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Acacia spp.

Acacia spp. of the family Fabaceae (syn. Leguminosae) the legume, pea, or bean family, including at least the following:

Acacia calcicola --- myall gidgee, grey myall
Acacia cambagei --- gidgee, purple gidgee, spearwood
Acacia crombei/crombiei --- pink gidgee, purple gidgee
Acacia georginae --- poison gidgee, georgina gidgee
Acacia loderi --- broken hill gidgee
Acacia pruinocarpa --- gidgee, black gidgee

This is an extremely hard, dense wood that is often used for mallets, knife handles, and other tool handles.

In gidgee, curly and fiddelback wood is called "ringed" for some reason.

The wood is coloured green when cut and changes to brown as it dries. When the brown heartwood is exposed to the light it slowly turns purple.

Upon reading the statement direcly above about color, correspondant Warrick Edmonds sent me a note saying

I've used a reasonable amount of gidgee over the last couple of decades, including purple gidgee. Your comment that it cuts green, turns brown and then slowly to purple applies only to purple gidgee, all the other gidgees stay brown, dark brown or brown-red. In my experience, purple gidgee is a washed-out grey-brown (very unattractive) when fresh and over time turns a permanent crimson tinged purple. Iíve read elsewhere than this fades to grey but none of my specimens, which are well over ten years old since cut, have turned grey and appear to be deepening in colour if anything. The colour is on the surface and if you sand or work the wood you will have to wait for the newly exposed material to color up again. Purple gidgee is very hard to come by, rarely for sale. Most of the figured gidgees can be had from specialist suppliers for a price, typically $30 Aust per set of scales thereabouts.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions

both sides of a sample plank of gidgee / Acacia cambagei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was contributed to the site by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The first side is sanded only to 100 grit but the 2nd side is sanded to an almost glass-like finish with 400 grit. This is a VERY hard, dense wood

both end grains of the piece directly above

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of one end of the piece directly above

both sides of a sample plank of gidgee / Acacia cambagei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

web pics:

planks listed as gidgee / Acacia cambagei

plank listed as purple gidgee / Acacia crombei moistened for the pic

plank listed as purple gidgee / Acacia cambagei


a piece that is more commonly called myall, but also has the common name gidgee

curly ("ringed") gidgee planks and turning stock

plank of ringed gidgee / Acacia cambagei moistened for the pic

curly ("ringed") gidgee turning stock all from the same vendor

curly ("ringed") gidgee turning stock

curly ("ringed") gidgee scales

curly ("ringed") gidgee scales pic contributed by Warrick Edmonds of Australia, who makes knives with this kind of fancy wood for the handles.

plain gidgee pen blanks

knife handles of curly ("ringed") gidgee

planes made with plain gidgee

plane made with curly ("ringed") gidgee

mallet head

purple gidgee vase

sculptured bowls