Also commonly known as Australian Blackwood it is a native to the east coast of Australia. It is highly decorative and sought after as a cabinet timber for musical instruments, boatbuilding and cabinet making. It’s colouring can vary from golden to dark chocolate brown. The timber is generally straight grained however, quarter-sawn surfaces may produce an attractive fiddle-back figure. The wood is lustrous and possesses a fine to medium texture.
Commonly known as a weed species in northern NSW, this tree is a native to China, Japan and Taiwan. Camphor Laurel timber features decorative patterns and figures. It is golden yellow to light brown, with occasional red streaks. The timber is easy to work and when oiled has a stunning vibrancy.
Silky Oak is a native to the east coast of Australia and grows in the subtropical and dry rainforests. It is the largest growing Grevillia species and can grow to 1m in diameter. Prior to the use of aluminium, Silky Oak was widely used for external window joinery as it is resistant to wood rot. Today it is highly regarded by cabinet makers for its decorative patterns and figures. It colour varies from golden to pink.
Silver Ash is native to rainforests of the Mid North Coast to Far North Queensland. The tree grows up to 35m in height and 1m in diameter. The timber varies from creamy white to pale yellow to greyish silver and has a straight grain with little or no figure. It is a stable timber with natural lustre and finishes beautifully. It is a prized timber for furniture making and boat building
Red Cedar is a native to the subtropical rainforests of Northern NSW. Its natural habitat is now extensively cleared. It was heavily exploited during the 19th and early 20th century. The tree can grow to 60m in height and 3 metres in diameter. It is one of Australia’s few native deciduous trees. Red Cedar is highly valued for its gorgeous red colour and its ease to work.
In some projects I like to use a range of recycled timbers including doorframes, wall battens, floorboards and joists. Some cabinet timber species are very difficult to source and expensive as they become more rare. Finding a treasure of a timber under a doorframe or paint job is incredibly satisfying. Once you remove the layers of grey from the aging timber it is impressive to find the colours, grains and old stories embedded in recycled timber.