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The Project

Bowens retail hardware timber specialists were interested to learn more and test Porta Cumaru, a new Class 1 hardwood recently launched in Australia. Frank Di Stefano along with Jeff Harvey from Bowens partnered with Project Logic, a respected building company founded by Damien Collins on a deck replacement project. Their objective was to understand the durability, workability and aesthetics of the Porta Cumaru hardwood range. Frank worked closely with Damien and his carpenter Ben Chadwik to analyse the timbers features and recommended installation solution. When Frank first found out about Cumaru he saw “an opportunity to test the workability of the product and see how it could be used in a deck situation.”

The project involved replacing the front and back decks of a renovated Victoria house in Richmond. Because Porta Cumaru is also popular for use as outdoor furniture, and able to withstand the weather it was also chosen to replace an old embedded seat in the rear garden and tie everything together. The owner “wanted something with a more modern look, something that would add value to the property and also be durable if the house was ever going to be rented in the future”.

Everyone was keen to see how Porta Cumaru would compare against traditional Australian hardwoods.

The Verdict

The team all concluded Porta Cumaru is an excellent choice for their businesses.  Bowens timber specialists confirmed Cumaru is “easy to work with, is versatile and attractive.” Frank highlights that “having the opportunity to stock an innovative timber like Porta Cumaru gives us the option to offer an alternative to our builders”.

Damien notes that “Porta sells a nice wide thick board (145x21mm). It provides very good coverage and there was zero waste. We had absolutely nothing to throw away on this job. There were no knots in it, no leaching, there were no problems. Ben was also excited that Porta Cumaru “could be very useful for window sills where bleeding is often an issue.”

According to Damien, one of the most appealing things about Porta Cumaru is that it has an interesting grain pattern and colour. Damien says that “because of the interlocked nature of the grain, it catches the light in different ways from different angles. At any one time, you get a different perspective on the the timber”. This structure contributes to its durability as well as being an extremely dense timber with 1085 kg/m3.

Project Designer: Project Logic     |     Builder: Project Logic     |     Supplier: Bowens

Click here to watch a short video about this project.

“Cumaru is a very clean and easy timber to work with. With Merbau, you must bleed the timber of tannins, then clean it up…with Cumaru you dont have to worry about sawdust settling on the pavers and leaving it overnight”

“Cumaru was a lot easier to use and it’s got more character. I would be happy to work with it again.”

Ben Chadwick – Carpenter, Project Logic

“We’re really excited about using Cumaru from the inside through to the outside. The longevity of using Cumaru outside is going to be fantastic; on a deck or around a swimming pool for example.

We’re really comfortable about using it on future projects.”

Damien Collins – Founder, Architect & Builder, Project Logic

“Having the opportunity to stock an innovative timber like Cumaru gives us the option to offer an alternative to our builders.”

Frank Di Stefano – Timber Specialist, Bowens