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Gum, Shining

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The native hardwood, shining gum, produces timber used predominantly in construction and furniture making. As a plantation managed timber subject to advanced silvicultural and milling methods, shining gum is gaining in popularity.

Shining gum is prevalent in the mountain areas of east Gippsland and south-eastern NSW as well as the northern tablelands of NSW to an altitude of 1600m. It is a popular plantation timber as it can be extremely quick growing. Eucalyptus nitens is grown as a commercial plantation species in cool temperate regions around the world, including Tasmania, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile.

Shining gum trees can reach heights of 70m, and diameters of 1-2m at chest height. Its form is desirable, with a straight bole up to two-thirds the height of the tree. Its smooth white or greyish bark is shed in long ribbons. It gets its name nitens (meaning shining) from the distinct glossy fruits, which have a varnished appearance, as well as the leaves, buds and bark, which can also appear to shine. The juvenile leaves have a pleasant fruity smell.

Shining gum timber exhibits some interesting colours making it an appealing product for furniture making. The wood is pale pink and straight grained. It is suitable for general building, flooring, joinery, paneling, furniture and framing. It is also considered a good quality pulping species, although not as high yielding as some due to its lower density.

Shining gum is not particularly durable (class 4) and is not recommended for external use, especially not in-ground. It is vulnerable to termites and the sapwood is susceptible to Lyctid borer.

Appearance

The timber of shining gum, as its name implies, has lustrous qualities. The heartwood is a straw colour bursting with pink and yellow tints. The sapwood is not always easy to distinguish from the heartwood. The texture of shining gum timber is moderately coarse with a straight grain.

Shining gum is not self-pruning. Branch retention creates a high incidence of features in milled timber for that reason. Pin-hole borer holes and the associated black stains of 'pencil streak' are often present, giving timber a speckled appearance. Growth rings are also a prominent feature of this timber.

Common Applications

Timber from shining gum has a wide range of uses, from pulp to sawn products. It is a good quality pulping species, although the wood is of slightly lower density than Tasmanian blue gum and therefore gives lower pulp yields. When plantation grown, it has the potential to produce sawlogs of select grade material if pruned. The timber is used for general construction: joinery, framing and flooring. The pale wood of young trees means the timber can be interchanged with mountain ash. It is also beginning to be used for furniture, where its discolouration is seen as a feature.

Common Form

Sawn

Workability

The general workability of shining gum timber is good, as it is not an extremely dense or hard timber. The green density of the timber is 1050 kg/m3 and air-dry density at 12% moisture is about 700 kg/m3.

Shining gum is difficult to dry with moderate shrinkage and a high cell collapse necessitating reconditioning. It is prone to surface checking and requires careful drying and storage because of collapse.

The wood is not as hard as blue gum, being moderately hard at 5.8 kN when dry. The heartwood of shining gum is not sufficiently durable for external use (class 4).

 

Origin of Timber

NSW

Readily Available

NSW

Availability - Further Information

Shining gum timber is commercially available in NSW and Victoria.

Availability - Further Information

Native Forest

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High

Tangential :

9.40%

Radial:

4.90%

Unit Movement Tangential:

0.33%

Unit Movement Radial:

0.22%

Strength Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium High

Medium

Reasonably Low

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

S1

S2

S3

S4

S5

S6

S7

Seasoned:

SD1

SD2

SD3

SD4

SD5

SD6

SD7

SD8

Stress Grade

Structural
No. 1
Structural
No. 2
Structural
No. 3
Structural
No. 4
Structural
No. 5

Unseasoned:

F14

F11

F8

F7

F5

Seasoned:

F22

F17

F14

F11

F8

Density per Standard

Seasoned:

680kg/m3

Unseasoned:

1120kg/m3

Joint Group

Very High

High

Reasonably High

Medium

Low

Very Low

Unseasoned:

J1

J2

J3

J4

J5

J6

Seasoned:

JD1

JD2

JD3

JD4

JD5

JD6

Colour

  White, yellow, pale straw to light brown Pink to pink brown Light to dark red Brown, chocolate, mottled or streaky
   

Mechanical Properties

Modulus of Rupture - Unseasoned:

62

Modulus of Rupture - Seasoned:

99

Modulus of Elasticity - Unseasoned:

10

Modulus of Elasticity - Seasoned:

13

Maximum Crushing Strength - Unseasoned:

31

Maximum Crushing Strength - Seasoned:

58

Impact - Unseasoned:

15

Impact - Seasoned:

16

Toughness - Unseasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Toughness - Seasoned:

Medium - 15 - 24 Nm

Hardness - Unseasoned:

4.8

Hardness - Seasoned:

5.8

Durability

Low Moderate Reasonably High High
(0 - 5 yrs) (5 - 15 yrs) (15 - 25 yrs) (more than 25 yrs)

In-Ground:

(0 - 7 yrs) (7 - 15 yrs) (15 - 40 yrs) (More than 40 yrs)

Above ground:

(0 - 20 yrs, usually < 5) (21 - 40 yrs) (41 - 64 yrs) (More than 60 yrs)

Marine Borer Resistance:

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility:

Susceptible

Lyctid Borer Susceptibility - Other:

Termite Resistance:

Not Resistant

Fire Properties

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EFH Spread-of-Flame Index:

EFH Smoke-Developed Index:

Critical Radiance Flux - Lower:

>2.2 and <4.5

Critical Radiance Flux - Higher:

>2.2 and <4.5

Smoke Development Rate:

<750
1 - non-combustible 2 - reasonably non-combustible 3 - slightly combustible 4 - combustible

Fire Properties Group
Number:

Average Specific Extinction Area:

<250

Bushfire Resistance:

BAL 12.5 and 19 – Door and window joinery only

Joinery

Timber joinery products offer a classic, unique and stylish touch to any interior or exterior design. The products are produced for a variety of internal applications including door and window frames, cabinetry, skirtings, mouldings and architraves. When looking to the outdoors, joinery products range from decorative eaves and posts to eye-catching railings.

Many timber species are suitable for joinery products and care should be taken in selecting the perfect timber for the particular product and its intended finish. Rare and exotic species such as Teak and Rosewood can generate pieces of outstanding beauty but material cost and availability are also important considerations.

Commercially available species like Tasmanian oak, Australian cypress, spotted gum and the like, often make the more practical choice, with the added benefit that they can be easily matched with other timber products within the building, like flooring.

Solid timber for joinery products is generally supplied as ‘clear finish grade' but ‘paint grade' options are available and these are usually comprised of a composite material like MDF or glulam.

A large number of specialist suppliers and producers offer the consumer extensive choice of profiles for all of the most common and popular joinery products. Choice is in many cases, limited only by imagination.

Cabinetry is often associated with joinery and most typically includes, cupboards, benches and other similar ‘built in' furniture. Like joinery, cabinetry is generally specified as either paint or clear finish grade and naturally for clear finish grade timbers, appearance and surface finish are critical in achieving a successful application.

 

Flooring

Whether for structural or finished flooring applications, timber offers durability, versatility and adaptability. The warmth, strength and natural beauty of timber flooring has proved enduringly popular in a wide variety of interior settings.

Timber flooring is a timeless product, offering a warmth and natural beauty largely unmatched by other flooring options. This article provides an overview of the installation of solid timber strip flooring over bearers and joists, timber based sheet flooring products and concrete slabs. Timber flooring is typically supplied as either solid timber or laminated wood products, made from layers of bonded timber. It fits together with a tongue and groove joint and once in place, is sanded and finished. There is a wide variety of species to select flooring from and the right species for a given application will be dependent on numerous factors. Information relating to species selection, environmental assessment, finish selection and recommended maintenance routines are all provided in this section.

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