the eucalyptus, commonly referred to as ‘gum trees’, have long been associated with south african and australian landscapes. indigenous to western australia and tasmania, the eucalyptus family has hundreds of species. a few of them were successfully forrested here and used extensively as sleepers for the first railway lines in the country and as tunnel props in the mines.
they have a great propensity for use outdoors and will deliver a long period of service if maintained.
we use 2 of these eucalyptus species to manufacture our products.
for finishes used on timber components click here
1. karri – eucalyptus myrtacaea (diversicolour)
grown and milled locally in knysna (south africa) it is regarded as an alien timber.
it is a hard dense, stringy timber, varying from light pinkish brown to dark brown in colour – hence its name. it quite rapidly assumes an attractive silver grey colour and characteristic fine cracks when left untreated and exposed to the elements – approx. 12 months. available on all models of chairs except the scandinavian.
2. jarrah – eucalyptus marginata
imported from australia, a highly regarded hard wood, renown for its use in extreme conditions outside i.e. construction of jetties and boat frames – is extremely stable and naturally resistant to boring insects.the natural colour varies – dark reddish brown to light brown and pink- very dark red brown when oiled.
generaly clear grained, it is occasionally marked with characteristic resin pockets. it will slowly assume a silver grey colour similar to that of teak when left untreated and exposed to the elements – approx. 18 months.
the natural colour can be revived by removing the dead grey surface matter. this characteristic is regarded as an indication of a superior timber – it has a longer lifespan than karri.
used on outdoor timber table surfaces and the scandinavian chair. it can also be specified for other chairs.
‘natural’ in our vocabulary is – ‘as from nature’… not oiled, not varnished …not sealed in any way. timber surfaces have only been scrubbed with PRONATURE PLANT SOAP– a hand friendly saponified formula of linseed oil and potassium.
the natural colour of new wood will gradually mellow to an attractive silver-grey ONLY if are exposed to the weather. characteristic hairline cracks will develop on the surface and especially on the end grain as the timber ages.
tables planks are attached directly to the metal frame, with a 3mm gap between planks. in moist climates this gap will disappear as the planks swell and can increase in size up to 7/10mm in very dry conditions.
marginal cupping (over the width of each plank) of the planks can be anticipated exposure to moisture will initially cause the timber to roughen – this can easily
be removed with the scotch brite pads. sand rmly in the direction of the grain.
treatment of new furniture
on receiving your furniture dilute the plant soap in a spray bottle according to instructions on the bottle (2%) and spray timber. it is unneccesary to wipe off. this can be applied 4 x year. for seasoned furniture follow the instructions below:
maintenance – 4 x a year (seasonally)
- wet the wood and use the scotch brite pads firmly in the direction of the grain to remove the dead grey surface.
- wash off the dirt and loose residue with clean water
- apply the PRONATURE PLANT SOAP diluted with 20 parts water by brush over the entire surface and leave to penetrate for 5 min.
- this will allow the oils in this product to permeate and nourish the wood and willneutralize the bio-life forming in the cracks.
- rinse with clean water.
- wooden surfaces will gradually fade to grey colour again.
NOTE natural timber tables will acquire oil marks from food and drink spillage, a regular application of dilute PRONATURE PLANT SOAP will create a seal which will help prevent marking from foods
- make a dilute solution with parts water – spray or brush on and wipe off.
- this process should be repeated at frequent intervals.
Removal of oil or food marks
- make a fairly strong dilution of the plant soap – 3 parts water :1 plant soap.
- scrub the whole table with this mixture using the scotchbrite scourers specifically agitating the affected area.
- leave for a 10 minutes and then scrub and rinse with clean water.
- there should be a noticeable difference to the affected area
- unfortunately the rest will only gradually bleach out with exposure to the sunif not satisfied with this and in extreme cases you can treat the surface with oxalic acid- available from a hardware store. this is a strong chemical process that requires gloves etc. and will distinctly change the colour of the wood
if you want the table to acquire an unblemished silver grey surface it is best to use a cloth on the table when eating…..or not to use the table at all.
oiled – outdoor
wooden components are oiled with PRONATURE OUTDOOR OIL. the level of exposure to the elements and the variable climate that the furniture is in will determine the frequency that re-oiling is required. it is best to re-oil when the timber appears dry or dull.
maintenance oiling – 4 x a year
- scour the timber surfaces with scotch brite pads or 120 grit sand paper in
direction of wood grain
- wipe clean and apply PRONATURE OUTDOOR OIL with a soft cloth or brush.
- note: remove any excess oil with a dry cloth after approx.10 min… (timber will absorb only what it can) then rub dry. failure to do this will result in a horrible sticky mess and you will need to dilute it with plant turpentine to remove
- apply a second coat if timber looks dry.
oiled – indoor
wooden components are oiled with PRONATURE TABLE TOP OIL. exposure to air conditioning and variable climates, in different parts of the country, can affect the wood and dry it out. timber should be oiled as soon as it appears dry or dull.
maintenance – oiling – approx 1 x a year or when timber appears dry
- remove surface dust and scour lightly with scotch brite scourers or fine sand paper in direction of wood grain
- apply the PRONATURE TABLE TOP OIL lightly with a soft lint free cloth (one that does not disintegrate).
- remove any excess oil after approx. 15 min. with a dry cloth and polish.
- clean bush and hands with plant turpentine
wooden components have been primed and hand painted with oil based enamel paint (VELVAGLO).exposure to the elements will eventually cause the paint to dull over time. paint will also tend to crack and separate on the end grain of the slats.
maintenance – repainting in areas of paint deterioration – annually.
- remove loose paint and abrade firmly with scotch brite pads.
- apply oil based wood primer to exposed wood – allow to dry.
- apply 1 or 2 coats of paint by brush, depending on the paint loss. allow 12 hours to dry between coats.
download the complete maintenance booklet here