Thomaz Brasil

ABTM - Associação Brasileira de Torneiros em Madeira SAW - Surrey Association of Woodturners

Selo Feito na Serra Carioca


Woodturning uses a grat variety of timbers, not only those of commercial use. The ones I use on my projects are from tree trunks and branches or roof beams given to me by third parties. There is a NO PAYMENT POLICY for pruned timbers as I don't want them to just cut trees for me. Tree prunings must be authorized by local government agencies and may happen for different reasons, such as security or a frail, falling tree.

Sometimes I use timbers bought in shops, with origin certificate if possible. Rarely I collect timber from woods or parks, always with authorization. In this case, the timber never comes from a living tree.

The timber I´ve been using commonly in my work is from Cook Pines (Araucaria columnaris), from tree prunings. They are easily found in the surroundings, even if they are not native. Its wood is good for turning, holding detail and sanding well. Other pines and cypresses were used before, also to good results.

From fruit trees, Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica ?) quickly became the preferred one. It cuts very well, has nice colours and smells sweetly. Perfect for natural edge objects.

Among the hardwoods, Jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril) and Bulletwood (Manilkara huberi) are easily acquired in timber shops or from building sites. The result objects are beautiful but the timbers are very hard and difficult to get to a perfect finish.

Other good to turn timbers that result in nice objects are Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) and Vinhático (?). Both have nice colours and figuring that make the final objects richer.

I have used also non-commercial timbers such as Silk Floss Tree (Chorisia speciosa), Avocado Tree (Persea ameicana) and Sugar-Apple Tree (Annona squamosa). Their timbers are too soft, porous and light, difficult to cut as their fibers tear a lot. They may result in nice objects but the amount of work involved is not worthy.

Interesting Links

Brazilian Trees
Website with information on Brazilian Trees and links to other related sites.

IBAMA / Brazilian Timbers
Brazilian Timbers Database supported by government agency IBAMA.

REMADE - Wood Magazine
Major site for Brazilian Timber Related Industry and Trade.

Profile Object Gallery Woodturning Tuition