Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: What is jacaranda?
Response To:
What is jacaranda? ()

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
The Jacaranda tree is a native of South America, but has made its way to Australia via South Africa. It is very popular in Perth and Sydney. Our suburb has avenues of these wonderful trees, and we have a large example at the front of our house.

This is a photo from Google ...

The trees eventually shed these purple-mauve flowers, and the petals rain on the lawns. It is quite magical.

Several years ago we had a storm with very high winds, and a bough dropped from our tree, smashing the roof of the garage but fortunately missing the cars parked outside. I took my revenge by cutting it up and stickering it. I have just begun to turn my attention to the boards.

The wood is much like Paulownia - almost white and quite featureless. Paulownia is prized in Japan for boxes (my Kiyohisa slicks came in a Paulownia box). Although a light, soft wood, it is strong. Jacaranda has a closer grain and finishes better.

Why did I use it for the block plane? Because it was the softest wood to hand at the time. Because it would be nice to do some woodwork with it (I have been painting doors in the house, and stripping and buffing brass door handles).

Regards from Perth

Derek

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