News From the Timberzoo

      JUNE 2010

  • Historic Wuk Wuk Bridge Closed For Refurbishment
  • Time To Look Anew At An Old Favourite
  • Recent Stock Arrivals

historic wuk wuk bridge closed for refurbishment

...and many of its timbers end up at Timberzoo. The present Wuk Wuk Bridge has spanned the Mitchell River near Lindenow since 1937. It was listed on the National Trust Register as a construction of historical significance - since it represented a new trend in bridge building, and a departure from the short-spanning, multi-piled bridges that crossed Gippsland rivers in previous decades. Earlier bridges fell victim to periodic floodwaters and the log-jamming of trees and debris brought downstream by floods.

The 1937 Wuk Wuk bridge used steel and concrete girders to span longer distances. Not only did this mean fewer pilings, but the design sheathed the pilings with horizontal timber beams - preventing entanglement with floating log. The new bridge will feature both timber and steel in its eventual form - but the salvaged timber is not at the end of its life. Far from it. These 180 x 90mm beams and sleepers will do duty as post and beam in outdoor structures, and many will be resawn for seasoned floorboards.

The Wuk Wuk Bridge is but one of many Gippsland country bridges undergoing renewal, and the timbers find their way every month to Timberzoo. Many timbers have a high structural index - the rest look great as landscape timbers. See these on our Gallery Pages on the website


time to look anew at an old favourite

In my time in salvage in the 1980s, Victorians developed a fondness for the colonial timbers - Baltic Pine, Kauri Pine, California Redwood and Douglas Fir (Oregon). It was hard to interest customers in anything else - so readily were these timbers identified with the era of Victorian and Edwardian homebuilding. Daft as it seems to us nowadays, supply of softwood timber by sea to distant coastal port towns in 1900 was more cost effective than supply of native hardwoods from inland foothill forests. It wasn't transport alone - the technology of the day could deal with softwoods more readily than hardwoods - but it said much for the dominance of sea transport in the era that flitch & scantling, furniture board, ready-made doors and window sashes were landed in the Port of Melbourne weekly from ships crossing the Pacific.

The appeal of this recycled 60-120 year old Douglas Fir today must surely lie in its fine-grained appearance and its stability as a furniture timber. Popular in the 1980s, this resource is often overlooked in the new millennium. Lots of stuff popular in the 80s deserves to be ignored nowadays. Mullets, Federation paint colours and the America's Cup. But no timber deserves unpopularity. It's perennial stuff. Timeless. Beyond the beck and call of fashionistas. Silly too is this Hardwood-of-the-Year trend we seem to have had in recent decades. House magazines and trend-setters develop market obsessions with a single species, create supply issues and distort prices. Yet to me - all timber is the new black.

At Timberzoo we stock plenty of DAR Douglas Fir in furniture board, but a particular favourite is our Bookcase Board at 26mm thick. All clients want to use boards thicker than 19 or 22mm, but 32mm thick hardwoods create very heavy furniture. And that doesn't always suit modern living. Douglas Fir Bookcase board is light and suits simple assembly. A 170 x 26mm board can be joined with T&G to create 340mm shelving - wide enough for big books and folders, but light enough to attach to walls.

We asked Chas Campion from Williams & Campion to create a few simple furniture items in Douglas Fir Bookcase Board for the new office - just to show how versatile and good-looking this timber is.

  Black japanned sideboard in 26mm Douglas Fir



Bookcases from 26mm Douglas Fir by Williams & Campion


Bookcase Board - Douglas Fir      200 x 26mm - Rate: $22.00/m;   170 x 26mm - Rate: $17.50/m


Charles Campion can be contacted for furniture and installations
0403 294 557
Williams & Campion 


recent stock arrivals

Recycled / Remilled Tasmanian Oak     80 x 15mm - 550m2     Rate: $52.00/m2


Rough-sawn Stringybark Beam / Post     180 x 90mm     Rate: $50.00/m


Ironbark Bridge Timbers (Double Bulks)     400 x 300mm     Rate: $200.00/m


Stringybark Bridge Bearers (Gippsland)     300 x 150mm     Rate: $90.00/m

3.0m lengths - perfect as outdoor posts!



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