In what is possibly a world first, Lachie decides to try shaving down some sugar gum offcuts. We are determined to use as many local materials as possible. What innovation ever occurred without taking a risk? Lloyds of London refused to insure the first Tasmanian clippers made of the only timber available to the local boat builders in the early 1800s – blue gum. One hundred years later they were still plying the Derwent.
As a Class 1 naturally durable hardwood, we know that sugar gum will have more than sufficient strength to hold the hut’s frame together. The known unknown is whether or not the dense sugar gum will shave to a taper smoothly?
Lachie starts roughing out the offcut’s taper with a small axe. The sugar gum offcut is clamped down to the neck of his home-made saw horse. He mounts and begins work stropping back and forth with his two handled shaving knife, whittling the pegs down to a point. “It's smooth as…,” Lachie declares.
Lachie estimates that he will be able to produce the 50 or so pegs for holding the hut’s frame together in little more than a day astride what he fondly dubs his “pleasure pony.”