30 January 2020

The work of Thor’s Hammer

| Wendy Johnson
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Rustic yet elegant: Furniture by Thor's Hammer features heavily around Canberra's most popular destinations, like the National Museum. Photos: Supplied by Thor's Hammer.

Rustic yet elegant: Works by Thor’s Hammer feature heavily in Canberra’s most popular destinations, like the National Museum. Photos: Supplied by Thor’s Hammer.

You might spot them at cultural institutions and tourist attractions, in bustling pubs and cafes and in many businesses. They also take a place of pride in private homes.

We’re talking about beautifully hand-crafted work by the talented team at Thor’s Hammer, with every project created here in Canberra out of recycled timber and backed by its own history and special story.

Thor’s Hammer is a joinery, sawmill and recycled timber yard based at the Old Brickworks in Yarralumla. It’s been going for 24 years, mainly sourcing timber from demolition sites.

“The timber is always unusual with gorgeous grain,” says Thor. “We denail and metal detect it, then carefully grade and sort before sending it into our workshop for milling or making into furniture and joinery. We then finish off with environmentally friendly and natural plant oils and waxes. Every project is designed and constructed to last for many years.”

The man himself -Thor. Photo: Rohan Thompson.

The man himself -Thor. Photo: Rohan Thompson.

With public spaces, the team at Thor’s Hammer supplied the decking and built the seating at Commonwealth Place. The timber for the seating was recycled out of old bridges from the South Coast. The big beams were re-sawn and then bolted together.

Decking at Commonwealth Park.

Decking and seating at Commonwealth Place.

Seating at the Red Centre Garden in the Botanic Gardens—where you can imagine yourself wandering through Central Australia exploring unique desert plants and landscapes—are made out of joists from an old factory in Sydney.

Seating at the Red Centre Garden in the Botanic Gardens.

Seating at the Red Centre Garden in the Botanic Gardens.

Thor’s work is featured at the National Arboretum, including stunning seating made from big section bridge timbers, positioned for an amazing view of Canberra. For another great view, settle into the curved seats up high in the Telstra Tower built out of Brushbox beams recycled from upgraded Canberra bicycle path bridges.

National Arboretum.

Seating at the National Arboretum.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens also showcases Thor’s Hammer’s work. “We supplied timber to the two-storey treehouse designed by Cave Urban that opened late last year, which includes nine types of wood,” says Thor. “There’s Turpentine decking we made from the old CSR Sugar Wharf at Pyrmont, old Blackbutt factory joists and posts from a pier in Batemans Bay.”

Custom and commissioned work is the main game at Thor’s Hammer, and not just for public spaces but for businesses and homes as well. Work includes timber tables, beds, bench tops, bookcases, front doors and seating (indoor and outdoor).

“We provide designs or work with customers to design pieces for any size or type of space,” says Thor. “It’s rewarding, for both our team and the customer, to see the raw wood at the start and then amazing finished pieces at the end.”

Thor’s Hammer has also worked on dozens of hospitality venues, including Capital Brewing in Fyshwick. Check out the long L-shaped bar and the tables built from fine-grained, recycled Oregon timber sourced from a Brisbane demolition site. And Thor’s supplied old wharf beams for the seats positioned around the log fire.

Photo: Thor's Hammer website.

The L-shaped bar at Capital Brewing, Fyshwick. Photo: Thor’s Hammer website.

Another recent hospitality project is a new bar in Cook called ‘To All of My Friends’. The bar and tables were made from old trusses salvaged from the demolition of the Morris Printing Works in Campsie. These timbers have distinctive ring-shaped holes, reflecting the way trusses were made for a brief period in the 1940’s. The rings are filled in with a plant-based epoxy resin to create a durable and smooth surface while keeping the character and history of the timbers.

With private businesses and homes, Thor has worked with all styles and settings. “We recently made a table from the Australian white cedar salvaged from a big tree from the house the owners grew up in, working on the design with them so they were really involved,” says Thor. “We make a lot of island bench tops, dining and kitchen tables, which is a great way to show off recycled timbers. Clients love hand-made, quality tables that will last for generations.”

An example of the simple home furniture Thor's Hammer can craft.

An example of the simple home furniture Thor’s Hammer can craft.

Seating at the National Museum.

Seating at the National Museum.

National Arboretum.

National Arboretum.

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