View Full Version : Eucalyptus - issues with using it?
My mother in-law has a Eucalyptus (species unknown) that she wants reducing in height.
Has anyone any experience with working with this wood and are there any do's or don'ts?
Something to think about
Eucalyptus wood needs to be seasoned, and if properly seasoned, it contains similar qualities of other hardwoods. If not seasoned it will crack, check, and warp. Eucalyptus is a tree that absorbs tremendous amounts of water for growth; consequently, its composition is dense and virtually grainless. When it dries it shrivels because of the large water loss. - This is for Californian Eucalyptus, so it might not be the same.
Thanks for that. I assume then from your response (assuming that most eucalyptus behaves in a similar way) that it would be better to allow it to season prior to carving, bacause the shrink amount is an unknown quantity.
Yup pretty much - season it then carve.
But then I'm not an expert :confused:
You knew more than me which is expert enough.
Since eucalypts are native round here, they've been the wood I've used most to make stuff out of. Most of the wood in the bush round here is hardwood (or so I've found). Unofrtunately this means that I have more trouble working it into anything as shapely as I see on this site! My spoons and feathersticks etc. are very much the ugly ducklings in comparison to what I see here.
However I find that due to the oil content, eucalypt burns well.
You will be better off working with it when it is green, that is if you are going to shape anything with knives! When it is fully seasoned it can be as hard as iron! You can barely drive a nail into the stuff!
Slightly off topic, but have you ever had problems ordering knives to Oz? customs wise or anything?
Personally I've never tried.
We carved some things out of Eucalyptus when we were in Vicotia last year. I dont know of it made a difference, but it had not rained for about 4 months.
I found that working green to an almost finished article was quite easy, similar to something like alder or sycamore over here. When I tried later, the wood was a lot harder - but a sharp knife and some care was all that was needed. Possibly equivalent to some well seasoned plum.
I dont know about toxicity, but I have not used my spoon yet. I am assuming that since people use the oil for all sorts of things, and I will add a treatment before that, that it will be ok.
Some of the locals we met were concerned about splitting, but we had no problems. Then again, we were only working on small scale stuff.
Hope that helps
I never have any problems at all! Your package will be checked but it will come through ok! As long as it is not a switchblade or other knife type that is universally banned in all states, some examples might be gravity knives, punch daggers, butterfly knives etc. All useless crap anyway!! If they are bushcraft, hunting or general outdoor orientated designs they'll get through no worries!