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Posts Tagged ‘english hardwood’

I know that if I’m not talking about wood I’m talking about food… (don’t worry everybody I’ve spotted the pattern)…  it’s not that food is my only frame of reference but…  

Anyway, the only reason I even mention it is this…

I mean.. what does that remind you of ??? and if you don’t say rhubarb and custard, raspberry ripple ice-cream or fruit-salad chews then, frankly, you’re just not being honest with yourself!

Now, try again… relax… empty your mind. Now what do you see???

               

Feeling hungry yet?! No? I know…  that’s just me.

Joking aside… it is wierd looking stuff isn’t it?

It’s Plane… or London Plane… or Lacewood as it’s often referred to. This stuff is fresh sawn so very saturated and raw, not at all the creamy white  colour it will be when it’s dry (hang on you wood worker people.. I’ll get to that in a  bit).

These are the same tree species that you see in those incredible avenues of giant trees on the outskirts of French villages in the Tour de France (go Cav!)… or on the very hungry Raymond Blanc’s TV series…  or famously lining the Canal du Midi and soon to be felled – supposedly…  poor Canal du Midi.

So there you are.. these boules of Plane have been sticked and, unlike most other hardwoods, after a short air drying period we are going to vacuum kiln this timber straight away.

It would be possible to air dry in the yard over a long period but it is highly likely we would end up with stick marks across the boards. With this species, as with Sycamore and other sensitive stimbers we really need to maintian the integrity of the colour by not keeping it in stick for very long because the pale cream and the extraordinary grain are the desirable qualities in this timber. The vacuum kiln should give us this. 

So the kilning should be happening any day now… and then after 2-3 weeks it will be ready for use. This is lightening speed for timber (as I write we have thunder and lightening!) and the result will be lots of sparkling new Lacewood for everybody to help themselves to…

And it really is lacey and very delicately grained… the pictures do give a hint of that in amongst that raspberry ripple…  imagine if it stayed this colour… that would be wild!

I can’t wait to see something in the fine furniture vein made of Lacewood… I know I do nag you all but one of you superstar wood workers must have pictures?

Plane tree avenue heaven http://bit.ly/IRF7wR

Plane trees also have this amazing bark that changes colour and keeps shedding so you get can gather it up and take it home… I would go to France solely to do this is…  if I didn’t have to work http://bit.ly/IjV1iy

I’m a massive TDF fan and not only because of the amazing helicopter footage of France you get to see…  if you’re not sure where to go on holiday the Tour de France will help you decide   http://www.letour.fr/us/index.html  (if you’re Graham it helps you decide not to go to France)

Food! The very hungry Frenchman  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bqwlm 

If you haven’t seen ‘Adam’s Rib’ with Spencer Tracy & Katherine Hepburn (real life husband and wife) then the title of this post means nothing to you… but if you’re interested, it is a great film http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041090/

Don’t talk to Tom about the Canal du Midi   http://www.canal-du-midi.org/fr/liens/offices_du_tourisme.aspx

Anyone who wants to see the Plane boules (or any other timber) is welcome to visit anytime http://www.englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk/contact_us.html  or get in touch and ask us anything you want to know…  

G-unit have measured all those boards especially so you can demand to know what stock we have and get a sensible answer without having to trek all the waydown here on the off-chance… so for more information over the phone 01730 816941 or fax 01730816875 or email sales@englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk

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I took a quick walk round the stock shed to look for something I know is there and yet again…  it’s been moved.  The wood that is.

The stock shed fairy has had another change around!

I know we have the weekly challenge of finding places to put new stock…  and at the same time Peter is a complete neat freak and refuses to just pile something up infront of something else if it isn’t the right species or thickness or country of origin or something.

So just when I think I know my way around… I discover I don’t.

Funnily enough, I don’t even mind because I never get tired of snooping around in the stock shed.

It’s a great source of inspiration for me. I usually end up getting way too overexcited about all the things I could make or build the following weekend, at which point all the guys in the yard look at each other and roll their eyes…

and then the coffee wears off and I decide to just go and take pictures and wait for someone else to be inspired to make things instead.

  

P.S. 3 things I love about the stock shed…

1. When we stand boards up so that you can actually see what they look like…  I know it’s not how we should store timber (thank you Peter)  but it is SO much more interesting to look at this way

2. The old mining bucket that makes me feel Lilliputian.

3. The Sycamore. We take it for granted as a tree and yet it makes a beautiful, affordable wood.

Ok 4 things.. 

4. I just realised I LOVE that we are tagging & measuring & listing all our boards… it’s yet another thing I can get a bit overexcited about…  having a new stock system!!!!!

Ok, I’m finished now. Thanks for visiting !

And then…

I’ve said it before and I’m not afraid to say it again…  SUCH a great website for people that like to make stuff with wood  http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/

Someone else who’s inspired by wood  http://wood-yeah.tumblr.com/ it’s Design Squirrel!

Are you inspired? Tell us about it and get making! sales@englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk

Want to know where all this is coming from ? www.englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk

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Peter was busy sorting his Sycamore last week… he didn’t complain about it at all(!)… and whilst sorting for ripple he came across these few boards which were a nice surprise and will hopefully go to a good home

     (more…)

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It’s all about the wood.

It’s why we do what we do. It’s all we do.

Our work  is to produce beautiful timber. It’s the kind of work that hasn’t changed in over 30 years… and the same can probably be said for our methods but that is a good thing!

We’re all working with a knowledge that has been passed down through the company since the sawmill was started on this site in the 1940’s (wanna see some pictures? … give me a few days… I know I put them somewhere round here) .

So I thought it might be interesting to try to capture some of the ‘how’ of what we do.

The guys seemed quite into that, so one day Graham and Grant went to work with a camera and this is what they gave me.

How we put a log into ‘stick’

I think it’s a nice place to start because it’s the near beginning of  life-in-the-yard if you’re a piece of wood…   ready?

Hang on it’s a roller coaster ride!

So, the log Graham and Grant are working on here is a 46mm thick (will be 41mm stock), prime Oak cut through & through (T&T). It’s one of a mixed parcel of Sweet Chestnut, Oak & Pippy Oak that were cut in the first week of January this year.

First of all the freshly cut, tightly banded log gets retrieved from the yard and brought to a good flat working space with the loadall. The back of Peter’s kiln dried shed is a favourite spot… out of the weather and within earshot of Cliff and the Shadows ! (more…)

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I’m obviously still getting over the loss of the re-saw !  I’ve been looking back at it’s usefulness over the years I realise we only really fired it up for all the really awkward jobs… timber that was too small for the Stenner bandsaw, or too big for the Wadkin straight line edger or when someone needed some featheredge cladding at the last minute..  or anything  that it wasn’t physically possible to do with a chainsaw.

It was good (and I use this term loosely) for re-sawing air dried Oak beams, or for square edging the unwieldy 100mm or 120mm French waney edge Oak boards..  or for any other unusual job that no other machine could handle… like the quartering of a Sweet Chestnut log for an art project at the V&A! (more…)

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