View Full Version : Blackwood turning blanks

27th Jun 2010, 10:58 PM
G'day Folks, I would appreciate your comments on my following fantasy. :)

Having just had a travelling woodturner friend stay with us for a while I have been enthused by the idea of seeing more potential in timber I had previously thought of as firewood. We have a number of dead blackwood trees on our property, killed but not burned in black saturday fires 16 months ago. They are still standing & mostly barkless. The bark prevented the wood from burning. Our friend turned up a few things using some pieces I cut with the chain saw & pronounced it 'nice to turn, with long feathered shavings'. The finished results were nicely grained, & some quite dark. Many of the branches & limbs have a single crack along them, so cutting them smaller is needed to create blanks. ). I am wondering about the possibility of buying a lathe of my own & a band saw to make circular blanks to sell. Is this a foolish thing for someone with no previous woodturning & timber salvage experience to consider? What is the 'market' really like - no point in me adding to an over-supplied market? Not expecting a fast return. Could sell online/mail order.



27th Jun 2010, 11:09 PM
Well, well. Gooday Cuppa. Have you been around the block yet?

27th Jun 2010, 11:41 PM
G'day ,
We certainly have :) 18 months away & got home last December.
Read all about it here (http://www.cuppa500.com/_Big_Trip/Archive.html)


28th Jun 2010, 11:07 AM
Is there a market for blackwood blanks. Yes. Are there already suppliers, online and shopfront? Yes. Inc. from Tas and some folk reckon that's preferable.

Your question cuppa is: is there a niche I can fill?

So you need to research whose supplying what at what price and whether you can compete on price, quality, location, service or charm.

The drawback with mailorder is the cost of shipping, which for larger lumps is a killer.

(Factor in your time as well. Last year I did a bulk buy of dry blackwood for forum members and even with this stuff slabbed and on the ground it was a sh*tload of work.)

28th Jun 2010, 01:22 PM
from Tas and some folk reckon that's preferable.

Thanks for your thoughts Ern. What is the difference between Tassie & Victorian (Strzleckis) blackwood apart from tree size? Same species
I believe?


28th Jun 2010, 01:32 PM
Same species is correct - Acacia melanoxylon.

It grows almost everywhere, from Tassie to Qld. It prefers cool, moist soils and will tolerate dappled shade. The further north it grows, the more susceptible it is to borer attack and limb drop.

Tassie blackwood also tends to be darker IIRC.

28th Jun 2010, 02:36 PM
Yeah, dunno how well founded the view is but I have heard folk say Tassie blackwood often has more figure. There is also 'Northern Blackwood' also known as Black Wattle.

28th Jun 2010, 03:39 PM
I think Ern the differences would be the result of growth rates, which are effectd by temperature, moisture, soil types and how crowded they are grown. So the bigger and older the tree the more time etc that there is to effect the character of the timber.



28th Jun 2010, 10:48 PM
Buy a bandsaw and lathe, then take up wood turning as a hobby you have your own supply of timber all you need to do is some value adding