(Wrightia saligna)


Also known as: Coolaroo, White Cheesewood

Found right across northern Australia, Milkwood is deciduous and generally considered a savannah shrub but some of the specimens I have found here are about 6 metres tall and have trunks up to 200mm diameter so I'm calling it a tree! Unfortunately the bigger ones were bulldozed before I got photos of them but I did get to score some timber. These examples pictured were growing in Lancewood scrub on decomposing sandstone.  
As the name suggests, when damaged, the leaves and bark exude copious amounts of thin white latex (which I neglected to photograph!!).
Milkwood is just about the nicest native turning timber I have come across! It is of medium weight, has a close, fine grain but is not at all hard so it machines beautifully with virtually no tear-out and peels off nice shavings consistently. The timber sands brilliantly, no clogging or burnishing at all, and it will take any finish you throw at it quite nicely.
This piece started out to be something else altogether but once I saw the fiddleback in it I changed my plans in an attempt to show the figure off a little. I've called it 'TopKnot', which most Aussies will figure out!.


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