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Summer 2008


The highlight of April…


… was Erwin finding me some interesting Cherry (more later) and Brian a large Sycamore. It was a typical month where I had a long list of things to do and by the end of it a longer list! Still it keeps me motivated.

I’d been a bit short of Sycamore and…


… had been on the lookout. Like buses having waited for ages two came along at once. The first was at Apsley a rather pleasant estate on the Whitchurch road not far from Mark’s sawmill at Andover Down. Brian did the deal through the estate manager but I was unable to nail Gordon down to arrange to collect.


During this time Rob felled and brought back to his yard some more. Although there was less cubic footage in Rob’s it was very wide – he’s slabbed some 4.5” thick and 30” wide.

I had a close look at ...


... the Sycamore I had left and found a lot of Beetle infestation. I don't blame these little blighters they just like eating dry timber. I blame you bastards for not coming and buying it. I made the brave decision to burn it :


I decided that I could probably …


… do without The Apsley Sycamore as the timber Rob had was more than I shift in a year and it doesn’t have a great shelf life. However when I told David at Apsley that actually I didn’t want the Sycamore but would take a bit of Oak nearby he talked me into buying both, I’m a sucker for a bargain.


We decided to pool Rob’s Sycamore with the Apsley one and market it a bit more than I usually do. The aim is to sell it cheaper in the first year as it seasons and then up the price to the proper market rate.


So, if you have room to put it aside for a while there are bargains to be had.

Rob came over on a Sunny Sunday …


…and cut the Apsley Sycamore out ready for Gordon and I resolved to try and pin the old fox down to do some work. There are occasions when it appears that moving my timber isn’t the No1 priority and joy in Gordy’s life.


Moving the Cherry proved a …


… pleasant and cheap experience. Adrian the owner turned out to be a thoroughly helpful and decent bloke and handily his next door neighbour John who hired us the mini digger in the 2005 summer newsletter was persuaded to give up his Sunday afternoon and move it for us.


I provided the grabs to lift the logs – essential in manoevering the logs out through the tight gateway and John provided the expertise and the trailer.

Adrian in the background below says goodbye…


… to his Cherry – I lost mine some years ago on a grubby carpet at a party but that’s another story. The Cherry has not been cut but a nibble with the mill looks promising and it will be available on the usual terms… you give me all the cash you have and I let you have a bit of it.


When I first called in to see the timber Erwin was grinding the stump. The grinder is a monster of a machine and ate the whole thing roots an’ all in minutes.


I should have taken a picture but as I was being peppered by flying chips I just hid and watched. A handy tool but as it cost more than my car, tractor and Land Rover combined. I shan’t be buying one!

By the time I had sorted the above…


… May had given way to June. Sales of Hardwoods and Smoking Woods were up on the previous year which is good and bad. Good for the obvious but also a bit of a strain for one bloke very part time.

Looking back at old newsletters, I see I’ve written numerous times that it was cold or very wet or hot or we just didn’t feel like it so we didn’t do much. With more business this is less of an option and I really need to acquire and cut more timber especially Oak.


If you don’t live a million miles away and want to come and help for a couple of hours you’d be very welcome and qualify for some staff discount rates on the wood.


So there was a bit less chat and …


… a bit more of my sweat as I made an attempt on the back log of milling:



Rob looks on as I display my milling technique and some rather fetching blue pants. I daren’t show any builder's crack - the horse flies are on to you in a flash so to speak at this time of year.

The longest day came...


... and went and July arrived. I finally nailed Gordy down to move the Sycamore and inevitably with the increased workload the saw broke and I discovered centrifugal clutches are hard to find - a bit like a good heart according to Feargul Sharkey. ( My wife reckons a hard man is good to find. )


More of this and of course much much more in the Autumn edition!