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Leatherwood

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Renowned as a honey nectar tree, leatherwood is an understorey tree in the wet Tasmanian rainforests and mixed forests where it accounts for almost 70% of all honey produced. Where there is prolific growth the tree is excluded from timber use to maintain a resource for the apiary industry. 

When harvested, however, leatherwood produces an attractive timber in a rich palette ranging from pinks to browns. Purple-heart logs feature the most figured wood and resemble black-heart sassafras. The heartwood is pinkish brown with a fine uniform texture while the sapwood remains undefined.

Leatherwood is an extremely even and fine-grained timber with good workability and finish. Its grain is usually straight with visible but not obvious growth rings. It seasons well with no distortion and glues, nails, bends, and polishes easily, making it popular for furniture making. It can produce a fine burl wood that is rare and highly prized.

Commercially leatherwood timber is used for furniture manufacturing and veneers, as well as pulpwood, turning and handles.

The common name, leatherwood, comes from the extreme flexibility of its green timber.

Appearance

An attractive, even and fine-grained timber in a rich palette ranging from pinks to browns, leatherwood heartwood is pinkish brown while its sapwood is not clearly defined. Purple-heart logs feature the most figured wood and resemble black-heart sassafras. It can also produce a fine burl wood that is rare and highly prized by furniture makers. The grain is usually straight with visible but not obvious growth rings.

Common Applications

Leatherwood timber can be used for furniture manufacturing and veneers, as well as pulpwood, turning, and handles.

Common Form

Veneer

Workability

Leatherwood's even, fine grain gives it good workability and finish. It seasons well with no distortion and glues, nails, bends and polishes easily.

Origin of Timber

TAS

Availability - Further Information

Leatherwood is sometimes available from timber suppliers as tender logs, seasoned boards, squares slabs, turning blanks, and waxed green turning blanks. However, where it grows prolifically in Tasmania, leatherwood is often reserved for the apiary industry. In general it is not a commercial timber.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

9.40%

Radial:

4.90%

Unit Movement Tangential:

Unit Movement Radial:

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F11

F8

F7

F5

F4

Seasoned:

F17

F14

F11

F8

F7

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

740kg/m3

Unseasoned:

830kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

Impact - Unseasoned:

Impact - Seasoned:

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Toughness - Seasoned:

Hardness - Unseasoned:

Hardness - Seasoned:

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Group Number - Other:

3 if used on MDF or particleboard ≥12mm; veneer thickness 0.6-0.85mm

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – Door and window joinery only

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