Albury Council recently sold the Wilson St auction rooms built by Younghusband Ltd, woolbrokers and rural agents, in the 1930s. The single storey building is now undergoing demolition and has yielded some thousands of metres of dry seasoned redgum joists from the subfloor
- as well as redgum stumps and soleplates.
These timbers are presently en route to Timberzoo in Geelong for profiling into floorboards and DAR stock. It is a journey that finds echo in the 20th century wool trade when the wool clip from the Murray region was hauled through the state by steam locomotives to Geelong and Melbourne ports in
It's all grist for the mill for Alan Sturzaker of Ultra Demolition who appreciates, for resale purposes, the loose lime mortar used on the bricks. Sturzaker is as practical as the next man is when it comes to salvage. If the pressure is on from developers, or the cost and returns equation looks wobbly, he uses the big machinery to demolish. But he respects seasoned durable timber and has set about this salvage operation with all care and diligence.
"I'm much happier when I can salvage materials in my work. Happier still if the arithmetic comes out in
front", he offers.
From Sturzaker I obtained a bundle of papers found in the building
- an auction list from 1967. Lot numbers, bale codes and station names fill many foolscap pages. These were still good times for woolgrowers. Not as good as the 1950s when wool reached one pound sterling per pound of
wool, driven by military clothing needs during the Korean War and a rapidly rebuilding European industrial base.
Bridge bearers from Gippsland road bridges continue to roll in from bridge replacement works on secondary roads. And we are also salvaging the best of the main bridge stringers that present themselves. Sometimes ironbark, sometimes stringybark, they average 350mm in diameter and would suit pole framed verandahs, pergolas and similar structures. These are
natural-edge eucalypt logs in-the-round. But not perfectly so. They are a bumpy, irregularly surfaced log
- not your adzed-to-round ships mast. They are very much an individual look, so personal inspection is recommended.
Stringybark 260mm x 80mm DAR rate $80.00/lin
mtr to 6.0m long
Note that the recent Timber Queensland Guidelines for recycled timber used in structural applications advises that as a rule of thumb, recycled timber retains only 65-80% of its previous strength, but better than 90% of original stiffness. This will vary due to previous loading, but three general rules for recycled timber suggest themselves: