber is suitable for vats and casks holding liquids such as wine and spirits.
White Oak is a hard, heavy wood, and has low stiffness and good overall strength, making it increasingly popular as a structural timber. It also has very good steam bending properties. White Oak machines well and is easy to glue, nail and screw. It readily accepts stains and polishes to a good finish. The heartwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack and to termites.
Balau | Shorea albida
Balau is highly durable hardwood native to Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, used mainly for heavy construction. Other Names: Selangan Batu, Gisok, Belangeran, Empenit Thitya, Teng, Alan, Shorea glauca, Maxwelliana, Shorea seminis, Shorea laevis.
The heartwood of Balau is yellow to brown, which is distinct from the paler sapwood. Its moderately fine and even texture presents an interlocked grain, which produces a stripe figure on the radial surface. Balau is also susceptible to pinhole borer damage.
In relation to its density, Balau is relatively easy to work. It does not contain silica, however resin pockets may be present, meaning resin can build up on cutting equipment. Pre-drilling is advisable when nailing. Balau can be painted, stained and polished but is not suitable for steam bending. Balau (Shorea albida) is used for heavy construction, wharfage, sleepers and shipbuilding.
Balsam Poplar | Populus balsamifera
Balsam Poplar is a hardwood used for plywood, boxes, artificial limbs, wood wool, brake blocks and match splints. Other Names: East Asian Balsam Poplar, Korean Poplar, Canadian Poplar, Western Balsam, Black Cottonwood, Cottonwood, Populus spp., Populus koreana, Populus laurifolia, Populus maximowiczii, Populus simonii, Populus trichocarpa.
Balsam Poplar is a hardwood native to Asia and North America. It is used for match splints, plywood, artificial limbs, brake blocks, wood wool and boxes.
The heartwood of Balsam Poplar is pale brown, and the sapwood is white to cream and up to 80mm wide in fast-growing stems (about three growth rings). The grain is straight and the texture is fine but sometimes slightly uneven because of the harder latewood.
The woolly nature of Balsam Poplar makes it rather difficult to work unless tools are kept sharp. It glues and nails well. It is susceptible to termites and lyctid borer.
Blackbutt | Eucalyptus pilularis
Blackbutt is a large Australian hardwood that is commonly used for structural and exterior applications. It is also used to produce plywood. Other Names: Coastal Blackbutt, Pink Blackbutt.
The common name Blackbutt came about due to the tree’s appearance after bushfire, whereby the buttress – or butt – was significantly darkened. It is also known as Coastal Blackbutt to distinguish it from the tableland species, New England Blackbutt. Due to its quick growth and versatility, Blackbutt makes a good plantation timber.
The heartwood ranges from golden yellow to pale brown, although occasionally a slight pinkish colour may be present. The sapwood, which is not always easy to distinguish, is much paler in appearance and is resistant to attack by lyctid borer. Blackbutt has an even texture and generally straight grain making it appealing for interior use applications.
Blackbutt can be stained, painted or polished but there can be issues with painting because of its tendency to surface check. The high extractives of mature wood can cause problems with some adhesives, but this is much less of an issue with young regrowth wood. These extractives can also cause staining on painted surfaces exposed to the weather. Blackbutt machines well but is only fair for steam bending. A strong, durable hardwood, Blackbutt can be used for a range of structural, exterior and interior applications including framework, decking, flooring and poles.
Blackdown Stringybark | Eucalyptus sphaerocarpa
Blackdown Stringybark is a durable Australian hardwood, suitable for a range of engineering and construction applications. Blackdown Stringybark grows to a height of 45 metres, with a stem diameter of up to two metres. It is not considered a ‘true’ Stringybark, but is named for its fibrous, grey-brown bark. Heartwood ranges in colour from brown to yellow-brown. Sapwood, usually distinct, is a pale brown colour. The texture of Blackdown Stringybark timber is even, with slightly interlocked grain. Fine rays are visible with a lens.
Blackdown Stringybark is a durable timber, with a life expectancy of up to 40 years above ground, and 15 to 25 years in-ground. It is termite-resistant and untreated sapwood is immune to Lyctid borer (powder post beetle) attack. The sapwood of this species is, however, readily impregnated with preservatives using commercially available procedures.
Blackdown Stringybark is a very hard timber in relation to both indentation and hand tooling. It is readily worked by machine, and amenable to the use of all standard fastenings and fittings. It may be satisfactorily painted, stained, polished and glued using standard procedures.
The timber of this species is commonly used in engineering (mining timbers, utility pole cross-arms) and general construction (framing, cladding, flooring) applications.
Blackwood | Acacia melanoxylon
With its rich, dark appearance, Blackwood is well suited to interior applications such as veneers and high-end furniture. It is a medium-sized Australian hardwood that yields an attractive timber often used for decorative veneers, furniture and paneling. Other Names: Australian Blackwood, Paluma Blackwood, Black Wattle. Blackwood is a medium-sized Australian hardwood that grows in South Australia and the eastern states. It is definitely an ‘appearance timber’, with a heartwood that is a rich golden brown. This is sometimes complimented by reddish streaks or a narrow band of darker colour, indicative of the growth rings. The sapwood is much paler in appearance. Blackwood has a medium and even texture. Its grain can either be straight or have a wavy, fiddleback pattern, which is valued for furniture and veneers.
Blackwood is easy to work and nails and glues well. A smooth, polished finish can be achieved, making blackwood ideal for furniture. It is also good for steam bending. If the grain is wavy then this may require the planer angle to be adjusted. It is important that safety precautions are taken when sanding blackwood, as the dust can cause irritations.
While Blackwood is a durable, interior-use timber it has a low in-ground durability and is not ideal for external applications.
Broad-leaved Tea Tree | Melaleuca leucadendron
Broad-leaved Tea Tree is a moderately durable timber commonly used in general construction and for fence posts, railway sleepers and mine props. Other Names: Brown Tea-tree, Paperbark, Cajuput Tree, Weeping Tea Tree, Weeping Paperbark, Broad-leaved Paperbark, Melaleuca quinquenervia, Melaleuca viridiflora.
Broad-leaved Tea Tree is widely used in general construction, for flooring, boat knees (cut from the natural shapes of tree branches) and oyster rack structural members (with bark intact). The bark is used for lining fernery baskets and for making bark paintings. The cork from the bark is used for infants’ pillows and mattresses. Small stems of Tea Tree with bark intact make an attractive fencing material.
The heartwood of this species is pinkish-brown in colour. Sapwood is distinctively paler. Grain is often interlocked and the timber exhibits a fine and even texture.
Broad-leaved Tea Tree occurs in northern New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Small quantities are occasionally imported from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Brown Stringybark | Eucalyptus baxteri
Brown Stringybark is a moderately durable Australian hardwood, used in general building construction and for fuel. Other Names: Eucalyptus blaxlandii, Eucalyptus capitellata.
As its trade name suggests, Brown Stringybark heartwood is pale brown in colour. Its texture is medium and even, with considerable variation in grain. Gum veins are common. Brown Stringybark timber exhibits moderate strength and durability, and is not recommended for in-ground applications. The sapwood of the species, not always visually distinct from the true wood, is immune to lyctid borer (powder post beetle) attack.
Although the timber of this species is not especially difficult to work, common applications are limited to general construction, notably building framework, and firewood
Brownbarrel | Eucalyptus fastigata
Brownbarrel is a large Australian hardwood from the north east of Victoria and the tableland districts and south coast areas of New South Wales. It is commonly used for protected general construction and internal applications. Other Names: Brown Barrel, Cuttail, Black Mountain Ash, Whitetop, Woollybutt.
It is used mainly for general construction, although this is limited to applications protected from weather exposure due to Brownbarrel’s moderate durability. It is also used for internal applications such as flooring, veneers and paneling.
Its heartwood is pale brown, while the narrow sapwood is usually paler in colour and is also susceptible to lyctid borer attack. It is similar in appearance to messmate. Brownbarrel has a medium texture with a grain that can be straight or often interlocked. Gum veins are usually present. Brownbarrel is slow to dry and considerable collapse can occur during the process.
Brush Box | Lophostemon confertus
Brush Box is an attractive Australian hardwood used for a variety of applications, including flooring. Brush Box is a medium to large sized Australian hardwood that grows along the edges of the rainforest areas of New South Wales and Queensland. It is used for a variety of applications including flooring, cladding and bridge decking. Other Names: Pink Box, Scrub Box, Tristania conferta.
Its heartwood can vary in appearance, from a greyish pink through to a reddish brown, while the sapwood is usually paler in colour. Brush Box has a fine and even texture with an interlocking grain – a feature that is appealing for appearance-based applications such as timber flooring, but can cause significant distortion during drying.
Brush Box has a poor workability in part due to its density, interlocked grain and the presence of silica. It does however provide good resistance to wear and splintering. The natural waxiness may cause problems with some adhesives but provides a very good base for paints and stains. Brush Box is not suitable for steam bending.
Brush Box is used for a variety of applications including flooring, cladding, paneling and some structural applications.
Brush Box | Lophostemon confertus
Calantas is a medium-sized hardwood that grows in parts of South-East Asia including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is mainly used for decorative applications. Other Names: Kalantas, Limpoga, Surian, New Guinea Cedar, Surian Cedar, Cedrela Calantas.
Calantas is a medium-sized hardwood that grows in parts of South-East Asia, including the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It is mainly used for decorative applications such as timber veneers, paneling, joinery and furniture. Other uses for Calantas include boat building, piano cases and carving.
Its heartwood is reddish brown, while the narrow sapwood is generally a pale red in colour and quite distinctive. It is similar in appearance and also odour to Australian Red Cedar. Calantas has a moderately coarse texture with a grain that can be straight or interlocked.
Calantas is quite easy to work by hand or by machine, but tools need to be kept sharp, as the material can be soft. It is quick to dry, however there is a risk of internal checking and collapse. Issues may occur with gluing, painting and finishing for material where resin is present.
Camphor Laurel | Cinnamomum camphora
Camphor Laurel yields a rich honey-coloured hardwood timber with a fresh camphor smell perfect for cutting boards, furniture and cabinetry. Other Names: Camphor tree, Camphorwood, Chinese Camphor Wood.
Laurel yields a beautiful, rich honey-coloured timber with a clean, fresh camphor smell that is perfect for furniture, carving, and cabinetry. The tree is native to Taiwan, southern Japan, southeast China and Indochina, where it has great cultural significance as a source of scent, oil and crystallised blocks for use in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. It is used as a valuable timber for furniture and carving icons.
Laurel timber is excellent for creating fine furniture. Its heartwood varies widely in colour from pale to mid brown and is often streaked with darker brown or red. The sapwood is very wide and pale brown. The timber’s grain is usually interlocked with a moderately fine and even texture. All camphor laurel wood features the characteristic camphor smell that repels moths and other insects, making it perfect for clothes storage cabinets. Camphor Laurel also has antibacterial properties prized for use in crafting handsome chopping and carving boards.
Camphor Laurel’s extraordinary strong dark grain against a yellow base creates distinctive furniture. It is also recommended for use as slabs in kitchen benchtops, tables and shelves, as well as decorative veneers, internal lining boards and turned or hand-carved bowls.
Candlebark | Eucalyptus rubida
Candlebark is a medium-sized hardwood found in parts of the cooler, south-eastern states of Australia. It is not widely available and is used predominately for building framework. Other Names: Ribbon Gum, White Gum.
Its heartwood is pale pink, while the sapwood is usually indistinguishable. Candlebark has a medium texture and straight grain. Gum veins are often present.
Coachwood | Ceratopetalum apetalum
Coachwood is an Australian hardwood timber commonly used in cabinetmaking, turnery and carving. Other Names: Scented Satinwood, Tarwood.
The true wood of this species – not always clearly distinct from the sapwood – is a pale pink to pinkish-brown colour. The grain is usually straight, with a fine and even texture. Due to banding of soft tissue (parenchyma) in the wood, the timber is often highly figured on back-sawn surfaces. The wood has a distinctive ‘caramel’ odour – hence one of the species’ common names is Scented Satinwood.
Coachwood is only moderately durable, with a life expectancy of between five and seven years for in-ground and aboveground applications, respectively. Coachwood is not resistant to termites, and its untreated sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer attack. The sapwood (but not heartwood) of this species is readily impregnated with preservatives.
Coachwood is moderately hard in relation to indentation and ease of working with hand tools. The timber machines well to a smooth surface. It accepts standard fixings and fastenings but tends to split when nailing (pre-drilling is recommended). Coachwood glues well and readily accepts most coatings. Coachwood responds better to water- and spirit-based stains, than to oil-based equivalents.
Uses of Coachwood timber are predominantly decorative, although it is used as a flooring material and for spars and masts in boatbuilding. Common applications include turnery, carving, interior fittings, sporting goods, furniture and cabinetwork. Coachwood is also found as a decorative veneer.
Coast Grey Box | Eucalyptus bosistoana
Coast Grey Box is a highly durable Australian hardwood often used for heavy construction applications and as round timber. Other Names: Bosisto’s Box, Gippsland Green Box. Its heartwood is a pale brown with the sapwood paler in appearance. It has a fine and even texture and usually features an interlocked grain. Gum veins are rarely present. It is similar in appearance to Grey Box, Eucalyptus moluccana.
Coast Grey Box is also a highly dense species so it is quite difficult to work. It can be painted, stained and polished. Any machining or surface preparation should be done immediately prior to gluing. It is slow to dry but generally will not develop any surface checking. It is also satisfactory for steam bending.
Coast Grey Box is used for heavy construction, round timber and sleepers.
Crow’s Ash | Flindersia australis
Crow’s Ash is an Australian hardwood timber which is mainly used for flooring, boat building and outdoor furniture. Other Names: Australian Teak, Flindosy, Nutwood, Colonial Tea. Crow’s Ash is slow to dry and surface checking may occur if it is dried too quickly. Its heartwood is golden yellow with a more distinct, paler sapwood. Aside from appearance, Crow’s Ash main benefit is that it is a very strong timber.
Crow’s Ash is predominately used for flooring and decking. It is also used for boat building and outdoor furniture. In times gone by it was used as flooring for dance halls due to its highly durable characteristics. While it is visually appealing, this species is not easy to work with, which limits the applications it can be used for. Crow’s Ash is quite greasy which means it is hard to glue and nail. Due to its limited availability, Crow’s Ash timber may attract a premium.
Forest Red Gum | Eucalyptus tereticornis
Forest Red Gum is an Australian versatile, dense and durable hardwood, with a light to dark red heartwood perfect for flooring, decking, construction and furniture making. Other Names: Blue Gum (Qld), Red Irongum (Qld), Red Gum, Blakely’s Red Gum, Eucalyptus umbellata, Eucalyptus vlakelyi, Eucalyptus blakelyi.
The Forest Red Gum produces a reliable timber suited to a wide range of uses. The timber is highly durable with an extremely high density. It displays a tight interlocking grain alongside its lush red colour, making it excellent for applications where appearance and durability are important.
As the name suggests, the Forest Red Gum is a medium to tall forest tree. Trees of this species grow to a height of 20 to 50 metres, with a girth of up to two metres. The trunk is straight and is usually unbranched for more than half the total height of the tree, with limbs that are more steeply inclined than other eucalypt species. The bark is shed in irregular sheets, resulting in a smooth trunk surface, coloured in patches of white, grey and blue. Rough dark grey to black dead bark is retained at the base of the stem.
A versatile timber, Forest Red Gum can be used in wharf and bridge construction, railway sleepers, cross-arms and mining timbers. It is suitable for all building members including posts and poles, framing, flooring, lining, decking and cladding. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor furniture. As well as sawn and round applications, forest red gum is suitable for the manufacture of structural plywood. The sapwood is not susceptible to lyctid borer attack and the species is not susceptible to termites.
Grey Box | Eucalyptus moluccana
Grey Box is a highly durable Australian hardwood often used for heavy construction applications and flooring. Other Names: Gum-topped Box, Eucalyptus Microcarpa, Eucalyptus Woollsiana, Eucalyptus Hemiphloia.
Its heartwood is a pale, yellowish brown with the sapwood paler in appearance. It has a fine, even texture and usually features an interlocked grain. Gum veins are rarely present.
Grey Box is a highly dense species, so it is quite difficult to work. It can be painted, stained and polished. Any machining or surface preparation should be done immediately prior to gluing. It is slow to dry but generally will not develop any surface checking.
Grey Box is used for heavy construction, flooring, round timber wharfage, sleepers and shipbuilding.
Grey Gum | Eucalyptus propinqua
Grey Gum is an Australian hardwood timber with extreme hardness and durability, making it suitable for a wide range of engineering and general construction applications, from mining timbers to flooring and decking. Other Names: Grey Iron Gum, Eucalyptus punctata, Large-fruited Grey Gum, Small-fruited Grey Gum, Eucalyptus canaliculata, Eucalyptus major, Brown Grey Gum.
The heartwood of this species is a red to reddish-brown colour, visually distinct from the paler sapwood. Grain is usually interlocked, with a coarse but even texture. Grey Gum is similar in general appearance to the ironbarks, but often marked by characteristic grub holes.
Grey Gum timber is an extremely durable timber, with an in-ground life expectancy in excess of 25 years. For aboveground applications, life expectancy exceeds 40 years. Grey Gum heartwood is termite-resistant, and untreated sapwood is not susceptible to Lyctid borer attack. Grey Gum sapwood is readily impregnated with commercially available preservatives.
The timber is very hard in relation to both indentation and ease of working with hand tools. It machines well, although care is required in working the timber’s interlocked grain. Grey Gum readily accepts paint, stain and polish, and is amenable to the use of standard fastenings and fittings. As with most high-density species, machining and surface preparation should be done immediately prior to the application of adhesives.
Grey Gum is widely used in heavy engineering and marine construction, where it is found as poles, piles, railway sleepers, cross-arms and mining timbers. In general construction it is used for building framework, flooring and decking. Grey Gum is also extensively used in landscaping and boat building.
Grey Ironbark | Eucalyptus paniculata
Grey Ironbark is a premium Australian hardwood with a wide range of applications from industrial construction to house framing, flooring and sporting goods. Other Names: White Ironbark, Eucalyptus drepanophylla, Eucalyptus siderophloia, Eucalyptus
It is a particularly hard, strong and durable timber, with a truly broad range of applications, due to its resistance to lyctid borers and termites.A very heavy timber, at 1120 kilograms per cubic metre, Grey Ironbark is dense and can be difficult to work. Dressed surfaces take on a steely sheen. The timber’s appearance ranges from reddish to dark brown heartwood. The sapwood is lighter in colour and is 20mm thick on average. Grain is usually tight and straight and no distinctive figure is encountered. Both sawn and round grey ironbark timber has a wide range of applications.
Engineering uses include railway sleepers, construction, poles and cross-arms, and bridge construction. Unseasoned timber is used in house framing, while dressed timber can be employed for both internal and external use. It has also been used in boat, coach, vehicle and carriage building and to create sporting goods.
Gympie Messmate | Eucalyptus cloeziana
Gympie Messmate is a strong, versatile and popular timber used for a wide range of interior and exterior applications. Other Names: Queensland Messmate, Dead Finish, Yellow Messmate.
Gympie Messmate is a large Australian hardwood harvested commercially in Queensland. Gympie Messmate features yellow-brown heartwood that is strong, hard and extremely durable.
Its sapwood is noticeably paler in colour, ranging from white to grey-white. The grain is generally uniform, unfigured, with a fine to medium texture that can sometimes be shallowly interlocked. Bark is soft, flaky, and fibrous with distinctively tessellated fine or coarse longitudinal fissures and is often mistaken for the Yellow Bloodwoods, although there is no relation between these two species.
This strong, versatile timber machines, turns, and dresses well and readily accepts paint, stains and polish.
This highly valuable tree species is used for heavy engineering construction, railway sleepers, mining timber, posts, poles and scantling. It is highly resistant to decay from ground contact or in damp, poorly ventilated conditions. These properties make it extremely useful for creating outdoor furniture, turnery and joinery, as well as crafting keeling and framing components in vehicles and carriage building.
Gympie Messmate is often used as sawn and round timbers for wharf and bridge construction, while unseasoned sawn timber is regularly employed for general house framing. Seasoned dressed timber is used for cladding, internal and external flooring, lining, joinery, fencing, landscaping and retaining walls.
Jarrah | Eucalyptus marginata
Jarrah is an Australian hardwood renowned for its versatility, durability and strength in a wide range of interior and exterior applications. Its durability and strength make it an ideal timber for a range of structural and design applications, with timbers that display colours ranging from deep red to blonde.
Jarrah trees grow on the iron and aluminium rich plains of south-western corner of Western Australia, from the ranges east of Perth down to Albany. They are slow growing, their roots often reaching to great depths in search of nutrients and water. Their long, straight trunks, can grow up to 40 metres tall and 2 metres in diameter, creating beautifully coloured and grained timbers. The bark is rough with a fibrous texture, and covers the entire trunk and smallest branches. The trees do not germinate from seed, but from lignatubers, large underground swellings that store energy and nutrients, allowing young trees to regenerate after bushfires.
The heartwood varies in colour from rich reds to browns, while sapwood ranges from a pale yellow to orange. The texture of the timber is moderately coarse and even-textured grain, although some interlocked, wavy grain may feature, creating interesting fiddle-back figure. This makes it an appealing architectural and design material.
Jarrah’s natural properties include a high resistance to weather, rot, termites and even marine borers, making it valuable for a range of outdoors uses. Its density also makes it fire resistant. It can be used in wharf and bridge construction, railway sleepers, cross arms, poles and piles. Construction applications include general house framing, flooring, linings, joinery and fencing. Jarrah’s decorative qualities make it prized for use in furniture, turnery, joinery and parquetry.
Johnstone River Hardwood | Backhousia bancroftii
Johnstone River Hardwood is a tree that produces a rich, striped, attractive timber from Australia. It is prized for its hard wearing yet handsome properties and makes excellent flooring.
The Johnstone River Hardwood is a medium sized hardwood. Its heartwood features various shades of brown, and is often dark and sometimes striped. The timber’s texture is fine and even with a variable grain that is usually free of defects. Sapwood is distinctly paler.
Johnstone River Hardwood timber is popular as a flooring material, as its beautifully rich appearance also resists indentation.
Kapur | Dryobalanops Spp, principally D.aromatica
Kapur is a large South East Asian hardwood with a broad range of applications including general construction and as an internal and external finishing material. Other Names: Borneo Camphorwood, Keladan, Kapoer.
An imported timber with a reputation for durability, in Malaysia and Indonesia Kapur is a large hardwood used for general construction and as an internal and external finishing material.
Sourced in the tropical lowland rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia, Kapur trees can grow to 60m in height and to a diameter of between 80 and 100cm. Well-formed buttresses support their straight, cylindrical bole and the trunk is free of branches for up to 30m. The bark is grey brown or dark brown with shallow fissures. When freshly cut, the timber releases a camphor-like odour but is not moth repellent or resistant to termites.
Kapur wood is ideal for use in general construction. It makes an attractive material for flooring and staircases. The timber is also highly prized for external joinery, in particular for door and window sills, as it is resistant to decay when fully exposed to the weather.
This timber is not recommended for in-ground use. Often preferred for external decking, it can also be used to create sturdy outdoor furniture. Kapur wood requires no finishing and will not rot when left outdoors where rain and sun will damage other lesser quality woods. Left untreated, Kapur will weather to a soft warm shade of gray similar to the weathering of teak. It can also been used decoratively to create internal fittings, plywood, joinery and lining, as it displays a striking figure.
Karri | Eucalyptus diversicolor
Karri is a slow-growing, durable Australian hardwood that produces an interlocked grain and ranges from creamy to red-brown in colour. With its durability and distinctive red hues it is suited to a broad range of applications. Most commonly used in construction, it is also valued by designers in the manufacture of indoor and outdoor furniture. Karri timber also features in the design of indoor and outdoor joinery.
timber has an appealing golden appearance. The heartwood varies from reddish browns through to pale pink hues with the sapwood being a clearly distinguishable creamy white. It is moderately durable, but resists impregnation with preservatives or other treatments. The sapwood is susceptible to borer attack and is known to be susceptible to termites.
Karri is currently used extensively for flooring, panelling and internal joinery. Its strength and appearance has a wide appeal for fine furniture designers. It has been used extensively for general construction, framing, joists, shipbuilding, sleepers, guides or side beams in mines, structural plywood, roofing timbers and pulp and paper. The timber also lends itself to use in roofing because it can be milled in extensive lengths that are uninterrupted by knots.
Leatherwood | Eucryphia lucida
The Tasmanian hardwood, Leatherwood, produces an extremely even and fine-grained timber in a rich range of hues, with good workability and finish. Other Names: Eucryphia billardieri.
Renowned as a honey nectar tree, Leatherwood is an understorey tree in the wet Tasmanian rainforests and mixed forests where it accounts for almost 70% of all honey produced. Where there is prolific growth the tree is excluded from timber use to maintain a resource for the apiary industry.
When harvested, however, it produces an attractive timber in a rich palette ranging from pinks to browns. Purple-heart logs feature the most figured wood and resemble Black-heart Sassafras. The heartwood is pinkish brown with a fine uniform texture while the sapwood remains undefined.
Leatherwood is an extremely even and fine-grained timber with good workability and finish. Its grain is usually straight with visible but not obvious growth rings. It seasons well with no distortion and glues, nails, bends, and polishes easily, making it popular for furniture making. It can produce a fine burl wood that is rare and highly prized. Commercially Leatherwood timber is used for furniture manufacturing and veneers, as well as pulpwood, turnery and handles. The common name, Leatherwood, comes from the extreme flexibility of its green timber.
Light Red Meranti | Shorea argenifolia
Light Red Meranti is a tropical rainforest species found throughout South East Asia and the South West Pacific, where it is used for decorative purposes. Other Names: Perawan, Meranti Bunga, Binatoh (Sarawak), Borneo Cedar, Light Red Seraya, Seraya Majau (Sabah), Meranti Merah (Indonesia), Meranti Bakau (Malaysia), Saya (Thailand), Damar (Borneo), Alan Bunga (Sarawak), Almon (Philippines), Shorea albida, Shorea leptoclados, Shorea rugosa, Shorea acuminata, Shorea leprosul, Shorea macroptera, Shorea ovalis, Shorea parvifolia, Shorea smithiana, Shorea quadrinervis.
Light Red Meranti is a tropical rainforest species found throughout South East Asia and the South West Pacific islands, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and east Malaysia. In Australia, Light Red Meranti is marketed simply as Meranti, or can be found under the names Borneo Cedar, Seraya, Lauan, and Philippine Mahogany.
The timber’s heartwood ranges from pink to pinkish-brown. The sapwood is sometimes lighter than the heartwood, but differentiation cannot always be made. The grain is moderately coarse but even in texture with quarter sawn material sometimes displaying an attractive ribbon figure. Growth rings are absent and rays are medium to fine.
Light Red Meranti is a softwood and not resistant to termites. It can be dried using conventional methods and bonded using standard procedures. While the sapwood readily accepts preservatives, penetration of heartwood is insignificant using current commercial processes. The timber can be painted, stained, or polished but the open grain means surfaces should be filled before finishing. This species also machines well to a smooth surface and takes standard fittings and fastenings easily.
It is commonly used for decorative applications including paneling, flooring, joinery, mouldings, plywood and turnery. It is regularly sought after for furniture and carving as well.
Manna Gum | Eucalyptus viminalis
Manna Gum is an Australian hardwood timber of limited commercial availability. It is suitable for applications such as flooring, joinery, paneling, furniture and general construction. Other Names: Ribbon Gum, Rough-barked Manna Gum, Coast Manna Gum, White Gum.
Gum is a hardwood timber species occurring in the cooler areas of South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the tableland districts of New South Wales. The heartwood of the species is a pale pink or pinkish-brown colour, often with distinctive light grey streaks. Sapwood is not clearly distinguishable from the true wood. The texture of Manna Gum timber is medium and even with a variable grain and prominent growth rings. It is usually quarter-sawn.
Manna Gum is a moderately durable timber. Its heartwood lacks natural termite resistance and untreated sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer attack. Although moderately hard, Manna Gum timber is easy to work by hand or machine. It glues satisfactorily using commercially available bonding agents. Pre-drilling is recommended when nailing near the ends of boards, to avoid splitting.
Uses of Manna Gum timber range from general construction to internal joinery, furniture, paneling, flooring and tool handles. Potential applications include plywood.
Despite a striking appearance especially suited to more formal decorative applications, Manna Gum timber is relatively uncommon due to the difficulties it presents in drying. The timber is prone to internal honeycombing, surface checking and collapse during seasoning.
Marri | Corymbia calophylla
Marri is a distinctive bloodwood native to Western Australia used mainly for fine furniture crafting and flooring. Other Names: Red Gum, formerly Eucalyptus calophylla, Port Gregory Gum. It is an adaptable tree that grows in both jarrah and karri forests in the state’s southwest, from north of Geraldton to Cape Riche and inland beyond Narrogin, and can also be found on the Swan Coastal Plain and Darling Scarp.
Marri is often called Red Gum due to the gummy red protrusions often seen on its trunk. As the name suggests, the timber is high in gum, resulting in low recovery rates of first grade timber. In the past, few timber millers produced it, however Marri’s feature grain has become more popular in recent times for making fine, handcrafted furniture.
The dark red gum of the Marri tree contrasts beautifully with the yellow to pale brown heartwood, while the 40mm wide sapwood is noticeably paler and often tending to white. Marri has a rather coarse but even texture with slightly interlocked grain. Gum veins are common and logs are generally sound to the centre.
Marri timber is increasingly used for modern household furniture. The finished honey-coloured timber with a distinctive vein structure makes handsome flooring. It can also be used for general construction, handles, oars and sporting equipment, while preservative-treated material is useful for piles, poles and posts.
Merbau | Insia Bijuga
Merbau is a popular hardwood from South East Asia used in a wide variety of applications from construction to indoor and outdoor furniture. Other Names: Kwila, Ipil, Vesi, Johnstone River Teak or Scrub Mahogany.
With its high degree of natural durability and strength it is appreciated for external applications in rugged engineering, construction and marine contexts. Merbau also features in backyards as outdoor furniture, and internally across a range of joinery, flooring and other uses.
In its natural setting across North Queensland, Malaysia, Fiji, Vietnam, the Philippines, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Samoa, the Merbau species can grow up to 40 metres in height, with a 0.6 metre trunk diameter. The bushy tree, with distinctive local names, will often form a spreading canopy. The attractive yellow-orange brown hue of freshly cut heartwood deepens or reddens with ageing. This contrasts markedly with the Merbau sapwood, which is white, pale yellow or buff coloured. If left untreated, the sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. Beyond that, Merbau is quite resistant to termites and seasons well with kiln or air-drying, exhibiting only a low degrade and very little shrinkage or movement.
The wood grain of the Merbau can vary but it is usually interlocked or wavy, with a coarse but even texture, often prized for its attractiveness on backsawn material. It will finish well with paint, stain, and polish although gum bleed is a possibility. Merbau is a versatile wood product. It is utilised for larger-scale projects and general construction, along with common use for outdoor settings and barbeque trolleys, and for joinery, flooring and fitting purposes. As it turns well and responds to hand tools it can be applied to more specialised work, such as cabinet making, musical instruments, boat building, carving and tool handles.
Messmate | Eucalpytus obliqua
Messmate is a well-known Australian hardwood with timber varying in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. Other Names: Messmate Stringybark, Brown-top Stringybark, Australian Oak, Tasmanian Oak, Victorian Messmate.
It has been known to grow to 90 metres tall, with a trunk up to three metres in diameter. A well-known Australian hardwood that is in high demand for a wide variety of applications, Messmate is often sold with Mountain Ash as Vic Ash or Tasmanian Oak. It varies in colour from pale browns through to light yellows with subtle hints of peach. The sapwood is pale yellow to pale brown, with light brown heartwood. A species rich and warm in detail, it has an even, moderately coarse texture. The sometimes interlocking, straight grains feature beautifully defined rings. Gum veins are quite common.
Messmate timber has moderate hardness and strength, but low durability. It splits easily and is susceptible to lyctid borer attack. It is relatively easy to work, glue and it bends well. It will readily accept stains, paints and polishes but can be difficult to impregnate with preservatives.
Messmate is mostly used for pulp production and general construction and manufacture, especially framing above ground (when protected), internal flooring, paneling, plywood, protected external use, internal joinery and furniture.
Mountain Ash | Eucalyptus regnans
Mountain Ash is a large Australian hardwood that can be used for timber framing, flooring, internal applications and furniture. Other Names: Stringy Gum, Swamp Gum, White Mountain Ash, Australian Oak, Tasmanian Oak, Victorian Ash.
Mountain Ash has a straight grain but visible gum veins are common. With its course or stringy texture, it is sometimes referred to as ‘Stringy Gum’. Mountain Ash is similar in appearance to Alpine Ash. The heartwood is pale brown, sometimes pinkish and, like alpine ash, the sapwood is not always clearly distinguishable. A fiddleback marking may occur at the butt.
Care needs to be taken when drying Mountain Ash because of its proneness to collapse and internal checking, as well as surface checking on the tangential surface. There is minimal shrinkage after drying. To ensure good quality boards, logs will be quarter-cut which provides excellent dimensional stability. Reconditioning is standard practice.
Mountain Ash can be used for general construction, such as framing, and interior applications such as flooring, paneling, high-end joinery and furniture. It is also used to manufacture plywood and may also be used for weatherboards, cooperage and pulp.
Mountain Grey Gum | Eucalyptus cypellocarpa
Mountain Grey Gum is an Australian hardwood timber often used for general construction purposes and for flooring and paneling. Mountain Grey Gum is a hard and moderately durable timber species. It is suitable for a range of applications including general construction, flooring, paneling and sleepers. Other Names: Monkey Gum, Spotted Mountain Gum, Small-fruited Mountain Gum, Mountain Blue Gum, Eucalyptus goniocalyx.
The wood of this species is a pale brown colour, often with pink or yellow tinges. Sapwood is generally paler, but not always visually distinct from the heartwood. Grain is typically straight and close, with occasional interlocking. Texture is moderately coarse and even, and gum veins are common.
Mountain Grey Gum timber is moderately durable. Untreated heartwood, although lacking termite-resistance, has an above ground life expectancy of between 15 and 40 years. Untreated sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer attack.
Given the timber’s hardness, Mountain Grey Gum is reasonably easy to work by hand or machine. Common uses of mountain grey gum timber include bridge and wharf construction, general construction applications such as building framework, wheelwright work, sleepers, paneling and flooring. The timber has potential for furniture, joinery and veneer applications, although care is required in the selection of timber suitably free of gum veins.
Mountain Gum | Eucalyptus dalrympleana
Mountain Gum is an Australian hardwood timber species, useful for various applications ranging from furniture and flooring to general construction. Other Names: White Mountain Gum, Kindlingbark.
Mountain Gum is a hardwood tree reaching heights of up to 50 metres in favourable conditions. It occurs naturally in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
The heartwood of this species is pale pink or pinkish brown in colour; sapwood is visually indistinct. The texture of this straight-grained timber ranges from fine (latewood) to relatively coarse (earlywood). Growth rings are prominent because of the darker latewood.
Due to its moderate hardness and durability, applications of Mountain Gum timber include general building construction, joinery, flooring and the fabrication of tool handles. Heartwood lacks natural termite-resistance, and untreated sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer (powder post beetle) attack. Mountain Gum timber products have limited commercial availability.
Myrtle Beech | Nothofagus cunninghamii
Myrtle Beech is an attractive Australian hardwood used for internal-use applications such as decorative veneers, paneling, joinery and flooring. Other Names: Beech, Tasmanian Myrtle, Southern Myrtle, Myrtle.
Myrtle Beech, also known as Tasmanian Myrtle, is a medium-sized hardwood that mainly grows in the temperate rainforest areas of Tasmania and eastern Victoria. While its name may imply otherwise, Myrtle Beech has no connection to the European Myrtle. The name ‘Myrtle’ is believed to have come from the early timber workers.
The heartwood can be pink or a more popular warm reddish brown and may also feature traces of orange, while the sapwood is pale and narrow. Even-textured, Myrtle Beech has a fine grain that can be straight, interlocked or feature a fiddleback pattern. Growth rings may also be visible. The burls and knotty wood of Myrtle Beech are favoured by craftspeople.
While Myrtle Beech is good for steam bending, it only provides moderate workability. Some collapse can occur through drying.
A strong and dense timber, it is not particularly durable, and due to its generally colour-rich appearance, Myrtle Beech is favoured for internal applications such as decorative veneers, high-end joinery, furniture and flooring. Myrtle Beech is also used for bridge and wharf decking and plywood.
Narrow-leaved Peppermint | Eucalyptus australiana
Narrow-leaved Peppermint is an Australian hardwood used for construction and fencing. Other Names: Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus robertsonii.
Narrow-leaved Peppermint is a member of a family of eucalypts used in the production of oils. It grows in the mountainous areas of New South Wales and Victoria, and in Tasmania. Although many members of the peppermint family are not suitable for use in construction, the Narrow-leaved Peppermint has been used for construction, fencing, joinery, outbuildings, handles, sporting goods, and novelties.
The heartwood is pale to light brown, and the sapwood slightly lighter but not readily discernible. The grain is straight or interlocked, and the texture is even and of medium fineness. Although gun veins are common in the Narrow-leaved Peppermint, they are rather less so in this timber than in other members of the peppermint species, though if present they can cause problems in working the timber.
The heartwood of Narrow-leaved Peppermint is moderately durable, and the sapwood is susceptible to lyctid borer, though not to termites. Narrow-leaved Peppermint works fairly easily with a reduced cutter angle. Pre-boring is necessary. The timber glues well and comes to a reasonable finish, though gum veins are common and can cause problems.
New England Blackbutt | Eucalyptus andrewsii
New England Blackbutt is a large Australian hardwood from the tablelands of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland used mainly for general construction. Other Names: New England Ash, New England Peppermint, Eucalyptus campanulata.
Also known as New England Ash, it is similar in appearance yet not quite as durable as Blackbutt. The heartwood is pale brown, while the sapwood is much paler in appearance. New England Blackbutt has an even texture and generally straight grain. Gum veins are usually present.
New England Blackbutt can be stained, painted or polished but there can be issues with painting because of its tendency to surface check. The high extractives of mature wood can cause problems with some adhesives. These extractives can also cause staining on painted surfaces exposed to the weather. Blackbutt machines well but is only fair for steam bending.
A durable hardwood, New England Blackbutt is used for general construction applications, flooring and joinery.
New Guinea Walnut | Dracontomelum magniferum
New Guinea Walnut is a decorative hardwood timber used in turnery, cabinetmaking, paneling and carving. It is most commonly available as a veneer. Other Names: Bau, Laup, Loup, Pacific Walnut, Paldao, Dao, Sengkuang, Dracontomelum spp., Dracontomelum dao.
New Guinea Walnut is a large hardwood that co-occurs with the taun timber species in the lowland forests of Papua New Guinea. It is also found in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. New Guinea Walnut timber products are mainly used for furniture, paneling, turnery and carving. Its most common form is as a decorative veneer.
The true wood of this species is grey-brown in colour, with an orange cast and bands of darker brown and black. The clearly demarcated sapwood, growing to a width of up to 100 millimetres, is cream-coloured. The texture of New Guinea Walnut is moderately coarse and even; grain is moderately interlocked. Waviness of the grain often produces an attractive, broken striped figure on quarter-sawn surfaces.
The timber seasons readily, with a slight tendency to warp in the thinner sizes, and to check or distort if the drying is hurried. New Guinea Walnut is only moderately durable. It is susceptible to marine borers, but resistant to termites. It is resistant to preservative impregnation.
As small quantities of New Guinea Walnut are only sporadically exported from growing regions, commercial availability of this timber is limited.