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A veneer idea for special Tas timbers

A fourth generation timber worker said that it was time to adopt a new attitude to Tasmania’s special timbers to extend the life and value from the remaining supply. Source: ABC Rural

Craig Howard makes fine furniture that’s shipped around Australia and overseas from special timbers such as Sassafras, Huon Pine, Myrtle and Blackwood.

Rather than continue to use solid timbers, he says it’s time the industry moved to new veneers that customers actually want in order to extend the life of the industry.

“The timber is just not going to be available forever and a day.

“It just takes so long for it to grow, and people just need to be able to understand that.

“We’ve really got to have a different attitude on how we can go about this.

“We are looking at cutting up thick veneers, not 0.6 mm which the industry does not want, but something like 3 mm, which gives you the same sort of substance as solid timber.

“I think that is going to be the next generation of fine furniture.”

Mr Howard has invested $1.25 million in machinery in his furniture workshop near Hobart, but is seeking government support to buy the new veneer machines.

He said they’ve had many government ministers visit the workshop and have applied for forest industry adjustment funding, but have so far failed to gain a $250,000 grant to purchase the veneer machines.

“I’ve approached Peter Gutwein before the election and he thought it was a very good idea as well, and I’ve had Will Hodgman here previously as well.

“I’ll be getting back to them very, very soon,” Mr Howard said.