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Question

Could you please advise what species may be used in a submerged marine environment? Looking at building a natural swimming pool in Orange, NSW. Obviously a commercially available species.

Woodsolutions Answer +

Timber that is fully submerged is not at great risk. Common fungi don't attack saturated wood since they need an adequate supply of oxygen. Timber that is partly under water and partly out of the water is in a more hazardous situation and you would need to choose a durable hardwood in this case, for example tallowwood, ironbark, etc. So your selection of suitable species will depend on the design of the pool and the life span required for the structure.

Timber under water

Answered on 19-09-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

Can the use of raw unsealed timber in a children's play environment have any health or detrimental impacts to the children using the timber equipment. We have tables with fence paling as table tops, large fruit crates, timber climbing frames and random logs for imagination play in our outside play spaces that have not been sealed. Should we treat them with something or can we leave them natural?

Woodsolutions Answer +

There is nothing harmful in unsealed timber as long as it has been dried, apart from the possibility of splinters from rough surfaces. Some timbers might cause a skin allergy when 'green', but the items you mention are unlikely to be from freshly cut logs. However, raw timber can become grubby with handling and will be more difficult to keep clean in the long term, so you might consider sealing items that will be handled regularly and/or be subject to food and drink spillage, such as table tops and possibly climbing frames.

Play equipment

Answered on 16-09-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Question

Please could you advise me on an appropriate timber which would work for a working butchers block as well as for the cabinetry. The ideal colour would be an oak with a antique walnut wash. Have been looking into the Osmo oils if I need to stain the timber to achieve the look. Be great to get some guidance on the best types of timber to consider. 

Woodsolutions Answer +

A CSIRO reference in our library recommends a hardwood in the density range 720 to 960 kg/m3. Depending where in Australia you are located, grey box, tallowwood and spotted gum would be suitable choices and could also be used for joinery when kiln-dried. Regarding a stain finish, we feel it would soon wear off if the butcher's block is regularly used, so it might be better to rely on the natural colour of the wood. 

Butcher's block

Answered on 13-09-2020
Please note that our answer is based on the best advice available at the time. If the National Construction Code, Australian Standards or local requirements have been subsequently amended, our answer may no longer be correct in all details. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

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