Information for Woodworkers

“No matter how it is worked, a fascinating woodworking opportunity exists for us right now. Seize the opportunity now, because no one is certain how long it will last.”

Russ Filbeck, Master Chairmaker


Ancient Kauri cuts, machines, sands and finishes like normal wood using regular tools, methods and finishes.

  • Every order comes with sanding and finishing instructions.
  • All orders will be filled with dry Ancient Kauri with a moisture content between 6% and 10%.
  • We cut for most orders and you don’t pay extra.
  • We are an American company based in Wisconsin with on-hand inventory located in the United States.
  • Our active inventory includes regular size boards, large and small natural edged slabs, freeform slabs, boards, timbers, flooring and millwork, veneers, plywood and all sheet goods.

Our stock is rough cut, planning is available at our normal shop rate of $45 per hour.

  • We have 1 inch thick boards, 2 inch thick boards, 2 1/2 inches to 4 inches thick
  • Various shapes and sizes up to 7 feet wide and 40 feet long.
  • Natural edged timbers and boards have two natural edges.
  • Natural edged freeform slabs cut from the root section of the tree.
  • Also, extremely large slabs up to 80 inches across.
  • Large and small turning blocks are $35.00 per board foot and up.
  • We have some unusual pieces and thicker blocks for turning, sculpting and carving.
  • PS. For a sample bundle of wood visit the Gift Page.

What is it like to work with?

The density and characteristics of Ancient Kauri can change from piece to piece. Some are dense, hard, and heavy while some are light and almost soft. Some pieces are full figured and wild and others are quite refined and calm.

Ancient Kauri wood can be cut, shaped, sanded and finished using normal techniques.

Is this wood Petrified?

No, it can be worked with normal woodworking tools, in the same ways you are used to working with other species.

Is Ancient Kauri wet?

No, when we ship Ancient Kauri it has been kiln dried to 6% to 8% moisture content, which is standard commercial practice.

Some wood turners use ‘wet’ or ‘green’ wood which we are happy to supply.

What’s the story about drying Ancient Kauri?

When we get Ancient Kauri it is considered ‘wet’. After laying under water in a peat bog for 50,000 years their moisture content is 100%. As the moisture leaves the wood moves. The drying process must be done with care and patience. We use a unique drying technique that works very well with consistent results.

We have invested over two years of research and collaboration with The United States Forest Products Laboratory, The University of Minnesota Bio-Based Products Department, numerous kiln manufacturers operators in the US and New Zealand, and, of course, very many hands-on experiments using different drying techniques and schedules.

The result is Ancient Wood is the premier Ancient Kauri drying experts. You get the most stable Ancient Kauri you can buy on the planet. Kiln Dried Ancient Kauri is now available. You get very stable wood with a moisture content of 6%, 1 – 4 inches thick.

What about gluing and screwing?

Standard glues, screws and joints work great with Ancient Kauri.

Is Ancient Kauri oily?

Ancient Kauri is not an oily wood. It is very similar to regular woods in this respect.

What is it like for sanding?

Plan to spend a little extra time sanding. The most intense color, depth, grain, and iridescent qualities come through with very fine sanding. While sanding to a 600 grit will suffice, 1200 grit will give you eye popping results.

How do you finish Ancient Kauri?

Ancient Kauri will accept any of your favorite finishing methods. Oil, varnish, shellac, stains, water based finishes, oil based finishes, spar varnish, waxes, linseed oil, everything we have tried has worked just fine.

Visit the Finishing Page

Different flavors of Ancient Kauri.

One of the most striking features Ancient Kauri wood is its iridescence. It is especially strong in the flamed and Whitebait pieces. The grain and unusual resins give a depth that is a pleasure to see.

The wood from the root section of the tree is where the wild grain come from and has burl-like qualities. The great size of these trees ensures that we can get some huge and highly figured pieces. Here is where we find bark inclusions alongside the wild grain. During the drying process this subterranean wood can to move and change as the tremendous pressures from within are relaxed. Of course, when dried properly Ancient Kauri is stable.

Some of the sapwood has absorbed the color of the ground the tree was buried in. In modern trees sapwood is typically a lighter color then the heartwood, it is the reverse with Ancient Kauri. You can see this unusual coloring in some of our boards and timbers that have natural edges.

There is a very unique and beautiful grain activity that is found only in Ancient Kauri. This is called “Whitebait”. Whitebait is rare, and an interesting confluence in the grain of the wood.

What is “Whitebait”?

Whitebait refers to the iridescent qualities of the grain in the Ancient Kauri where this activity is found.

Whitebait is very interesting, quite beautiful, and quite rare.

The name Whitebait comes from a similar sight that is seen in schools of small fish (Whitebait fish) that swim in the sub-tropical ocean near to where the Ancient Kauri trees are recovered. As schools of Whitebait fish swim, the brilliant shimmer of light one second, that disappears, and shimmer of light again is exactly what is seen in the Whitebait grain of the Ancient Kauri wood.

This beautiful, powerfully iridescent grain activity is an interesting confluence in the grain of the wood. Satin-like cords of grain with subtle shading of color tones makes this a highly sought after characteristic, found only in Ancient Kauri wood.

white_bait_example_4

Whitebait is very rare, is difficult to dry, and thus is expensive. Considered the Best of the Best, pricing ranges from $100.00 per board foot to $60.00 per board foot, depending on the size of the order and the amount of Whitebait activity in the piece itself.

Please contact us for additional information on this fantastic opportunity to purchase some of this incredible and rare wood.

We have done our best to illustrate the fantastic feature in this wood, but the iridescent characteristic of the Whitebait grain is extremely difficult to photograph: the very iridescence that makes it so exceptional tends to fool the image-capturing capabilities of digital cameras. We have captured it as best we can on both still and video camera.

 


How to Calculate Board Feet

How to Order Wood


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