Drying and machining

John Fairweather Specialty Timber Solutions - Turning Trees into something special

Eucalyptus timbers especially

  • Yard: 162 Harleston road, Sefton, North Canterbury. Directions »

  • All correspondence and small deliveries to the office at 180 Cavendish road, Casebrook, Christchurch, 8051.

  • Phone 021 2110705

...use New Zealand-grown hardwoods

We specialise in quality hardwood solid timber flooring. We take logs and mill them carefully to produce stress relieved timber, then dry and machine the timber into specialty products. This comprehensive process requires skill and specialised machinery.


    • Bring your log or logs to me and I will mill them into whatever size timber you want.

    • My Wood-Mizer LT70 can cut slabs up to 700mm wide. The mill can handle logs up to 6m long and 1m in diameter.

    • This service costs $200 per hour.

    • Recent jobs include macrocarpa benchtops, railway sleepers cut for flooring, and sundry feature logs for joinery work.

    • Bring your timber to me and I will machine it into your required profile.

    • The Logosol planer moulder can produce a variety of machined timber.

    • I have some profile knives in stock and can have a knife for any profile prepared.

The log specifications are:

    • Small end diameter >40cm

    • Log length 3m

    • Average diameter 45cm but can take up to 1m

    • No branches, some small branch stubs acceptable.

    • Freshly felled/crosscut.

Main timber species:

    • Eucalyptus

Machined timber:

    • Tongue and groove flooring

    • Parquet flooring

    • Skirting boards and mouldings.

Laminated timber:

    • Benchtops

    • Stair treads

    • Tables

Milled timber:

    • Outdoor above-ground use

    • Outdoor in-ground use (Ironbark)

    • Timber for fine furniture

    • Decking

    • Yard rails

    • Bridges.

...use New Zealand-grown hardwoods

John Fairweather Specialty Timber Solutions produces hardwood timber products from eucalyptus trees grown in Canterbury.

Using locally-grown hardwoods creates jobs and contributes to the Canterbury economy.

Timber is air dried to about 25% moisture content before kiln drying with:

  • Solar Rola MiniPro solar kiln imported from Australia

  • Solar kiln made from US design by Jim Birkemeier, TimberGreen Farm, Wisconsin

  • Vac Dry vacuum kilns

Planing and moulding with:

  • Logosol PH260 Planer Moulder imported from Sweden.

Drying with solar kilns

How do they work?

  • Solar kilns capture heat from the sun and use this to heat air

  • Air is moved by modest fan pressure through stacks of timber in the kiln chamber

  • The air is recirculated back to the solar collector

  • There is a cyclic pattern of heating – the timber is heated by day and then cools down at night

  • Cyclic drying allows the surface and the core of the timber to keep in equilibrium

  • No steam reconditioning is necessary

  • The resulting timber is very stable.

Solar kilns have a modest capital cost but a very low running cost.

Drying with vacuum kilns

A new addition to the drying technology is vacuum drying. John Fairweather Specialty Timber Solutions has bought two Vac Dry kilns from Reefton to dry timber more quickly than the solar kilns. The two kilns have been installed in a Harford Greenhouse and are now drying eucalyptus timber. The current kiln schedule takes two weeks for 28mm timber to dry from green off the saw.

Vac Dry vacuum kilns

Solar kiln

Solarola solar kiln

Logosol planer moulder

Hot tub profiled from local cedar.

The hot tub required specialised profiling