Ancient Kauri – World’s Oldest Wood Now at Woodcraft

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Ancient Kauri from New Zealand is the oldest workable wood in the world. Tsunamis leveled the mighty Kauri thousands of years ago and they have been preserved underground in the top half of the North Island of New Zealand for more than 45,000 years. The further north they are found, research has shown the older the Kauri is.

Buried just below the surface of the ground and preserved in the water of peat swamps, the Ancient Kauri wood has neither petrified nor turned to coal. This underground resting place, sealed from the air, became a perfectly balanced cocoon that preserved the giant trees.

Ancient Kauri, one of the largest trees in the world, pre-dates the migration of Neanderthal man into North America, the hunt for mammoths, and cave paintings in Europe. The Kauri forest was already buried some 25,000 years before the on-set of the last Ice Age.


All living trees are protected, however the buried trees, some which took more than 1200 years to grow, have been extracted from the ground and are certified by the New Zealand companies that source the concealed trees. The excavated land is returned to it’s natural state, thus the process is ecologically friendly to the environment.

Now available at your local Woodcraft store and on-line, is a limited supply of this beautiful Kauri Wood.


The Kauri woodcarving below was created by Wayne Preston of Manchester New Hampshire.


Wayne started carving 40 years ago, purchasing an X-Acto knife, and talking with a woodcarving club member at a community fair in Kansas City, where he was invited to join. Wayne now demos “Face-on-a-stick” carving class once a month for the Woodcraft store in Newington, New Hampshire. In addition, he also teaches carving at three different high schools in the New Hampshire area, and mentioned, “I always send my students to Woodcraft to purchase their carving tools.”

Wayne commented on the Kauri wood stating, “The wood has great color and is soft enough to make carving easy, especially in holding the finer details.” Wayne uses the Flexcut Detail Knifes and the Butz Knives from Woodcraft. Wayne said, “You don’t have to go back over the carved details in the Kauri wood to produce the finished look. I love the way it looks good already.”

Shawn Staats from the Parkersburg West Virginia Woodcraft store, turned these pens using the Kauri wood and cigar pen kitsItem #149767 and Item #152607:

Shawn used the Crown PM Roughing Gouge and the Easy Wood Mid-Size Finishing Tool to create these beauties. Shawn stated, “Kauri turns like basswood carves, just keep your tools sharp”, and “Kauri is soft like pine without the hard spots.” He also mentioned, “You can’t hog the material or it will rip and tear out; use a lighter touch with 6 passes instead of 4, because it cuts easy. He finished these pens with 240 to 600 grit paper and HUT Crystal Coat.

Craig Godsey from Parkersburg Woodcraft turned this Kauri bowl (above). Craig observed that, “The wood turned like maple” and “using a sharp tool really helped in reducing any feathering.” Also, Craig expressed a concentration on the sanding to eliminate the feathering as well. Using 600 to 1200 grit paper really brings the grain out. 

Craig explained, “I used a combination of tools.  A bowl scraper with a nasty burr on it; worked great.  I was able to get a shaving you would swear came from a finely tuned hand plane.  I also used the Hunter #3 Swan Neck Tool, Item #148762 I can’t forget to mention my favorite tool, the Crown Skewchigouge, Item #140474, that I used for the shaping bottom.  The finish was Behlen Wood Turners Finish, Item #09S53 followed up by the Beall Wood Buff System, Item #141069.”

The grain really comes out in this wood and your process, great job Craig!

Check out all the exotic & rare woodsdomestic woods, and hard wood products at Woodcraft!

ARTICLE NOTE: Kauri Wood Is Sold Out.

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