Fifteen years further on in the
redevelopment of the Melbourne's Docklands precinct, work has started on
removing the abutment docks of Central Pier which run alongside the new
esplanade. Beneath concrete surfaces some 500mm thick is the original
Jarrah wharf decking dating from around 1919 and beneath the timber deck -
the main bearers - also in Jarrah - many in good condition.
Central Pier was developed in the last
years of steamships and remembers the out-moded cargo technologies that
prevailed up until bulk handling and containerisation. The pier was
developed as a key element of Victoria Harbour back in the 1880s. In a major
undertaking for the era, the course of the Yarra was diverted by canal to
flow south of Coode Island - and the great swamp between the Maribyrnong
River and the Moonee Ponds Creek was drained and excavated on
its eastern verge to create a new shipping basin. The eastern perimeter of
this harbour - now the Docklands Esplanade - was wharfed after World War
1 to provide added dockside facilities - but without the luffing cranes
provided on the main pier. As the dock closest to Spencer Street railway goods
yard, Central Pier handled cargos like wool, grain and hides - all
carried from rural towns by rail and loaded for export from the 1890s to
The Industrial Group are undertaking
demolition of the esplanade sections of Central Pier and have removed a
good part of the wharf structures. Timber members with a high residual
structural index have found their way to Timberzoo. They include
300 x 150mm
bearers and 300 x 100mm wharf decking - most of which is Jarrah - but
some Brushbox, Turpentine, Ironbark and other north coast Hardwoods - installed during upgrade and maintenance works undertaken in the
We have always produced
board finished to 30mm in the past - but recently we have found
dressed-all-round 25mm board
These beams exceed 5.0 metres in length and have that irresistible surface-furrowing common to timbers exposed to the weather and sunlight.
In truth, these Ironbarks had a corrugated iron roof over them.
They formed a roof to a suburban Brisbane reservoir in Tarragindi for 60 years.
I can see them as a benchtop or
a piece of polished furniture in their next life.
The same Ironbark - but rough-sawn and silvered by years of exposure to sunlight.
Lengths to 5.5 metres would suit
many structural purposes.
Cross-tie brace or collar beams
from the piling assemblies of the Theebine to Kingaroy rail line bridges have
This batch have rebates and
edge-notching - all of which just make the beams more interesting.
I say Messmate here because it has a general light brown appearance - but many lengths are dense and too hefty for true Messmate.
It is, perhaps, a White Stringybark or a more durable species. Difficult to tell in a mixed batch.
Seasoned enough for use as table
legs - we ripped this stock from Glenmaggie Bridge decking and allowed it to
season in stick for a year.
Dressed boards in very good condition, seasoned, stable and suitable for furniture work.
This small pack is from joists salvaged from an old shop in Atherton, Far North Queensland - along with some very unusual timbers in smaller quantities.
I'm not good on my far northern
timbers. Some that are found in rainforest-fringe areas (where eucalypts
There are a few examples of all
these things to look at if you have the time to call in.
When we laid reclaimed boards
for our new displays, we chose a batch salvaged from an old warehouse with
thin halos of carbon stains around the old nail holes.
I think designers and clients
will find a visit to Timberzoo's
new Tasmanian Oak flooring displays a very valuable experience.