Rescued Wood #12: New Zealand Kauri Pine

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Blog entry by PG_Zac posted 01-26-2010 11:18 PM 2958 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Internal Stresses in Wood Part 12 of Rescued Wood series Part 13: Eucalyptus Slab Pictures »

So, yesterday while slabbing some Eucalyptus where is was felled in town, our local feller stopped by to ask if I wanted some log sections of a tree they had just felled. When I asked what it was he didn’t know, but promised to fine out from one of our local tree experts.

True to his word, he drove by half an hour later and told me it was New Zealand Kauri Pine. I knew nothing about it, but his best chainsaw man told me it was quite hard, and the sample he had with him looked quite attractive. So naturally I said yes please, and they delivered two logs to my home later in the day.

Oh Boy are these ever a pair of logs !!!

Each is about 1.7m long and about 800mm diameter. Apparently Kauri Pine is not a known wood in South Africa and I have never heard of it, and there is no market for it commercially, but it was historically used for ship building, and was highly prized for masts as they are very even grained and generally straight.

Here is an appeal to the Kiwis and Aussies on this site – Does anyone here know anything about this wood and how it behaves under tools? Do you have any suggested uses? I’ll be slabbing it soon, and would like to know how thick I should cut it for best use after it has cured.


-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

9 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4789 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 01:01 PM

Sounds interesting. Would be nice to see a photo of it. They might call it by some other name elsewhere.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4844 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 11:09 PM

Mike - I’ll try to find a picture of a live Kauri and post it later in a separate blog along with some pics of the wood when I slab the logs.

Mario - actually I DO have some Irish in my ancestry.
Fetching it on Monday may be a little early – call me before you leave & I’ll tell you if it’s ready. :)

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4897 days

#3 posted 01-28-2010 10:49 AM

You have got yourself a treasure there. NZ Kauri is an auracaria, related to monkey puzzle and Queensland Hoop pine. It also grows around some pacific islands and malaysia so yours may not be the real McCoy. Used to grow all over the north island until us europeans logged it out for Her majestys royal navy and built all our houses out of it. It works real well with anything from knapped flint to a CNC! Some beautiful work has been done with this when you could get it new, as far as I know there is a logging ban on what little remains so all you can get now is recycled from old buildings. My dad used to turn it into bowls and other items without drama. Providing it,s a good log to start with you should be able to just go nuts on something special and i,m sure you will be pleased with the results. Post the results when your done.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4844 days

#4 posted 02-01-2010 09:38 AM

Thanks for the info Kiwi. Look out for my blog sometime this week where I’ll post pics of the living tree, the logs, and the wood when I slab the log. Maybe that will be enough for you to tell me if I have the real McCoy or not.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5032 days

#5 posted 02-09-2010 07:26 AM

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 5139 days

#6 posted 02-13-2010 11:40 PM

one of the best all around timbers, really hard to get here, BTW (in NZ) as it is heavily protected.
its easy to finish and easy on the machines. I am not particularly fond of the grain but I have seen some outstanding things made out of it. You can sometimes get here swamp Kauri, which is actually logs that fell into a swamp 15000 years ago and now they mine it. not really relevant, just funny curiosity.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 5341 days

#7 posted 02-14-2010 01:56 AM

Great find. Keep us posted?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View PG_Zac's profile


373 posts in 4844 days

#8 posted 02-14-2010 04:47 PM

I’ve slabbed & stickered the first log, and will post the pics soon in a separate posting.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View Nighthawk's profile


557 posts in 3812 days

#9 posted 01-04-2012 12:55 PM

lucky find… hard to come by…

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

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