Saturday, 16 August 2014

Beautiful Australian Timbers

As I said before, using different species of wood is certainly one of the main things that excite me as a craftsman and Australia has some pretty amazing timbers that I am keen to try. Here is a picture of a variety of Aussie timbers after a morning milling session.


Some species milled on the day include: Red Coolibah burl, Mallee burl, York Gum burl, Black Box burl, Inceana, Ringed Gidgee, Mulga, Hooked Needlewood, Belah, and Beefwood.

Not all woods that I purchase are intended for infill plane materials however, they will come in handy for future woodworking projects. The only Australian timber that I have used for infill planes to date is Gidgee (Acacia Cambageli). This wood, when properly seasoned, is definitely stable enough for infill planes. It is hard to find technical data but I would rate its specific gravity somewhere between 1.20 to 1.40 (this stuff doesn’t float).

Most plane lovers would know Gidgee from the beautiful work of HNT Gordon & Co. (http://www.hntgordon.com.au/).

Gidgee has a rich, dark chocolate brown colour and fills my shop with a sweet, smoky fragrance. Ringed Gidgee is the truly beautiful stuff and the figure can be more commonly described as fiddleback in appearance.

Here is a photo of one of my small, precious pieces. I want to use this in my next squirrel tail plane.


For more information regarding Australian timbers, check out these sites:
  1. Big Sky Timbers (http://bigskytimber.com/
  2. Djarilmari Timber Products (http://www.djarilmari.com/)
  3. Forrest Products Commission (http://www.fpc.wa.gov.au/content_migration/plantations/species/)
I am currently experimenting with some Damascus steel. I haven’t had much free time lately, but so far, so good.