Types of Timber for Furniture

Creating sustainable furniture from native Australian recycled timber


In Australia, we are so lucky to have such as wide range of beautiful and sustainable recycled timbers available to us to create truly stunning and unique furniture. At Bombora Custom Furniture, we primarily use wood from the local Victorian Eucalyptus species of MessmateTasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash to build our pieces of recycled timber furniture.  We prefer to use these timber’s as they are hard wearing, have low travel miles, are readily available recycled and create a beautiful finish.  In saying this, one of our favorite pieces is made from stunning recycled Jarrah wharf timbers which can be a little harder to come by. When requested, we also use newly harvested timber that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship council (FSC) such as American Oak and Wormy Chestnut. 

Messmate is otherwise known as Eucalyptus obliqua. The colour of Messmate ranges from a pale to medium toned brown to light yellow with a hint of peach. A quintessential charactaristic of this timber is the regular gum veins, well defined rings and a course grain.

Wormy Chestnut is a newly harvested timber that is a collection of Victorian species of Eucalyptus including Messmate, Silvertop Ash and Cuttail. This timber has a straw blonde or light brown tone with black sap line markings. This timber looks similar to recycled Messmate just with more consistent tone.

Australian Chestnut is a newly harvested timber that is hand selected at the timber yard to have minimal black features. It is a straw to light warm brown tone with a fine grain pattern. Australian Chestnut furniture has a versatility that ensures it is suited to a wide range of aesthetics.

Blackbutt or Eucalyptus pililaris is a the family of Myrtaceae native to southeastern Australia. This beautiful timber tends to be creamy light brown in colour, coarse textured, fairly strait grained with common small gum veins. Its hard texture makes it perfect for making furniture.

Tasmanian Oak is the trade name for three almost identical species of Eucalyptus The E. reganas, E. obliqua and E.delegatensis. Often in timber yards, these woods can be also named Victorian Ash or Messmate (E. Obliqua) depending on the yard and the origin of the timber. Tasmanian Oak timber is a hard wearing, dense and easy to work with. The wood is light in colour with shades varying from straw to reddish brown with intermediate shades of light pink.

American Oak is a newly harvested timber from the Quercus Alba tree that in native to Northern America. This timber is very similar in colour and appearance to European Oak. It is a beautiful light brown colour with an ash blonde tone. It has a unique grain pattern than is not found in any other timber.

Vic Ash is the trade name for two Australian hardwoods the Eucalyptus regans and the Eucalyptus delegatensis. This timber is known for its coarse texture, relatively strait grain, ability to produce fiddleback markings and frequent gum lines. The colour of the timber ranges from a pale pink to yellowish brown.

The tree and wood from the Eucalyptus marginata is more commonly called by its Aboriginal name of Jarrah. This timber is richly colored from blonde to brown to deep red, beautifully grained, fiddleback producing stunning and unique


Grey or Red Iron Bark or Mugga are the commonly used names for the timber from the Eucalypus sideroxylon. Ironbark timber is hard, dense and rot resistant making it difficult to work but perfect for outdoor furniture applications and for bathroom vanities. The heartwood is a dark red in colour with the sapwood being a distinctive pale yellow.

Most commonly referred to as river red gum, the timber of the Eucalyptus camaldulensis is grown on plantations all over the world. Red gum is so named for its brilliant red wood which can range from a light pink to an almost black. This timber also frequently produces beautiful fiddleback.

A newly harvested timber from the Juglans Nigra tree native to Northern America that is also known as Black Walnut. This is a stunning timber with a rich dark chocolate brown tones. The grain is generally straight with interesting curves making a subtle yet beautiful pattern.

A new timber from the Acacia Melanoxylon tree native to the south eastern states of Australia. This beautiful timber is a seductive warm brown tone with hints of gold. It has been long used to create decorative items such as furniture, musical instruments and tools. The gentle waves of the grain creates subtle interest.