New South Wales Christmas Bush - Router Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default New South Wales Christmas Bush

Hi All

Just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the wood from the NSW Christmas Bush.

I have a dead one with a 100mm trunk to cut down and I'm wondering whether it's worth seasoning to make handles for my leather working tools or if it's just firewood.

I've searched online but all the info I've found has been from a botanical perspective, not a mention of the wood which makes me think it's probably the latter.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 11:39 AM
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The bush part of the name means it probably isn't in any way considered a lumber tree. That doesn't necessarily mean anything negative. There is a bush species here called Douglas maple which you'll never get a board out of. I've found some that had short sections to 20 cm in diameter but when I tried sawing it into boards it cupped so badly it was pointless (multiple pieces of different bushes, not just one).

However, when I took a square of it and turned it on my lathe it turned out beautifully and has also turned out to be quite stable in the round. You won't know for sure unless you try it.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 12:23 PM
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Save as much as you can for lumber and see how it comes out. Then let us know what the results are. I saved a piece of Holly shrub that was a combined growth of several trunks growing together, and the boards were twisted and warped, but had some very interesting grain and patterns when sanded and finished were quite attractive. It is worth trying to save. go for it.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 12:27 PM
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Pen blanks? Tuits?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 01:36 AM
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What I found interesting, Mark, was that ALL the on-line articles (that I read) failed to mention anything about the actual wood. Even if it was useless for any practical application you'd think they'd at least mention that.
Very strange.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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What I found interesting, Mark, was that ALL the on-line articles (that I read) failed to mention anything about the actual wood. Even if it was useless for any practical application you'd think they'd at least mention that.
Very strange.
Yes, same as I found, hence my enquiry here as to whether anyone had specific knowledge.

I did find that Coachwood which is a nice fine grain hardwood is the same genus ie a close relative which sounded promising but lack of specific information online or in my reference books seems to imply the opposite.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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The bush part of the name means it probably isn't in any way considered a lumber tree.
This is very much a case of the common name being a misnomer, it's really a tree, generally 5+m tall and up to about 10m. The one I've to cut down was a little stunted at about 4m due to a neighbours trees overshadowing it (they like a lot of sun).

I'll probably keep the main trunk and try turning some tool handles.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 09:04 PM
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Go for it, Mark. And, post some pics, if you would.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 10:53 PM
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Another example I have Mark is Hawthorne. I did a quick search and one hit was eastern U.S. and it said "rare hawthorne" but no picture so I can't say if it's the same species as out west. It's not in the wood database because there isn't enough of it. It's hard to find much that's straight enough and big enough but if you can, what a find. It is some of the prettiest wood I've ever seen with the outer wood being creamy white with chocolate brown flecks running through it. The heartwood is a reddish brown. It is at least as hard as hard maple, turns beautifully, and will make lumber if you could find it wide enough and long enough.

Another is Siberian elm that I have growing around my yarsd. They were suposed to be shrubs but have turned into moderate sized trees in a few cases. I had a pretty good sized limb break off from a snow storm so I sawed it up. The sapwood is a light canary yellow and the rest is red with some stunning grain in the edge grain parts. It will make boards and it turns fairly well.

You just never know without giving it a try so I don't automatically toss anything that I'm not sure about anymore.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 11:26 PM
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The interesting thing is that some species have fairly innocuous longitudinal grain but the end grain is spectacular (or possibly the reverse).
That Narra I found was a nice example.

Narra end grain:
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