Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Messmate, The ultimate recycled timber

Messmate timber pretty much fell into my laps by chance, buying a pack lot of Tasmaian Oak the timber suplier had found a buried pack of Messmate that nobody new how long it had been hidden there, i was offered it at a great price and the moment i opened the pack......I was in love.

Messmate Timber grows in the cooler southern states of Australia and has a pretty gnarly life of bush fires and freezing conditions. All of this is shown in the texture and tone of the timber. Messmate requires alot of work to get it to a high standard of finish it requires massive amounts of filling with epoxy, dealing with problem areas of lifting grain. Once all these have been dealt with all that you are left with is timber that looks like timber. Flowing sap lines point to how trees feed themselves, amazingly defined growth rings show the yearly hardship these trees have to get to the 100m's in height, varaiance in tones from rich chocolate to more pale watered down chockolate milk.

When you get a piece made by us you get the real deal, furniture made to order and be functional, super hard wearing, but using timber that will hold its colour and not fade and the most important feature is that it looks like timber.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Why we use Tung oil finishes and Bombora

Why we use Tung oil finishes and Bombora

People often ask when we are discussing their dream piece of furniture ‘how much maintenance does my table/cabinet need?’. After many hours of  heart ache in using the ‘plastic’ finishes on pieces such as Poly urethane, Danish oil, Scandinavian Oil I am now convinced 100% that Tung Oil is an all round better finish both practically and aesthetically.  

Tung oil is a extracted from the Nut of the Tung tree, Tung oil goes way back into history dating from 400BC. The anchient Chinese used the extract to water proof ships.

Apart from Tung oil being around for plenty of years and that fact that it works, my main reason for using Tung oil is that it just looks…bloody awesome.. It gives the timber an amazing wet look, it still surprises me and excites me every time I freshly oil a raw piece of timber, the smallest detail of grain can just get enhanced to the point that it become a feature of the piece. The other winner of Tung oil vs a plastic finish is the feel it leaves the timber, with a plastic finish all you get a is a plastic finish, don’t expect to feel the subtle hair folical rises and falls of  individual grain or a lovely gum vien running down a board, all you get is a slab of timber preserved for life in a case of ‘plastic stuff’.

The other cool thing about Tung oil is its ability to rejuvenate table tops with a simple wipe up and down the table with a dampened rag, the Oil re penetrates and brings the grain back to life and it also slowly builds up layer upon layer to actually create  a finish as good as any plastic coating.

Ill only use natural finishes now because I love working with timber and I want my clients to feel and smell what I love about timber as well.