CAMPHOR LAUREL

CAMPHOR LAUREL
CAMPHOR LAUREL2018-05-08T23:41:28+00:00

Project Description

WOOF Timber - Camphor Laurel

Camphor Laurel

Other Names

Camphor tree, Camphorwood, Chinese Camphor Wood

Camphor laurel yields a rich honey-coloured hardwood timber with a fresh camphor smell perfect for cutting boards, furniture and cabinetry.

Camphor laurel yields a beautiful, rich honey-coloured timber with a clean, fresh camphor smell that is perfect for furniture, carving, and cabinetry. The tree is native to Taiwan, southern Japan, southeast China and Indochina, where it has great cultural significance as a source of scent, oil and crystallised blocks for use in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes. It is used as a valuable timber for furniture and carving icons.

In Australia, the camphor laurel has a less respectable reputation. The 20 – 30 metre tall evergreen tree was introduced in the 1820s and quickly displaced and inhibited native vegetation. It was widely used for windbreaks and as a measure against soil erosion and as a result has proliferated on disused pasture along the coastal hinterland of NSW and parts of Queensland. It is now categorised as a weed and can easily be identified by its glossy, waxy leaves that smell strongly of camphor when crushed.

Nevertheless, camphor laurel timber is excellent for creating fine furniture. Its heartwood varies widely in colour from pale to mid brown and is often streaked with darker brown or red. The sapwood is very wide and pale brown. The timber’s grain is usually interlocked with a moderately fine and even texture. All camphor laurel wood features the characteristic camphor smell that repels moths and other insects, making it perfect for clothes storage cabinets. Camphor laurel also has antibacterial properties prized for use in crafting handsome chopping and carving boards.

The camphor laurel’s extraordinary strong dark grain against a yellow base creates distinctive furniture. In the past it has been exported to Asia and later re-imported as a finished furniture product. It is also recommended for use as slabs in kitchen benchtops, tables and shelves, as well as decorative veneers, internal lining boards and turned or hand-carved bowls.

Shrinkage

Very Low Low Medium High Very High
Tangential 3.50%
Radial  2.20%
Unit Movement Tangential
Unit Movement Radial

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 F8 F7 F5 F4
Seasoned F14 F11 F8 F7 F5

Density per Standard

Seasoned 485kg/m3
Unseasoned 1000kg/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
Modulus of Rupture – Seasoned 102
Modulus of Elasticity – Unseasoned
Modulus of Elasticity – Seasoned 11
Maximum Crushing Strength – Unseasoned
Maximum Crushing Strength – Seasoned 58
Impact – Unseasoned
Impact – Seasoned
Toughness – Unseasoned
Toughness – Seasoned
Hardness – Unseasoned
Hardness – Seasoned 3.2

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 Susceptibilitiy Susceptible
Lyctid Borer Susceptibility – Other
Termite Resistance Not Resistant

Fire Properties

1 – non-combustible 2 – reasonably non-combustible 3 – slightly combustible 4 – combustible
Fire Properties Group Number .
Group Number – Other 3 if used on MDF or particleboard ≥ 12mm; veneer thickness 0.6 – 0.85mm
Average Specific Extinction Area < 250
Bushfire Resistance Not Tested
Botanical Name Cinnamomum camphora
Preferred Common Name Camphor Laurel
Species Type Hardwood

Appearance

A beautiful, often honey coloured timber, camphor laurel heartwood varies widely in colour from pale to mid brown and is often streaked with darker brown or red. The sapwood has many colours ranging from almost white to dark browns and reds. The timber’s grain is usually interlocked with a moderately fine and even texture.

Common Applications

Commonly used for turning and slab type furniture, camphor laurel is often employed in fine furniture design. It is recommended for use as kitchen benchtops, tables and shelves, as well as internal lining boards and turned or hand-carved bowls.

All camphor laurel wood features a characteristic camphor smell that repels moths and other insects, making it perfect for clothes storage cabinets. Camphor also has antibacterial properties prized for use in crafting handsome chopping and carving boards.

Common Form

Vaneer

Workability

Camphor laurel works fairly well but may require sanding to remove torn grain. An excellent timber for turning, it accepts coatings, bends well, and is fixes easily. Take care when gluing as it can be oily.

Origin of Timber

NSW

Availability – Further Information

Camphor laurel is not available in commercial quantities in Australia as it is regarded as a weed.