Wood Gloat - Podocarpus (Yellowwood)

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Blog entry by Chris Cunanan posted 11-18-2009 09:28 PM 3361 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

so, i’ve been in conquest of good free wood for a while now, and had some success…i’ve been in the process of moving for a while, including about 1/2 my shop, to a 2nd story condo patio! lol i’m sure my neighbors are gonna Love me even more now…haven’t turned anything recently because i’ve been lacking parts (and Funds) to get the lathe back to a basic operating level, but I just had to share my recent find. Got about 2 truckloads of Podocarpus (Yellowwood), I had no idea what it was from the craigslist posting…a quick wiki shows it used to be used for all kinds of woodworking things, but do to lack of supply it is quite hard to find today. Got at least a couple big crotches, tons of huge stumps (sadly much bigger than my small lathe’s 12” capacity), branches, everything to make anything from pens to coffee table bases. Some of it has spalting, scraping random pieces of bark off has revealed what looks like curl, beautiful colors too. I was wondering if anyone here has worked with any of this stuff before? I could hardly find ANY pics from google images, besides pictures of the tree in it’s living form. I went for the risk all off ONE picture i found, some article about a small town guy. lol lets Hope it turns out that nice, cuz it took a LOT of effort to get it all to the condo patio/consolidated in the storage shed. I’ll post pics soon, just had to share since no one around does anything but hound at me for my finds…i dunno though, maybe i am crazy? (the pictures will allow u to be a better judge i think, lol)

5 comments so far

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Scott Bryan

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#1 posted 11-19-2009 01:03 AM

Chris, I am looking forward to seeing the pictures. I have never seen yellowwood before so it should be interesting to see the pictures.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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#2 posted 11-19-2009 07:39 AM

Hey Chris,
Yellowwood is South Africa’s national tree, and is an endangered and protected species here in S.A.

It is absolutely stunning and worth the effort to haul it up the stairs. I haven’t worked it before, but I have some logs drying.

I have visited some old homes that have yellowwood floors and articles of furniture, and the wood just gets more beautiful with age, and seems to last forever if treated with respect and care.

Please post some pics of your haul.

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

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#3 posted 11-19-2009 08:39 AM

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#4 posted 11-20-2009 12:06 AM

Great find – I’d sure like to see some pics – before and after


-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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371 posts in 4722 days

#5 posted 11-20-2009 09:15 AM

Chris, LOML just told me a horror story about Yellowwood.

Back in the 70’s her dad converted an animal barn into their 4 bedroomed farm house. In the same town, an old shop was demolished to make way for a more modern structure. The shop was built in the 30’s out of Yellowwood and my late father-in-law salvaged loads of the wood for use in his farmhouse revamp.

You know, it’s true that most people don’t really value what they get for free. The old man proceeded to lay Yellowwood floors over the grungy concrete AARGH and then fitted carpets over some of them (in fairness – his wife wanted the bedrooms carpeted and he wanted to insulate the concrete). In the Kitchen there were (painted) Yellowwood shelves and cabinets. (in fairness – the shelves were painted in the old shop, he just didn’t strip them).

The Ceilings in the house were all Yellowwood planks, some door frames, the pelmets, some window frames, in fact anywhere he needed new wood he used Yellowwood. He got so tired of all the beautiful bright yellow, he even stained the door frames to match the existing Meranti frames. AAARRGGHH

When he ran out of house refurb projects and still had a stock of Yellowwood, he even made chicken egg-laying boxes, feeders, budgie perches, budgie cages (painted black and white for competition shows.) AAARRGGHH

LOML is sitting here laughing at my distress while I type this, but she assures me that no Yellowwood was used in the wood stove or fireplace. The old man also planted 15 Yellowwood trees on the property.

I know found wood is always the best wood, but shouldn’t there be a law against chicken boxes made of Yellowwood??

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

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