western hemlock flooring
In the rain-sodden west coast foothills of British Colombia and Washington State, tall slow-growing cool-climate conifers dominate. Douglas Fir stands are interspersed with more shade-tolerant Hemlocks and California Redwoods - all characterized by low spooning branches that anticipate the weight of a winter's snowfall and droop in a way that resists its capture and avoids broken boughs.
Timber sourced in this almost sub-Arctic to cool and wet temperate region varies markedly from Douglas Fir and Hemlock grown elsewhere in plantation or temperate forest. Close-grained nor'western timber has greater strength and visual appeal - strong latewood to earlywood banding being an indicator of extreme seasons.
The coastal trade in Douglas Fir in the days of clipper ships was busy and far-reaching. Under sail, deck-loaded cargoes of west coast softwood reached Mexico, Peru, Chile, Hawaii, Japan and Australia. A trade that persists here to this day.
How it was that Western Hemlock
arrived with Douglas Fir as a mixed softwood export, I am unable to
explain. As a norm, in any structural batch salvaged from demolished
buildings, Hemlock appears as occasional boards, never more than 10% of
any batch - and revealed only when the timber is dressed by
Yet this latest batch from purlins salvaged from the Geelong waterfront are in proportion 50:50 Hemlock and Douglas Fir. Accordingly, we can offer both Douglas Fir 150 x 22mm (rate: $83.00/m2) as well as Western Hemlock 150 x 22mm (rate: $93.00/m2) milled from 70mm beams and re-profiled to floorboards.
Hemlock is the paler, blonder timber. Tonally a close-grained silvery straw with a dash of Angostura bitters. A Nordic look that appears deficient in vitamin E and is a reminder of the cold, dripping, dark forest floors of the Pacific Nor'west where the sun does not often penetrate.
a new page on the website: specials
Bibs and Bobs, One-Offs and Remnant batches are sort of like grown kids. They really should leave home soon, but the city is a hard place...and besides, you don't really want them to. However
- that's family. With timber you have to be a bit ruthless with the housekeeping. Otherwise you are just a collector. We will feature some of the small packs and leftover quantities on this Newsletter and install current items as
a new page on the website
recent stock arrivals
fiddleback in red gum and
KD Forest Red Gum 190 x 45mm Rate: $60.00/m
Furniture timber in 3.0m + lengths with deep russet tones of northern Spotted Gum
For those who love the surface checks on old planed boards
- where the surface is cleaned but the dark furrows and fine penetrations