Welcome to the Australian Hardwood & Cypress Manual
Few people can resist the unique qualities of Australia’s native hardwood and
cypress timbers. Their beauty and strength are suitable for use in a wide range of
applications from the most intricately designed furniture through to robust but
decorative beams for building construction.
Yet, as a hardwood sawmiller and timber merchant, I am often reminded of the lack
of a reliable source of quality information on the technical specifications and
applications of native hardwood timbers. There is also a reticence among producers
to promote the industry’s achievements, and misunderstanding among consumers
about modern, sustainable forestry practices, which together have hamstrung the
The Native Timber Industry Marketing and Development Fund, set up by the NSW
and Commonwealth Governments, allowed a group of concerned industry
representatives to carry out some generic marketing and promotion for the industry,
including the publication of this Manual. Its aim is to help architects, specifiers,
building designers and consumers make informed choices in featuring native
hardwood and cypress for their construction and decorating projects.
The publication of this Manual is a significant achievement, but the work of
promoting the native timber industry is far from complete. Projects begun with the
assistance of Governments will continue through the Australian Hardwood
Network, the industry-funded successor to the Native Timber Industry Marketing
and Development Fund.
In the next section you will find an outline of – What’s in the
Manual? I trust that Australia’s architects, specifiers, building designers and
consumers alike will find this Manual invaluable and that it will advance the use of
native hardwood and cypress as materials of choice for the informed consumer.
Chair, Australian Hardwood Network
What's in the manual?
The Manual is divided into four sections.
1.)Section 1 makes it easy to factor environmental sustainability into material selection
by outlining the benefits for the environment of choosing native hardwood and
cypress over other common materials, such as steel and aluminium. Users keen to
know more will find references to the wide range of independent analyses
confirming that native hardwood and cypress are environmentally-friendly building
Section 1 also summarises the major quality control schemes used by modern valueadded
timber processors to give you the confidence to specify native hardwood and
2.)Often, a consumer’s choice of a material is limited by their knowledge of its technical
properties. In Section 2, a key feature of the Manual is information for the novice to
the craftsman on how to specify native hardwood and cypress for appearance,
strength and durability.
3.)Being spoiled for choice can be a problem and the vast range of native timber
species available in the market place can be confusing. Section 3 of the Manual takes
the hassle out of species selection by describing the availability, colour and durability
of commonly available native timber species, and advises on the species most suited
4.)The potential applications for native hardwood and cypress are limited only by the
imagination of the user. From timber flooring systems to the use of native timbers in
expressed architectural structures, Section 4 of the Manual gives practical tips on
installation and design so you can build with confidence.
Naturally, the Manual needs to keep pace with technical innovation. You can update
your copy of the Manual from the Australian Hardwood and Cypress website at
www.timber.net.au. If by chance you can’t find what
A note about colours & textures
Due to the many variables associated with the printing process, photographs used
throughout this manual can only provide a broad guide to timber colours and textures.
This manual should therefore not be used as the sole guide when selecting timber
species for appearance applications. If appearance is a major criterion, always request
actual samples from your preferred supplier before specifying and or ordering your
chosen timber products.
Remember… timber is a natural product which exhibits infinite natural variation.