Australian Red Cedar Furniture
Discovered early in the European settlement of NSW, Australian red cedar, Toona ciliata, was an important component of Australia’s economic development as well as its cultural history.
Occasionally referred to as Indian mahogany, its bears striking resemblances to Spanish Cedar. At one point the Red Cedar was abundant in the rainforests of Queensland and NSW, “the Red Gold” highest quality timbers were logged out by the 19th centuries end.
Reported to grow to a height of 40 metres, NSW houses the largest accessible tree, standing at a height of 35 metres with a 3 metre diameter for mature trees.
Australian cedar colour for the heartwood is pink to a deep red brown, while the Sapwood is generally yellowish white.
Available in limited amounts due to its relative scarcity, Australian red Cedar is used decoratively in fine furniture projects and joinery work, with antique and colonial furniture made from this wood being highly prized.
Due to the rarity of this wood, any furniture made by Cedarworks can be expected to increase in value each year. Examples of some of custom Australian Red Cedar projects can be seen below.
Designer Timber Furniture
As a cabinet maker for over 30 years, as well as being a woodworking teacher in that time, working with and designing handcrafted furniture is my life passion that I inherited from my father. Crafting the beautiful specialty Australian lumber into pieces that are beautiful and tactile, that the customer loves, fulfils my passion.
As a timber supplier, Cedarworks uses only the finest pieces from our Australian specialty species for our bespoke projects. We do specialise in crafting Australian Red Cedar furniture but all of our other timbers can be utilised according to your expectations.
In fact, our timbers of such a high quality, that they were sourced for the building of the Diamond Jubilee State Coach used in the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
Some of our customers request furniture pieces that they discovered on Pinterest or Instagram, which they know can’t be purchased that they want replicated. Whether you are looking for a piece of unique furniture or looking for a replication, I will design and craft handmade furniture that will your area that luxury feeling.
Some of the pieces I’ve built include bed frames, bookshelves, cabinets, dining tables, coffee tables, nightstands, desks, chairs and doors.
It’s all about craftsmanship and creating something that I would love to have in my own home!
Four Great Reasons You Should Consider Cedarworks For Your Next Bespoke Project
Often the grain and feature of the timber will steer the design and final aesthetics of the piece, but working with “world class” timber which could be hundreds of years old is the romance.
Attention to Quality/Detail
I love machining the timber and seeing the marvelous grain and feeling the smooth finish. This attention to detail and quality control is what makes Cedarworks different to others.
The real reward is when a customer is so pleased and elated with a project that you have made for them. You want the customer to enjoy and appreciate the timber as much as you do.
I can’t help but be a perfectionist when working with this material. It’s the same when supplying timber to a customer. It has to be the best.
Designer Timber Furniture Process
The initial part of Cedarworks involves the salvage of rare timber logs. These are predominately species which grow in subtropical rainforests.
They are valuable because they are rare as most of the rainforest of eastern Australia is preserved in National parks and Reserves. So the logs Cedarworks harvests are on private property in remnants of rainforest scrubs.
Some of these logs have been lying on the forest floor for centuries, others are available because the land is being cleared for agriculture or the tree has simply died.
Whatever, the logs come at a price. The landowner wants a royality for his resource, this is usually a premium rate for this type of timber, the logs are usually in steep or awkward locations ( that’s why they are still there ) and require big and specialised equipment to retrieve them.
A large bulldozer is the preferred apparatus and expensive. The logs can be odd shaped and difficult to load and then there is the transport back to Cedarworks for processing. A wide bandsaw mill is used to saw the logs into boards, slabs and squares for furniture. The bandsaw mill has a blade thickness of less then 2mm so waste of the precious cargo is minimised.
Once sawn, which requires turning the log on the mill several times to get the best face of the boards, the sawn timber is racked out to dry. Each piece is stacked with timber spacers between them to allow for airflow and decrease the drying time.
The rule of thumb being ‘ one year for every 25mm of thickness’. Some of the large sections of timber take 5 – 10 years to dry.Once sawn and dry the timber is ready to use.
When a customer enquires about a furniture piece a design process is undertaken. This involves sketches and discussions about style, shape, design and of course, timber.
A final concept drawing shows the customer a ‘snap-shot’ of what the piece will look like. Drawings are formalised showing detail and dimensions and construction can start.
The absolute best timber is selected from material sawn from the one tree. This ensures a consistency of grain and colour. The timber is carefully selected before being straightened and planed to detailed dimensions.
Cedarworks uses the best German built machinery to ensure accuracy during this process. Shaping of pieces to be characteristic of the design is carried out and precision joinery completed to ensure quality and life long integrity of the furniture . Most of this construction stage involves hand skills and hand tools to achieve a custom made product.
Finally, a finish of choice is applied to provide a lustrous sheen to the furniture. This finishing process is critical to the end result, often involving hours of hand rubbed polishing.