MILLING HUGE KAURI TIMBER
New Zealand's giant ancient wonders.
SHOP OWNER: Hal Shearer
LOCATION: Orem, UT
This bandsaw has wheels, which are six foot in diameter and the blade is about 6" wide, and ¼ " thick. It is located at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe, New Zealand. It was used to cut the huge prehistoric Kauri trees that were discovered when they drained some swampland in the late 1800's. The trees had been perfectly preserved, like fresh cut, yet they have been dated to between 30,000 - 50,000 years old. The machine in the left foreground is a planer that also squares the sides in the same pass.
Trimming some Kauri timbers with a pit saw.
Note the sawdust on the shoulder of the fellow below. Obviously, he IS the dust collector.
Steam engines and a conglomeration of long belts ran the equipment in the mill. You can see the end of a small Kauri log just beyond the head of the figure at left center. In the lower left is a four-foot diameter saw blade. Right in the center of the image, you will see two more of these large circular blades, one mounted above the other. They were mounted so that the blades turned in the same plane, (cutting the same kerf) with the bottom of the front blade slightly below the top of the rear blade, the lower blade just a few inches in front of the top one so they wouldn't contact each other. Then a log was passed between them, being cut from the bottom and top blades at the same time, allowing them to handle logs almost the same diameter as the blades.
An example of some of the beautiful antique furniture produced from Kauri wood. This piece stands about 9 feet tall.
"Me Tarzan, you Jane - you move tiny Kauri tree off path..."
"...Tarzan get BIG Kauri tree!"
These monster trees were given names. This one is called Tane Mahuta and it is one of the largest trees in the world at 51 meters high, with a girth of over 13 meters.
As you enter a Kauri showroom / woodshop near Kaitaia, you are greeted by a huge two story tree trunk. Walking behind it you discover that it also serves as the staircase to the second floor mezzanine. Since Lee Grindinger wasn't available to do the carving, they just used a chainsaw. They have several ornate "couches" carved out of a single piece of wood, including arm rests and book holders. They are very comfortable, too.. . . Hal Shearer
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