Australian Buloke

Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)
Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)

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Common Name(s): Australian Buloke, Bulloak

Scientific Name: Allocasuarina luehmannii

Distribution: Eastern Australia

Tree Size: 30-50 ft (9-15 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 69 lbs/ft3 (1,110 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .86, 1.11

Janka Hardness: 3,760 lbf (16,740 N)

Modulus of Rupture: No data available

Elastic Modulus: No data available

Crushing Strength: No data available

Shrinkage: No data available

Color/Appearance: Heartwood is reddish brown. Somewhat well defined sapwood is a light yellowish brown. Very large aggregate rays produce a lace-like pattern on quartersawn surfaces. Rays are so large, some pieces have visible ray flecking on flatsawn surfaces.

Grain/Texture: Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Uniform medium texture with good natural luster.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; exclusively solitary; large pores in no specific arrangement, few; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, banded; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing close, aggregate rays are frequently very wide

Rot Resistance: No data available.

Workability: Can be difficult to work on account of its hardness. Tearout can occur during planing or surfacing, especially on quartersawn surfaces in the rays. Turns and finishes well.

Odor: No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity: Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, no further health reactions have been associated with Buloke. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Seldom available outside Australia. Occasionally available as small turning blocks or craft blanks. Prices are high for an imported hardwood.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, while the tree species itself may not be directly threatened by extinction, certain stands in Victoria and New South Wales are listed as endangered by the government of Australia.

Common Uses: Knife handles, flooring, fine furniture, and turned objects.

Comments: No data available.

Related Species:

Related Articles:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Don Wan for providing the wood sample of this wood species, including a very large slab!

Australian Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii)
Australian Buloke (sanded)
Australian Buloke (sealed)
Australian Buloke (sealed)
Australian Buloke (endgrain)
Australian Buloke (endgrain)
Australian Buloke (endgrain 10x)
Australian Buloke (endgrain 10x)
Australian Buloke (slab)
Australian Buloke (slab)
Buloke (35" x 8.5")
Buloke (35″ x 8.5″)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXGAOyQ-gwg

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John Richards

In terms of rot resistance, I have worked on large properties in the eastern states of Australia, and have pulled fence posts out of the ground after more than 100 years and they have been totally intact – even in marshy conditions. They are impervious to white ants. Cut up as firewood, they produce a constant, intense heat and turn into a large ember that burns for hours. Iron bark, as we know it, splits like a block of coal along seams, leaving a smooth surface. I recently stacked several tonnes of the wood for firewood, and tested it’s specific… Read more »

riley mcnab

buloak black resin river table

Adam

Do you think this is Australian Buloke? It’s the hardest wood I’ve ever worked with.

riley mcnab

this is a part of the slab with a little bit of turps splashed on it

riley mcnab

this is just a sample piece of buloak that i filled with clear resin, but this is the hardest wood ive ever worked with by far

Rhi

Are you able to make a bow out of it

Nat

Australian timbers generally are known for there rigidity and the harder they are the more rigid,so the short answer is no;but as a lamination among other woods such as palm it may be a good back bone

WayneP

I have just finished constructing an entertainment unit in Buloke. It has been the most difficult timber I have ever worked with but the final outcome was well worth the effort. The timber was sourced from a dead tree near Rochester and milled by a sawmill at Rushworth. I would certainly agree with all of the comments about its’ hardness.

J X

I don’t think the hardness listed here is correct. It does not agree with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test or with any other sources I could find, which all list Australian Buloke as 5060 lbf.

J X

nice video!! thanks!

Tom

I recently visited a stand of Buloke trees the timber it seems is susceptible to insect attack, some recently fallen pieces had been chewed up by termites. It also checks and splits readily not mention most pieces have a slight twist along their length. I’m yet to do a strength test but it seems to be stronger than its relative the Sheoak. Trouble is finding these trees amongst Black Oaks and other species that grow nearby as they are very similar. A few strokes dulled my hatchet at an almost staggering speed. If it wasn’t for the fact that large… Read more »

Sanding London

We have sanded once an Australian buloke floor in London and it really is the hardest wood on Earth! It was one of the most difficult wood flooring restoration jobs we have ever had…

dhduncan

I would love to see that floor, difficult from Melbourne Australia though…

Mike

Well, the janka test is a spherical styli so the hardness reflected would increase exponentially, (intuitively it feels they should have used a cone but i’m sure they know more about it than me) so a wood a little harder should have an exponentially greater janka number.

David McGuire

Is the Janka haradness really over 500?!?! that would make it the hardest wood in the world would it not?

John Fanning

I deal with buloke all the time, it is by far the hardest wood on earth. It is easier to break with a sledge hammer or run a block splitter along a split than using a saw. It’s hardness makes it brittle like cast iron, makes excellent firewood than turns to clean charcoal that you simply burn again and again.

Bill K

I’m making knife handles out of buloke wood. Can I use a band saw or scroll saw? If so, will I have to replace the blades afterwards?

Jerry Giesler

A similar comparison is Bois d’Arc. At 2,040 Janka Hardness Scale….. a 3/4″ thick board of that wood can go through a15 TPI scrolls blade fairly easily. Other time….not so easy. :/