(Brachychiton populneus)


Also known as: Black Kurrajong

Golden rule - Don't believe everything you read in a wikipedia! Kurrajong is not a useful cabinet timber as described by several online articles! Having stumbled onto this little gem of information, I thought I had better find out for myself if it was in fact a useable timber.



Kurrajongs grow to about 15 metres high around here and make an attractive shade tree, often left behind when they're clearing grazing land. The 'wood' is so full of water that in times of drought, the trees were once cut down and splayed open for the cattle to browse on.


The timbers consistency could be described as somewhere between a carrot and sopping wet balsa wood. I roughed turned the pictured bowl as soon as I got hold of a piece and dried it in the microwave. The roughed bowl shrank by an amazing amount and developed a few shakes while drying but it did at least settle down to a turnable item. I filled the shakes with Q-Bond and gave it a Danish oil finish and a couple of years on it is still intact which is something I suppose. But a useful cabinet timber? Give me a break - please!!!
Footnote: I was recently contacted by a bloke who found this page and kindly forwarded this photo of a side table he crafted some years ago from a Kurrajong tree he milled. Have to eat my words really as it looks like a very serviceable piece of furniture. He said that milling the stuff was 'interesting' and losses while drying were high but it still provided useable timber. Thanks for the info Bruce.


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