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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 4

I Management Of Native Forests

II Plantations-high Productivity Resources

III Protecting The Resource

IV Harvesting The Resource

V Solid Wood And Its Processing
i Sawmilling
ii Drying
iii Preservation
iv Quality and standards

VI Minor Forest Products

VII Reconstituted Wood Products

VIII Pulp And Paper

IX Export Woodchips

X Future Directions

XI Acknowledgements



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Solid Wood And Its Processing

By the second half of the 19th century the timber industry had become well-established and was supplying an increasingly wide range of markets, both domestically and overseas. The eucalypts were the main woods used, in particular jarrah, mountain ash, blackbutt, messmate, spotted gum, alpine ash, karri, river red gum and some iron-barks. Others of importance were hoop and bunya pine from Queensland and northern NSW, the very durable cypress pines of the inland, decorative woods from the rain forests and a few others having special properties such as turpentine with its outstanding resistance to marine organisms.

Logs were converted to dimensioned wood by sawmilling -for dwellings and other constructions, joinery, furniture, cases and crates and many miscellaneous uses; by hewing -for sleepers, beams, posts and the like; and by splitting for palings, shingles, fence posts and slabs. Although sawmilling was progressively extended to most of the markets once supplied by hewn and split timber these methods are still in use to a small extent today. Timber, of course, is also used as roundwood for posts, poles and piles and split roundwood as firewood. The most significant technological aspects of solid wood and its processing are sawmilling, the drying of sawn timber, wood preservation and the development of quality standards.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 215, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher