Aden Green, Monash Men’s Shed (VIC)
Don’t you just love it when a newbie member comes up with a suggestion or asks a question that is so sensible that you wonder how you’ve not been working on it for ages?!
Jeremy asked one of those questions a couple of months ago. He’s new to Monash Men’s Shed and has a newfound passion for wood and all the things that he can do with it; the things that can be added to his apartment to make it both more aesthetically pleasing as well as more ergonomically functional.
He likes to know what wood he’s working with and will always ask… Trouble is, wood donated to the Men’s Shed is rarely labelled with its identity so the answer is often: “Not sure, better ask Aden.”
So Jeremy asks how Aden knows what the wood is and he’s told that Aden has a good look at the wood and then gives it the ‘scratch and sniff’ test before giving it his best guess.
It’s not long before I rock up, sign in and pay my $2 when Jeremy calls me over. I don’t even notice the workshop go quiet as tools and coffee mugs get put down, “Aden, could you tell me what this wood is?”
Sure. I look it over – and over – then give it a scratch and sniff and the whole workshop erupts into guffaws of laughter as I had performed exactly on cue.
Alas, on this occasion, I wasn’t confident on the wood’s identity so it’s another one listed as arborium obscurum.
But Jeremy wasn’t done yet. He asked if there was any chance that I could make up a Wood Library. Labelled samples of wood that could be used as a reference for when timber came into the Shed and we weren’t sure of what it was… Duh! Bart Simpson moment. Why haven’t I been doing this for the last 25 years? Yes, of course we can.
ABOVE: Aden (left) and Jeremy (right) with the new Wood Library.
Now the ‘how to’. I decided to keep things small by making each piece 75mm by 50mm (3” X 2” in the old money) and about 4 – 6mm thick. The left half is bare wood and right half has a clear finish on it and has the ‘English’ name.
In the couple of months that we’ve been working on this we’ve managed to put together 30 different examples. I’ve said that I’ll stop when we reach 100 but I’m secretly hoping we’ll go well past that.
So if you have some pieces of timber, not on the list, and that you have complete confidence about their identity and you are willing to add them to the Monash Men’s Shed Wood Library please pass them on to us.
Here’s the full list so far:
|English Name||Latin Name|
|Silver Ash||FLINDERSIA BOURJOTIANA|
|Oregan, Old growth Douglas Fir||PSEUDOTSUGA MENZIENSII|
|Wych Elm||ULMUS GABRA|
|White Beech||GMELINA LEICHNARDTII|
|Black Locust||ROBINIA PSEUDOACACIA|
|American White Oak||QUERCUS ALBA|
|Spotted Gum||CORYMBIA MACULATA|
|White Cedar||THUJA OCCIDENTALIS|
|Candian Maple||ACER RUBRUM|
|Vic Ash||EUCALYPTUS REGNANS|
|Camphor Laurel||CINNAMOMUM CAMPHORA|
|Silky Oak||GREVILLEA ROBUSTA|
|Red Cedar||TOONA CILIATA|
|Huon Pine||LAGAROSTROBOS FRANKINII|
|English Box||BUXUS SEMPERVIRENS|
|Brown Mallee Burl||EUCALYPTUS DUMOSA|
|Brush Box||LOPHOSTEMON CONFERTUS|
|Himalayan Cedar||CEDRUS DEODARA|
|Californian Coastal Redwood||SEQUOIA SEMPERVIRENS|
|Oregan Douglas Fir, plantation||PSEUDOTSUGA MENZIENSII|
|River Red Gum||EUCALYPTUS CAMALDULENSIS|