Inland Rosewood

    (Acacia rhodoxylon)


Also known as: Rosewood, Ringy Rosewood, Brown Spearwood

Inland Rosewood' has the huge reputation out here of being the hardest wood you can find. It is the tree of choice for fencing and the vast majority of fence posts you see on the Highlands, even down to 3" diameter, will be Rosewood. White ants can't or wont touch it and it will last in the ground for decades - some fenceposts are reputedly over 100 years old.
Old Rosewood forests are a very strange sight because of this, with generation after generation laying on the ground over each other, taking several lifetimes to rot away while the current crop grows through them. In this situation, the trees can grow to about 15m high and 300mm diameter but the trunks are very fluted and twisted by this time. Strangely enough, even though white ants can't handle it, lychtids still tunnel through it quite readily while it's growing.
The surest way to recognize Inland Rosewood, as described to me by Noel of Telarah Station on the same day I discovered Dead Finish, is to run your hand down the bark and it will crumble like tea-leaves - I believe that day was the beginning of my obsession!
A small truckload of Rosewood fenceposts that has run into trouble. Fencing is the only commercial use of inland Rosewood and is still being cut extensively.
A set of stock yards near Clermont made predominantly of Rosewood - they will still be there long after the blokes that built them have passed on.
The timber from Inland Rosewood is the 2nd hardest timber I have ever worked. Even green, it is as tough as nails. BUT! I think it is worth the effort regardless because the colour and finish is just beautiful. It also has a pleasant aroma, supposedly like violets though I have no idea what they smell like, which helps compensate for the hard work involved.
The 'vase' pictured at left took many, many hours to hollow as you can only take the finest of cuts and have to resharpen frequently. For such a hard wood, it sands very well and the vase had just one coat of oil to get that level of finish. (The small pot at right had 2 coats)
Being so hard and dense makes Inland Rosewood pretty good for thread chasing. This threaded box was made for an engagement ring to be presented in.


Some gnarly old Rosewood forks were used to make this display stand for my sons BSA motor - at least until he finds a frame to put it in!


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