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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
Iíve 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 colour 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.
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
planks listed as gidgee / Acacia cambagei
plank listed as purple gidgee / Acacia crombei
curly ("ringed") gidgee planks
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