Timber is a warm organic product, the perfect counter balance to the hardness of steel.
At F.D. RYAN we believe a tool must not only hard working, but must look good and feel good. Choosing the right timber for your handles is critical.
At present we are using three different timbers.
Spotted Gum is a native Eucalypt timber from the coastal forests of Northern NSW. It is a dense, tight grained timber with excellent bending and shock resisting properties. We use it on all of our tools that need the extra bending strength ,like our long spades and daisy weeders. Never say it will never break, but it takes a lot of force to snap a Spotted Gum handle. We also use it on our fat small tool handles.
Our broom handles are made from Tassi Oak, a mixture of three Eucalypt species from Tasmania, but mainly Mountain Ash. This is a lighter, straighter grained timber with excellent weight to strength ratio. We use it where we don't want the tool to be too heavy, like our sliding hoes ( flying dutchman and circle hoe.) The timber is strong, but not as strong as Spotted Gum.
Our small tool handles are made from Rubber wood. This is a light, soft, fine grained timber which is easily turned. The waxy texture can be finely sanded to make a smooth, soft feeling handle, ideal for making lightweight tools that feel great in the hand.
All of our timber is sourced from sustainable forests, ensuring no old growth or rain forest sources are used.
We finish our eucalypt handles with a decking stain to give a slightly redish tinge to the timber and help seal the grain, while we stain the rubberwood with linseed oil.
To preserve your handles, we recommend you store the tools out of the weather and occasionally ( once or twice per year) wipe down with linseed oil.