It came from the Swamp


My folks came across from NZ for my daughter’s birthday, and amongst their baggage (duly declared to Customs/AQIS (Aust quarantine)) was this lump of New Zealand swamp kauri. It is a great piece, with a few bowls (or lots of pens!), or some boxes within (or both, depending on how I process it).

Even without any real processing, the piece reveals the nature of swamp kauri- as you move it around in the light, the effect is almost holographic / three dimensional- the chatoyancy of the piece.

Swamp kauri is thousands of years old, having been stuck in the anaerobic conditions below the mud so there is little cell deterioration, or rot. It is going to be interesting finding out what items are contained therein.

Sometimes a Half is Greater than a Whole

As part of my overall Spring Clean, I have been addressing timber storage in the shed.  I have been using a couple of Triton Woodracks with great success, but hadn’t had a chance to finish the job.  When I first mounted the woodrack in the shed, I chose to set the two uprights quite a way apart to handle the longer lengths, but that made storing shorter lengths rather difficult.

I always intended to add another upright in between, increasing the overall shelf load capacity to 75kg (per shelf), and allowing both shorter and longer lengths to be stored.

Combined Triton Woodracks

Combined Triton Woodracks

I still think I will add a thin shelf on top of the poles to increase the overall capacity and flexibility of the system. I tried loading it up, and found I needed more capacity to handle short and long lengths to maximise the storage capacity.

Loading the Wood Rack

Loading the Wood Rack

As a first approximation, I have here (from bottom to top), a collection of silky oak, a miscellaneous shelf with mahogany, walnut, cherry and blackwood, and a jarrah shelf.

However, that isn’t what I wanted to highlight here.  No, it isn’t a new product from Triton – a mini woodrack.  It is an additional upright and shelf poles I have that I decided would be perfect to fit a small gap I had in the shed, and could use it to store some of my more exotic (and small) timbers.

Mini Triton Woodrack

Mini Triton Woodrack

What I have done, is taken the upright and cut it in half on the Triton Steel Cutter (and removed a small portion from the overall length so both sides are equal).  It has 3 shelves, still with 50kg loading capacity per shelf, and I have placed them reasonably close together to carry the short exotic timbers.

This time from top to bottom, I have plum, red cedar, huon pine plate blank, camphor plate blank, ancient swamp kauri, a marble burl, cyprus pine, black-heart sassafras, banksia nut, osage orange, redwood, ebony, and a bottom shelf of huon pine pieces.  Another shelf that I’m thinking of adding below this rack will hold the multitude of pen blanks I have. (And for those that are convinced that I am a thrify woodworker, I can’t throw away any piece of decent timber no matter how small, so long as there is enough to get a pen half out of it!)

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