You are going to love today’s episode! I am chatting with Andrew from a business called Hydrowood.
Things you will want to remember from the show
- This is the first project of its kind in Australia and there are not many in the world
- After flying across Tasmania, Andrew’s partner David noticed the grey trees in the water across the country and they came up with the idea over a beer! However both David and Andrew do actually have a background in the forestry industry!
- A feasibility study showed that this timber was still viable for use
- Just a side note – the show Beachcombers – discovered Andrew and I are mutual fans!! Was so excited about that part 🙂
- The Barge they have built is groundbreaking in terms of the equipment as it did not exist before
- Timber is milled and then sent out to stockists, more mainland stockists are coming on board
- Will be on Lake Pieman for 3 or 4 years and then have another 2 lakes in that river system, plus more around Tasmania – at least 15 years worth of timber!
- This is the speciality timbers that we all hold in reverence – Tasmanian Blackwood, Tasmanian Myrtle, Sassafras, Celery Top Pine and Huon Pine for example – there is less and less of these timbers available to us now
- The timber is dead and is being given another life – all of the sap has been replaced by water when you first pull it out
- They are not taking them all so there is still a beautiful scene of timber and most of the timber they are pulling out is from underneath the water
- The Barge is operated by one guy who sits in the excavator and drives it across the river, a boat then takes the timber off for transport to the mill – generally a 4 person job on a rotation
- Takes about 6 months to dry, compared to usual timber
- They are using Tasmanian businesses to take the project across its life cycle
- It has so far cost $7,000,000 – yup!
- However there are cost savings in the project due to its unusual nature. The cost of the hydrowood to the customer is however very affordable
- To use at home you can buy from your usual suppliers such as Whelan the Warehouse in Melbourne
- So far it has been used for furniture, with furniture designers and makers starting to use the timber for things like dining room tables, to chairs, to book shelves and more
- Can be used in building as well – eg for cladding, flooring – especially the Myrtle
- Celery Top Pine is very useful, can be used outside and inside, eg for cladding, but also for furniture and internal cladding
- Some of the timbers are more available but it is hard to know exactly – there will be more volume of the Celery Top Pine, Sassafras and Myrtle – these are all harder to find on the mainland marketplace now except for Blackwood
- Timber is being used in boat making and even musical instruments – timber that has had water in it apparently has nicer sound properties
- You can go to the Pieman Lake and be taken on a tour! I would so LOVE that
- Lake Gordon is next on the agenda and it is HUGE! SO much more to come from this business
Head to the Hydrowood website to find out where to buy as the stockists increase or contact them directly, especially if you are a furniture maker interested in sourcing the timber