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Differences Between GoodWood Victorian Ash & Vic Ash

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8 minutes
Megan Parameshwaran November 25th, 2018

Here’s a hard-learned lesson that we need to share after years of experience in the specifier market: if you want our solid joinery timber, then you have to specify GoodWood Victorian ash, and not simply Vic ash.

There are clear differences between what many contractors perceive to be ‘hardwood’, ‘Victorian ash’ or ‘Tasmanian Oak’ (etc) compared with our ‘GoodWood Victorian ash’. These differences are what make our timber so attractive and why many of you choose our products.

*Note: (This is a GOODWOOD Victorian ash recommendation for our solid timber range only. For other ASH products and their benefits, see Australian Oak, IronAsh, SUPASPAN or MASSLAM).

Why It's Important To Specify GoodWood Victorian Ash

We do a lot of work with specifiers to help select materials and stains that are suited to a carefully planned concept. The result is often stunning – as can be seen in our gallery. The biggest mistake we see is when a substitute product is used unbeknownst to us or the specifier. This is our responsibility to point out.

The problem is this; to a majority in the supply chain, many products fall into the ‘KD HWD’ or ‘Vic Ash’ category, with many of them being cheaper and/or not what specifiers had envisaged. We need to make this clear: there is a real difference in performance and appearance. If you want our timber, you simply have to specify ‘GoodWood‘.

Our architectural consultant sometimes receives images many months after a build with a designer advising that they are disappointed with the look of the project because the contractor used an inferior product, thinking it was the same. While this undermines the desired look of the project, by this stage, it has become too late to change, and neither of us benefits from our hard work.

GoodWood Victorian ash joinery made by various trades and combining together in one project to create a seamless, continuous flow of design. By Mitsouri Architects.

Main Differences Between Vic Ash & GoodWood Vic Ash

Australian Sustainable Hardwoods created the GoodWood Victorian ash brand to help our customers specify quality, attractive hardwood, as well as to achieve a continuous flow of design throughout an entire project without compromising the performance or appearance of their desired look.

Here are the main differences our GoodWood Victorian ash has to offer when compared to regular ‘KD hardwood’, ‘Tasmanian Oak’ or ‘Vic Ash’:

More Consistent & Attractive Appearance

We are able to do this because we have few species in our mix while others can have multiple species. Plus we have a proven kiln drying formula that reduces and limits dark pink or chocolate colour tones during the drying process. Here are some examples:

This Tasmanian Oak is heavily featured and dark pink in tone. Not what you expect if hoping for our GOODWOOD Victorian ash.
This KD HWD is chocolate toned and crown cut. Not what you’d expect if specifying GOODWOOD.

Quarter Sawn

Quarter sawing timber is a type of cutting pattern used to maximise stability. The resulting appearance is a linear grain (running the length of the timber) instead of crown cut (or swirly) grain. Quarter sawing timber is definitely more time-consuming and costly to produce, however, the results are far more superior.

It is also the way ancient boat builders and wine barrel manufacturers used to cut timber, and it’s all to do with the way timber expands and contracts. A quarter sawn board is twice as stable as a crown cut board in almost every species. Stability is crucial, as it underpins the performance and customer satisfaction of your project in the long term.

Wide Range Of Sizes

GoodWood Victorian ash is available in one of the largest size ranges of any Australian hardwood. This means you can obtain the size you want without compromising the look. Our manufacturing and processing ensure that if we don’t have the size you are looking for, then we can most likely make it. This helps obtain that consistent flow of design.

Straight Line Cut

Our timber is dried in slabs and straight line cut after all of its shrinking is complete during the drying process. This means manufacturers can purchase our timber with less waste and less time spent on manufacturing the timber. Conventional sawmills cut the timber to dimension before drying. This is why they can supply bowed and sprung boards.

ASH’s Volumetric Scanner straight line cuts the timber once it is in its most stable form to ensure straightness. It also ensures maximum recovery and the highest grade of every board.

Well-Dried Timber

ASH uses small kiln charges to ensure the controlled and even drying of our timber. Multiple probes that are connected to the timber feed into our computers. The computer program only stops when the timber reaches its most stable form. Many other sawmills will put their timber into large kilns and only stop after a predetermined number of hours.

The results of these benefits can not be known until only after you have installed the timber. For example, imagine fixing two boards together. One is at 8% moisture content (MC) and the other is at 14% MC. If the room is stable at 10%, you will have one board expand and the other contract. Our controlled and even drying process eliminates this problem.

PEFC Certified Manufacturing

Both of our timber and manufacturing facilities are 100% PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified & CoC (Chain of Custody) AS 4707 certified. As Australia’s largest and most vertically integrated timber manufacturer, when it comes to larger timber projects, this CoC is highly regarded and essential.

Well-Graded, Quality Timber

At ASH, we use equipment such as ultrasound scanners and volumetric scanners in the grading process to ensure that the timber you buy is graded well both internally and externally. Some of the timber in our lowest grade feedstock can also be found in our competitors best grades.

While this reduces their cost by around 20%, this also damages the perceived value of our product group when defects are found by our customers. Because we are a combined manufacturer and timber mill, we use more of our timber than anyone else. This means that it is absolutely critical for us to have quality timber, just as it is critical for you to receive a quality product.

Internally scanning timber limits any surprises from popping up. This is one of the many reasons why some of Australia’s best and most credible manufacturers only use GoodWood Victorian ash for their manufacturing.

Lyctid Borer Proof

Victorian ash is also not susceptible to lyctid borer beetles which attack the sapwood of certain susceptible hardwoods. For more information, refer to the study conducted by the CSIRO Lyctine Susceptibility Of Selected Hardwoods.