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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
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    Default Substitute for Chinese elm?

    Hi all,

    I'm new here. Hoping I can find some helpful advice re a couple of projects I have in mind.

    I've got a gorgeous rustic antique Chinese sideboard that when I bought it, I was told it was made of Chinese elm. It's in my front room, and I'm thinking of replacing our old tv unit with a piece of furniture to match the sideboard.

    I'm hoping to get it custom made as we have quite a lot of kit (game consoles, subwoofer etc) that I don't want on display.

    Any ideas about what wood would be a good substitute? The sideboard was stripped of lacquer and oiled or waxed to let the natural grain and colour show through. I'm hoping to find an alternative that would need a minimum of staining/colour, so the finish is similar.

    Cheers
    Eve

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane (western suburbs)
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    74
    Posts
    9,322

    Default

    Evey - if it's Elm, then just go looking for Elm, and try to match for colour. Elms all have a pretty similar grain & texture, with that peculiar wavey growth ring pattern, so they should be fairly similar except for colour. Plenty of Elms of several varieties around Melbourne, but getting your hands on one may be a problem. One of the big timber merchants will probably have something....

    Cheers,
    IW

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks! I also looked at mountain ash and messmate online, but I think until I see the timber first hand, it'll be difficult to match.
    Now all I have to do is find someone to make it for me! (I'm a 3D designer, so the design if the piece's not an issue, but I don't have the tools or the space!)

    Cheers
    Eve

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane (western suburbs)
    Age
    74
    Posts
    9,322

    Default

    Evey - With a few exceptions, it's pretty hard to match most northern hemisphere woods with southern hemisphere ones. Eucalypts have a very different grain pattern & texture from Elm, so even with very clever colouring, they would appear quite different to me. It needs a lot of care & devotion if a real match is to be achieved - in other words, this is likely to be an expensive enterprise unless you do it yourself, which is pretty difficult if you don't have the space or gear.....

    Cheers,
    IW

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