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View Full Version : Is this wood Kauri Pine?



Mountain Ash
10th August 2021, 05:50 PM
Hi all. I know this can be a difficult ask but does any body know what species this timber is? I found them used to make up the kicker frame for a kitchen I demoed and was on the verge of adding them to the stack in the trailer when the flecked grain caught my eye. Brought them home and planed up 2 edges and a face.

1st edge dark "spotting"
499197

Face same "spotting" with plain sawn grain
499198

2nd edge with fleck
499199

Timber feels light but has been dry for a long time. Photos of timber straight off the plane, no finish.

At first I thought Silky Oak but now I'm leaning towards Kauri

riverbuilder
10th August 2021, 06:39 PM
Correct. Kauri most definitely.

Chief Tiff
10th August 2021, 07:02 PM
Agree, Kauri. I made a platter and pair of simple bedside cabinets out of it; itís a lovely timber but burns easily if your power tools have blunt edges. Very easily worked with hand tools and loves a sharp smoothing plane!

Mountain Ash
10th August 2021, 09:48 PM
Thanks guys. I wish the bits I snaffled were bigger :D

rustynail
12th August 2021, 05:42 PM
Its Kauri. In the old days it was the prefered timber for kitchen fitouts due to its antibacterial properties.

Mobyturns
12th August 2021, 11:48 PM
How old do you reckon the kitchen is?

I will go against the crowd, its Damar Minyak - Agathis dammara, Agathis borneensis - a close relative.

Mountain Ash
13th August 2021, 10:28 AM
Hi MT. Early 80's, built as big units (not little carcasses all screwed together), simple pine rails and stiles with fielded panels, painted finish but probably originally clear coated and olive green laminate bench top. Kauri was only used as noggins for the boxed kickers that the cabinets sat on.

Mountain Ash
13th August 2021, 10:32 AM
Hi RN. Do you have any more info re Kauri? An old boss of mine used it to make his kitchen benchtops, even going to the extent of carving a sloping section leading into the bowl, but his one regret was finishing it with poly. He wished he had of left it raw so that the inevitable dings would swell back up with the constant re wetting.

Mobyturns
13th August 2021, 02:05 PM
Hi MT. Early 80's, built as big units (not little carcasses all screwed together), simple pine rails and stiles with fielded panels, painted finish but probably originally clear coated and olive green laminate bench top. Kauri was only used as noggins for the boxed kickers that the cabinets sat on.

Given that time line I will stick with Damar Minyak. From memory, by the 1980's there was not a lot of Kauri milled in FNQ, but may have been in SEQ. There was also significant imports of Pacific Island woods by then - so it could be either, but more likely Damar Minyak from your photos.

Mountain Ash
14th August 2021, 03:24 PM
Hi MT. I will check that out. I assume the cabinetmaker didn't place too much value on the timber if it was in such a hidden place

Mobyturns
14th August 2021, 05:10 PM
Hi MT. I will check that out. I assume the cabinetmaker didn't place too much value on the timber if it was in such a hidden place

That's not unusual, it is very undervalued. Mostly used as a "secondary" timber for drawer carcasses etc, in furniture and cabinetry. It can be quite spectacular if finished well, but light timbers have never really been fashionable.

Mountain Ash
17th August 2021, 08:57 AM
Hi MT. After spending a little more time with this wood (made an oil stone box/holder with it) I think you might be closer to the mark. A couple of online links refer to DM as Indonesian Kauri and the images are honey coloured wheras Agathis Robusta looks more creamy. The DM does have that softish feel while AR I have used before was firmer. I guess this is a reminder about how misleading common names can be

Mobyturns
17th August 2021, 11:34 AM
The realities of global commerce vs local supply also strengthen my opinion that it is Damar minyak, as its far cheaper to import Damar minyak from Malaya / Borneo than to road transport QLD Kauri to VIC from FNQ. There is considerable confusion with id of our endemic QLD Kauri / Bunya / Hoop pine to the untrained eye then we throw in imports. :)

rustynail
24th August 2021, 11:15 AM
Hi RN. Do you have any more info re Kauri? An old boss of mine used it to make his kitchen benchtops, even going to the extent of carving a sloping section leading into the bowl, but his one regret was finishing it with poly. He wished he had of left it raw so that the inevitable dings would swell back up with the constant re wetting.
Qld Kauri was used in the early days for food contact surfaces. This included bakeries, butcher blocks, kitchen benchtops and preperation tables, etc. As the timber became scarce other woods came into play. Today Indonesian Kauri is the look-alike. As for quality and durability IMHO it is not in the same league.

nine fingers
24th August 2021, 12:38 PM
When Fosters brewery purchased Ballarat Bertie beer 35 to 40 years ago they shut it down. All the beer vats were made out Qld kauri ,may be 100 years old, each vat had 57 vertical planks 160 X 70 3.6 metre long with a slight bevel on both edges making the vat about 2400 diam.
A truck arrived a my workshop, the driver asked me if I was interested in some timber,one look, back it in , 114 @ $30. I let it dry for a couple of years before I started to use it.
One of the previous replys was about a bench top with a sink in it ,l made one with a tapered draining board with tapered grooves , the client finished it the old way ,scrubbed with salt.
John.

Bendigo Bob
24th August 2021, 12:53 PM
Oh I love Kauri. I got some lovely boards 12 inches wide and used them as ad-hoc bookcases when young and foolish (hippie days)

I was working up at Foxwood Mareeba those days and it was cheap for staff at least.

Somehow I must have given them away in my travels :?

I also recall the last time I saw a huge Kauri log come into the mill. Laying down it was way taller than me and the workers had to get their biggest chainsaw and cut it lengthwise from both sides and still had to wedge and hammer it open before they could get it on the saw deck.

Ah, the good old days :D

Mobyturns
24th August 2021, 06:37 PM
Oh I love Kauri. I got some lovely boards 12 inches wide and used them as ad-hoc bookcases when young and foolish (hippie days)

I was working up at Foxwood Mareeba those days and it was cheap for staff at least.

Somehow I must have given them away in my travels :?

I also recall the last time I saw a huge Kauri log come into the mill. Laying down it was way taller than me and the workers had to get their biggest chainsaw and cut it lengthwise from both sides and still had to wedge and hammer it open before they could get it on the saw deck.

Ah, the good old days :D

There is nothing left of the Foxwood mill in Mareeba. The old circular sorting table was the last to go.

QLD Rail had log dimension limits for rail transport from the tablelands down the Kuranda to Cairns section due to the fifteen tunnels on the range. The tunnels are 16' wide and 17' tall of elliptical section.

Bendigo Bob
25th August 2021, 09:31 AM
There is nothing left of the Foxwood mill in Mareeba. The old circular sorting table was the last to go.

QLD Rail had log dimension limits for rail transport from the tablelands down the Kuranda to Cairns section due to the fifteen tunnels on the range. The tunnels are 16' wide and 17' tall of elliptical section.

Yes, and nothing left of the tobacco industry either. A friend told me that it is all sugar cane now.

Mind you, my time there was nearly 50 years ago. Man, I'm getting old.

After Mareeba I went briefly to Maryborough and sought work at the Hynes mill there (and one other one I can't think of the name) Most of that is all gone now too. I'm thankful that the rain forests aren't being cleaned out as they were generations ago, but wow, miss some of that beautiful timber - Black Bean, NSO, Qld Walnut..........