White Bauhinia

    (Lysiphyllum hookeri)


Also known as: Pegunny, Queensland Ebony

Although White bauhinia is sometimes called Queensland Ebony, it's a bit of a misnomer really - there's nothing ebony-like about it at all. Reaching to around 8 metres tall at times, the tree usually spreads as wide as it is high with thick, but short, trunks. It is another of our very few deciduous species, losing most of it's leaves just before flowering. The flowers are impressive and second only in size to our native hibiscus.
Although the timber is a very nice chocolate colour with an attractive grain, it's next to useless by the time it dries out due to checking. Sealing the endgrain makes no difference and the shrinkage happens very quickly - large cracks opening up within days of being cut.
The board at left looked to be intact after air-drying for over 12 months but the extent of internal collapse has rendered it useless.
The pictured bowl was turned just 2 weeks after the log was cut and you can see the size of the cracks that had appeared in that short time. The cracking was only halted by turning the item thin enough to allow it to warp instead. The timber was nice to turn and sand and finished well with Danish oil too, but with so much cracking, it would be difficult to get much use from it - maybe a lot of pen blanks available soon!!!
I figured the best way to get some mileage out of the bits between the cracks might be to use some strips this way...


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