Zunker family’s memorial pine lives on through furniture – Bundaberg Now
Rod and Kym Kington and Alex Ehrke with the Norfolk Island Pine Tree
More than 60 years old and steeped in history, a Norfolk Island Pine will live on when turned into beautiful wooden furniture.
The tree was originally planted as part of the Zunker Family Memorial Pines and in memory of Charles and Mary Zunker who tragically died in a pipe fire in 1953.
Last week, the tree was removed from its place along the Bargara Esplanade due to public safety concerns related to its deteriorating health.
Now Rod and Kym Kington of Moore Park Road store Slab It Up are transforming the jaws into unique, one-of-a-kind furniture that will last a lifetime.
“The Norfolk Pine has a long history and it will be great to share this information with our customers so that the story is not lost,” said Kym.
“As soon as the tree has dried out, it is covered with a plate and used to build wooden furniture.
“We can build tables, bars, TVs or anything our customers want.”
The Norfolk Island Pine arrives at Slab It Up.
Kym said the large tree was transported to the company last week by the contractor who removed it and would need time to dry before work could begin.
“The tree was over 40 meters tall and the weight of the logs is about seven tons,” she said.
“We used our truck with a Hiab and brought the logs to our workshop ourselves.
“Every tree is different – it can take 12 months to dry enough to be ground.”
Slab It Up creates unique pine furniture
It’s not the first big project Slab It Up has worked on. Rod and Kym share a passion for creating unique, one-of-a-kind furniture.
“We have a Lucas mill that we can use to mill our own wood,” said Kym.
“Our logs come from farmers who clear land or from homeowners who cut down large trees in their yards.
“Rod is the master and I do all the PR, marketing and book work.”
Kym said Slab It Up was first launched in 2017.
“We started on my parents’ 20 acre property in Sharon when we lived on a block of houses in Winfield,” she said.
“Rod spent most of the weekends grinding logs and building furniture in Sharon.
Kym and Rod Kington and Alex Ehrke sit around one of their furniture creations at Slab it Up.
“We bought a couple of acres and moved to Moore Park Road three years ago so our business and home would be in one place.”
Kym said there were many steps in the creation process, from tree to final product.
“First we have to get the wood and bring it home, then we will cut it into panels or wood,” she said.
“Some woods can be used immediately, some panels have to be stored for a year or more until the wood is dry enough to be used.
“We’ll build the furniture then.”
Kym said Slab It Up made more than 300 pieces of furniture in four years.
“Everything from tables, bars, wall units, televisions, wine racks, chairs, stools, signs and a lot more,” she said.
“We also fence and have built a couple of greenhouses.”
The duo said the most rewarding part of their job is the transformation process and experiencing their wood creations.
“What we love most is seeing how the logs we save (most of which are supposed to be burned or mulched) are used on a piece of furniture that is likely to last 100 years or more,” Kym said.
“Each plate is unique – for us we release the inner beauty of nature.”
To learn more about Slab It Up, visit the Business Facebook page here.
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