My first cascade stand

A few months ago, I put the word out locally to see if anyone knew of a good supplier of nice affordable bonsai stands….. replies came back with a few leads, but nothing too reliable, so I thought I would investigate the option of making my own. I have limited wood working experience, but like anything, if you seek good advice, and know how to follow it, you may have a chance. I have turned my hand to many things I have no formal training in over the years, and have had success with most I’m proud to say. I turned one into a 30 year professional career strangely enough. Anyway, as it turns out, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a blog from a fellow bonsai nut from Fresno, California, who also makes his own beautiful bonsai stands and has been incredibly generous with sharing his knowledge and skills on how he goes about making these bespoke pieces. Referring to his tips and using some of my own skills, I embarked on my first project…. this cascade stand.

A few years ago I began making “one off” longboard skateboards using exotic hardwoods, such as Mahogany, Birch, Maple, Black Bean, Ebony & various others. I bought a few slabs of ”hairy oak” which is a she-oak (Allocasuarina inophloia) from dry areas up in Queensland, and this is what I chose for my first project. It has amazing grain patterns and I know some purists out there will say it’s too flashy for a bonsai stand ‘cos it will distract from beauty of the tree….. I couldn’t care less about that to be honest, as I also have stands I display purely for the beauty of the stand. It doesn’t have to have a tree on it to be admired. Anyway, here it is….. the dimensions are 3.5ins x 3.5ins x 11ins tall.Image

Top detail… the top is a solid ”one piece” with routed profiles and the internal border was carved by hand. My new projects have a central ”foot print” piece plus boarders, following the traditional methods, however I will still work on some designs using a solid one piece top.



I thought I would show the incredible variety of grain patterns in this amazing species. These pics are all from the one 6ft. piece of Hairy Oak, from both sides of the piece.

Hairy Oak-3

This is why it got its name.The bark literally looks like aYetti.

This is why it got its name.
The bark literally looks like aYetti.

Hairy Oak-6 Hairy Oak-11 Hairy oak-10 Hairy Oak-9 Hairy Oak-8

These next few pics are from the one 4ft length of Silky Oak. This is sold in the USA under the name ” Australian Lacewood” .

Silky Oak-4 Silky Oak-2


Silky Oak-7


5 thoughts on “My first cascade stand

  1. I happen to love this wood and have made many stands from this. I do not think it is an overpowering wood at all. Just beautiful. I like the table you made. I think the top edge of the board is very unique, I have seen some other tables like this. Really nice finish too. Great job.

    PS, you can’t go wrong with makita tools.

    • Thanks Al for your very kind words of support. It’s a great compliment coming from such a great craftsman such as yourself. I love this wood so much Al. It’s not the easiest timber to work with as its very hard and quite brittle. The very dark spots can be decayed only to come forth when run through the thicknesser, but when all is good it comes through the machine barely needing a sand. Smooth as a babies bum. The Australian Lacewood you mention, is what we call Silky Oak but Hairy Oak is different again having the very dark leopard spots as against the lighter patterning of Silky Oak. I’ve a very heavily patterned piece of quarter sawn Silky Oak here which I will photograph for you to see the difference. It is also a much softer wood to work with in comparison. Much easier on the tools. 🙂

    • Well thank you John…. I have some pieces that should lend themselves to try a couple of root stands with it. It should come up a treat, if the maker gets his act right…:)
      I’ve had a quick go with a piece of maple stump, but before I started to refine the holes, the surface cracked bigtime. I’ve since had to rethink my choices and now know why it split. Anyway John, I will send you some pics when I get further along with the process.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s