In The Rough


  • Wood Workers Guild near Bellbrae
  • Doing my Block: New Shelves at Timberzoo
  • New Stock & Production at Timberzoo

wood workers guild near bellbrae

On Stewart Guthrie's green paddocks with their woodland fringe lying just beyond the Torquay urban sprawl, there is a timber and craft enterprise at work. The Ashmore Arts Community. Woodcarvers, furniture makers and other artisans have developed a model that allows them to realise their own living in a project strongly endorsed by the planners at the Surfcoast Shire Council. Modest outlays for individual studios no doubt underpin the viability of each trade - but the essential weave of this community is just as important. In the city, the business model for many furniture makers is fragile - shattered as often by the isolation of the experience as it is by rising rents. There's comfort in a network. Besides the value of human contact, this craft-based community offers its members mutual support in both the workplace and the marketplace. 


Guthrie's own business - Boxes & Crates - has a long history with Melbourne and interstate retailers and producers wishing to package or display their products in timber - rather than the ubiquitous cardboard or plastic. Here amongst the tortured scrub eucalypts of the Surfcoast, strawbale walls are installed as noise baffles for woodworking machinery - not for the livestock to eat - and pine shavings are used as nesting for bottles of wine in their individual timber boxes. Nothing goes to waste at Boxes & Crates. 


Inside another workshop within cooee, Luke Collins of Bombora Custom Furniture crafts his commissions using Recycled Messmate with natural features. He has a true eye for a sinuous gum line. Board selection and placement are critical elements of his design. On a dry and sunny winter's afternoon, watching Collins wax a timber lowline cabinet outdoors, it occurs to me that this is as natural a backdrop for recycled Messmate as an indoor room. I'm not alone in the thought. On the Bombora website, timber furniture is photographed on beaches, dunes and rock platforms. 



Why recycled Messmate? It's the local argument once again. Local consciousness - it seems - is rarely foremost in many of our undertakings - state-of-origin footy notwithstanding. Collins can be admired for being a considered exception to the norm. These timbers are milled at Timberzoo and sourced from demolition sites in Melbourne and Geelong. Low road miles for materials are an important element of sustainability in the Bombora ethic - none of this timber has ever lived very far from 55b Ashmore Rd, Torquay. 


Stewart Guthrie at Boxes & Crates can be contacted for shop and commercial supply of boxes,
displays and stackable stuff on 0418 881 441 or sales@boxescc.com.au.
His website at www.boxescc.com.au will give you a good idea of his product.

Bombora Custom Furniture is contactable for furniture commissions and architectural joinery work.
Email luke@bomboracustomfurniture.com.au and viewable on their website at www.bomboracustomfurniture.com.au


doing my block: new shelves at timberzoo

Ever planned to put some shelves up and then gone completely overboard in a whole-of-room makeover? I have - and only recently - and I won't even admit to watching 'The Block'. While essentially unnecessary, the fit out in the entry foyer to the Timberzoo cribroom - currently functioning as a cloakroom for workers lunch pails - now gives our customers inspiration - plus an understanding of our new shopfitters product - Chalkface Lining Board. As a textural contrast, we used a reclaimed Tasmanian Oak flooring board for ceiling and back wall lining - behind the recycled Douglas Fir shelving. It is an effective foil to the Chalkface tones. The residual marks and blemishes made by linoleum seams on the Tassie Oak look a bit funky in their own right.



Now - if I am ever asked why not just pay a little bit more and get brand new Tas Oak - I can just show them this work of high art, and say - But why would you? 

Unfortunately, a quorum of self-appointed judges - making their cuppas and unwrapping vegemite sandwiches in the lunchroom - gave me a very low score on the makeover. No one asked them for their views, mind you.

Recycled Chalkface Lining Board

185 x 14mm   Rate: $58.00/m2


Recycled Douglas Fir

230 x 25mm   DAR   Rate: Only $20.00/m


Reclaimed Tasmanian Oak Flooring

108 x 19mm   Rate: $52.00/m2



Fence Timbers

On Victoria's Surfcoast, we residents have largely abandoned the rigid design templates for front boundary and internal screening fences that characterized older holiday home communities. Fences now use differing thicknesses and widths of timbers to create texture and tessellated movement in the weave of the screen. There are some funky fences waiting to be built - and Timberzoo has a few timber component options for them that won't break the bank.

Around the septic tank at the Timberzoo mill and timber yard, we have installed a low picket wall as a display to show some samples of fence picket and just how their textures work. It has elements of the following timber fencing products.


Recycled Ground-edge HW

100 x 50mm   Rate: $7.00/m (less 20% for pack of 50)

. These can easily be shallow-ripped to 50 x 50mm pickets by the home handyman.

The pleasing contrast of a fresh saw cut with the black angle-grinder marks on the old top edge is a great massed texture when used in formation.


Mixed Sawn Hardwoods

100 x 100mm   Rate: $18.00/m in 2.1s, 2.4s and 2.7s

 These weathered timbers contain Bloodwoods, Southern Mahogany, Spotted Gums and Stringybarks. 

Great price! Extra $4.00/m for dressed timber.



100 x 100mm   Rate: $24.00/m in 2.4s and 2.7s

Turpentine is a durable Class #1 timber that is frontline species of choice for marine or estuarine jetty pilings.

There is nothing shabby about the grade or condition of these posts - and we can supply them dressed (DAR) for a little extra.


new stock & production at timberzoo

Recycled Hardwood Posts

150 x 150mm   Rate: From $70.00/m

These 5.0m long timbers are sourced from factory demolition in Footscray West.

They are dark surfaced with some genuine industrial touches that would suit pergolas or interior exposed uprights.


Recycled Messmate Flooring

140 x 19mm   Rate: $105.00/m2

Just run from the Tottenham RAAF Base purlins - 600m2 of cinnamon-toned messmate flooring
with long wandering ribbons of gumline and a splatter of black feature.



Recycled Ironbark

250 x 180mm   Rate: $150.00/m
260 x 260mm   Rate: $210.00/m
300 x 200mm   Rate: $210.00/m

Another semi-trailer load of these durable bridge timbers arrived recently, so there are plenty of each size to choose from.