Ancient Kauri Wood

The oldest workable wood in the world!

Historical records show that early settlers of New Zealand harvested vast amounts of the native kauri trees. Used for ship building, bridges and houses, the great forests were all but wiped out. Now protected by law, lumber from this ancient tree is still available though no living trees are being cut.

On New Zealand’s north island, a forest of kauri trees, most at least 1,200 years old, was felled by some horrific act of nature, 50,000 years ago. These trees fell and were buried just below the surface of what is now a peat bog. Locked away from the air and perfectly preserved, the logs are not petrified so the lumber they produce is now the oldest workable wood in the world.

Extraction of these logs by heavy machinery is time-consuming and expensive as the loggers also reclaim the land they have disturbed. All this time and work is well worth the effort as the finished wood is spectacular. Sanding, polishing and sealing the wood brings out the rich gold and cognac colors of its distinctive grain patterns.

To learn more about this most unusual wood, please visit Ancient Wood Ltd’s. Web site at www.ancientwood.com.

My first piece of ancient kauri wood is a three inch thick section of a branch, or better yet, I’m hoping for a tightly burled grain pattern that would come from a section of root. (See photo below.) I can’t wait to see what Mother Nature has given us as we cut, shape, sand and polish this exotic hard wood into usable knife handles.

kauri

Here we have cut the block of wood into 9-10 usable 3/8″ thick sections ready for handle scales. We sanded, sealed and polished one section to bring out the golden hues of this exotic wood.

kauri2