The Difficulties With Kauri Wood
New Zealand Ancient Swamp Kauri, as the names suggests, is found in swamplands in the far north of New Zealand, buried metres below the surface. Once it is detected, heavy machinery is required to un-earth it. Often the roots of the trees are slightly exposed above the surface, as at the time the trees were knocked over by the Tsunami, the roots sat higher than the trunk. Once all is exposed and above the surface, it is then cleaned, cut, and loaded onto heavy trucks. This is when a sample of each stump, is sent away for carbon dating to the University of Waikato,to determine how long its been preserved underground for. Most are between 35,000 – 45,000 years.
Most often the trunks of the trees are cut off at the roots, the trunk is kept and transported and the roots are sometimes left behind as they may not appeal to some furniture makers due to the awkward shapes and sizes. This is where we excel, in utilising the roots natural shapes and sizes to create our solid, one piece products. The roots of the tree, are where the majority of the colour variety and grain diversity lies. In the most highly figured patterns found, they are more amazing and unique than the patterns you find in burls and quarter sawn woods. Once the stumps are transported, we then determine which is most suitable for which item of furniture or art. Then the process involves, kiln drying, carving and meticulous sanding, to bring out the colours and patterns to expose their full beauty, and a high quality heat resistant coating is applied to once again preserve it for years to
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What’s the Mining Process?
Logs are milled and sold to classic furniture makers. Our furniture makers retains the root system with its rich colours and beautiful patterns.
Since 1983, our team has been making freeform tables, sculptures, mirror frames, and clocks. The trees that once towered above the landscape provide lounge-sized root structures for us to work with. Such a root system will usually produce just one coffee table.
All the wood is cleaned with a water blaster before cutting, or else the tools get blunt very fast.
Sustainable Furniture from Forgotten Wood
It is not often that a great piece of timber is found. All wood is cut on-site before it is transported back to a dry shed.
The wood is left to dry for two years before being carved into shape by a chainsaw and carver. The drying process consists of kiln drying, which brings the moisture contents down to 9% — a world standard for furniture timber. The timber is then treated with a durable epoxy resin in a complicated penetration process that our team has developed to stabilise the timber.