False Sandalwood

    (Eremophila mitchellii)


Also known as: Budda

  A very common tree on the Central Highlands, it grows just about anywhere on any soil. Commonly around 3 to 4 metres high, the biggest specimens I've seen are about 8 metres high with trunks about 250mm diameter and they are usually piped (hollowed out by white ants). The timber has a high content of aromatic oil and was once harvested heavily for incense production. It was this timber that started my fascination with 'desert' timbers.
The scent lasts a very long time on the timber even after sealing and extends right to the bark, unlike our local Sandalwood (santalum lanceolatum) which only has the scent in the very heartwood which dries away comparatively quickly. I always find working with pleasantly scented timbers  makes shed-time even more enjoyable and this is one of the best.
The timber turns and machines very well although it is hard. It is very stable when sawn into board form. False Sandalwood sands easily but clogs the paper a lot so is best wet-sanded. It finishes very nicely and will burnish to a gloss finish due to it's oil content.
Double thumbs-up for this timber!
This box was turned as a 'Sensory' item. The client wanted to be able to lift the lid and take a whiff of the 'Buddha' at her leisure. Left with walls about 8mm thick, it should continue pleasing for many years to come.


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