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Wood Characteristics

Woods are usually graded under two headings — Hard or Soft

A third class known as ‘the medium’ can more accurately classify other general timbers. This group of timbers includes a wide variety. This may include some pine samples that are fast and intractable. Some plain boards are suitable for framework and built-in fittings.

Hard wood are mainly used for weatherboard flooring. They can be imported in certain forms and then millled locally.


Western Cedar is usually a North American import. It’s a lightweight relatively soft material, pink to reddish-brown in hue. Except in selected frames, the figure is not much pronounced. It is the most versatile wood in large boards with very few knots and in certain sizes that are ideal for making general carpets and cabinets and despite its ‘apparently light structure,’ is a considered one of the longest softwoods.

Yellow Pine is a North American wood too and is yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, generally resinous, which distinguishes itself from the light-coloured sapwood.  Southern Yellow Pine is typically harder and heavier than their commercial species of pine and is almost identical in strength properties with Douglas Fir.

Troop Pine and Queensland Kauri.— a medium weight wood, ranging in colour from pale yellow to light brown, with clean straight grain with little figure. Very useful woods for all forms of joinery, shelving, turnery, and cabinet making. Relatively abundant in northern New South Wales and Queensland, were grown, but supplies to southern markets have late years;


Under hardwood’s general name is a range of woods sold,called eucalypts. The characteristics are verty similar.

Hardwood such as these include Tasmanian Oak, or Australian Oak and Mountain Ash.

Queensland Walnut.— another fine cabinet timber. Color ranges. Reddish brown to almost black with “striped or wavy figure.” High-speed saws and cutters are a downside.

Ash Silver – Queensland. Yellowish to light brown is a beautiful wood with straight or wavy grain, which is especially good when finished in natural colour or oiled and polished white. This wood bends well. Picked logs for veneers and plywood.

Oak Tulip- Queensland. Reddish brown wood, rather thick, mottled or wavy. Quite fine appearance when finished in natural colour, if used in large frames, susceptible to warping. Nice bending wood, also supplied as veneer and plywood.

Blackwood – Victoria. Golden brown to reddish-brown, turns and bends well, and excellent cabinet wood, ranging in selected boards from plain to wavy and fiddleback. The fastest wood to polish. Supply limited.

Myrtle — Tasmania. Pink to pinkish brown with intermediate wood; Makes up beautiful furniture in a natural wood finish. A favourite wood for carving.

The list above is by no means all-inclusive of Australian Timbers’ for a complete list click on this link for more information.

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