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Back in 1985, I was having lunch with a friend at his rickety old picnic table outside his home in Bondi. “The table came with the house,” he said apologetically and told me I was welcome to dismantle it and use the timber “if it was worth it.” There must have been 5 coats of old paint on the table and it was impossible to tell what the table was made from, so I scraped off some paint to find out. “That’s Australian cedar, mate,” I replied. “I don’t think you want to give it away.”

My friend agreed. Instead of giving me the timber, he commissioned me to make a dining table out of it. Now, over a quarter century later, that Australian cedar dining table still takes pride of place in his retirement home in Kangaroo Valley, NSW.

Australian CedarEarly Australian settlers had the same reaction to cedar that I did when I saw what lay beneath the painted surface of my friend’s old picnic table. Australian cedar isn’t just “timber” – it’s Red Gold; one of the world’s finest cabinet making timbers. What’s so special about it?

Australian cedar is beautiful, but there are a lot of other beautiful Australian timbers, too. The problem with most of them, though, is that they are too dense for woodworking and too heavy for making timber windows and doors. Australian cedar is the only indigenous deciduous tree in Australia. Its closest counterpart, Western Red cedar, a North American native, has many of the properties that make our Australian cedar so popular. In fact, I originally thought my friend’s picnic table was probably made for Western red because as old as it was, it hadn’t rotted.

western red cedarThe problem with Western red cedar today is that most of the old growth timber is long gone. While plantation timber and managed forestry has managed to keep it from extinction, newer growth Western red cedar is pale in colour and not as fine-grained as Australian Red cedar, making it less suitable for fine woodworking. Frequently used in the construction of timber windows and doors, it needs to be stained to look good. Aussie cedar, on the other hand, is easy to work with, stable, rot resistant and beautiful just as it is.

Red Gold was too popular in the early years of settlement and almost all stands of old growth Australian cedar were cut down in New South Wales. While the harvesting frenzy stretched from south of Sydney to the Atherton Tablelands, it was concentrated mostly in NSW and many stands of old growth timber remain in Queensland. Conservationists and a more responsible timber industry ensure these magnificent trees won’t disappear from the Australian landscape forever.

Allkind Joinery Brisbane is one of a handful of joineries that won’t settle for anything less than Australian cedar in the construction of timber windows and doors. They do it with a clear conscience, too, using only selected timbers that have been harvested responsibly and, just as importantly, making their timber windows and doors to last. Just as you can find window frames and solid timber doors on many Australian heritage homes well over a hundred years old, the timber windows and doors you buy from Allkind Joinery will probably be in perfect working order a hundred years from now.

Please call us toll free on 1800 757 949 with any questions you may have on timber joinery products, our friendly staff are always happy to help with any advice you need.

The post Red Gold: Why Cabinet Makers Love Australian Cedar appeared first on Allkind Joinery & Glass Pty Ltd written by .