The black wattle, Acacia Melanoxylon yields a superb cabinet making timber similar to Wallnut. It also can be used very successfully wherever bent timbers are required. Consequently Australian car body builders took advantage of this property when making top bows.
Duncan and Fraser weny further when constructind my wide body roadster. In this photo you will see a blackeood timber fixed to the top of the door pillar and extending rearward.
This timber continues along the side and is bent to go across the back of the seat, where it is some 6" wide.
It then returns to the opposite side door pillar in one solid piece. This timber is the backbone around which the body is built. It is a second reason why the door pillars are so sturdy.
However, blackwood should never have been used as the main base timbers. It has not faired well where clamped down to the frame.
I could find a better use for two 12 x 1" blackwoob boards.
These will be replaced with Messmate stringy bark, which is a Eucalypt hardwood.
Allan from down under.
I don't know if Eucalyptus is any harder than Osage Orange, but it's mighty hard stuff. It should last forever.
I'm curious about the Messmate. I know Eucalyptus itself would not work, it has too much twist.... Enough that even when I cut it to length and split it it causes problems. Please tell me the differences!
Guys, Acacia is not a Eucalypt. Here in Aus it's called Wattle and its flower gives us the gold of our Green and Gold colours (check out the boxing kangaroo flag). The Eucalypts are commonly know as Gum Trees, and they come in their 100's. Blue, River, Snow, Ghost gum to name a few.
Ok, now the horticultural experts can start to tear my comments apart. :-)
Gary, there are hundreds of different Eucalypts, from stunted coastal shrubs through to the worlds tallest hardwoods. Many of them have valuable timbers with qualities making them useful in many applications. Messmate is one of a group of species collectively called Australian oak. It is a construction timber of outstanding strength and also makes attractive and hard wearing flooring.
My two boards were used as hanging beams is a ceiling, straight as a die and with very few nail holes to worry about. I will certainly have to drill pilot holes wherever I place a screw.
I am hoping I can rescue enough of the blackwood base boards to make the running board battery box the car will have. The blackwood coming from plantations is cut too soon, and shows a lot of the yellow sapwood.
My apologies to you al for the quality of the photos and the typos. Whenever I post photos, I use my smartphone, and the keys are so small! And when I do find mistakes, I often stuff up further trying to fix them.
Allan from down under.