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 Messmate, Tasmanian 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.
Blackbutt or Eucalyptus pililaris is a common and dominant tree of the family of Myrtaceae native to southeastern Australia and is economically one of Australia's most important hardwoods. 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.
The tree and wood from the Eucalyptus marginata is more commonly called by its Aboriginal name of Jarrah. This is the most common species of Eucalyptus found in the southwestern regions of Western Australia. This tree thrives on iron and aluminium rich soils. It is slow growing and reaches a height of 40m tall. The trunks are long and strait producing timber that is richly coloured from blonde to brown to deep red, beautifully grained, fiddleback producing, termite and rot resistant.
Messmate is otherwise known as Eucalyptus obliqua. This a wood that is often grouped with Tasmanian Oak and Victorian Ash within the timber yard. The colour of Messmate ranges from a pale to medium toned brown to light yellow with a hint of peach. This is a timber that tends to be heavily featured with gum veins, well defined rings and a course grain. This is the main type of wood we use to create our recycled timber furniture.
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. Because the timber is often cross-grained, it frequently produces beautiful fiddleback. The grain tends to be coarse with frequent gum veins. As the timber is rot resistant, it is often used in outdoor applications such as poles, stumps, fences, sleepers and outdoor furniture.
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. The grain of the red iron bark is fine and often interlocking creating beautiful patterns.
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.
is the trade name for two Australian hardwoods the Eucalyptus regans and the Eucalyptus delegatensis. It is also known as Alpine Ash, Tasmanian Oak, Mountain Ash, Gum-topped stringybark and White-top. 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.
A newly harvested timber that is a collection of Victorian species of Eucalyptus including Messmate, Silvertop Ash and Cuttail. The gum pockets and veins result from exposure to fire and the characteristic small holes, black markings and pin holes result from attacks by ambrosia beetles and pin hole borers. This results in a timber with a straw blonde or light brown timber with the look of a recycled timber without the additional costs.
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 is a very hard timber making it perfect for furniture making. The grains are mostly straight with a medium to course texture.
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. Many stains have been created to reproduce the tones of this timber but nothing really compares to the original.