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Early Summer 2010


As Winter receded...


... into Spring Dave kept the pressure up to quartersaw as much as possible and to generally raise standards. That's the trouble with people who read books about doing it the right way, they have to tell you!


In fact Dave bought me the book so I had no excuse. Sometimes the right way is the only way but timber wise the easiest and least wasteful way rarely is text book.


Dave's command is my...


... wish, so getting it quartersawn where possible we will. This involves lots of turning the timber and generally straining the plumbs but I know you fussy baskets like the resulting stable planks. The three wise men below, Brian centre looking like Mr Death, me bright and beautiful right and Mark left just a little p-ed off with the extra work!


It has to be said, it's worth the effort as the Ash pictured below was sold within 2 months to regulars who weren't going to risk leaving it with me to season and sell elsewhere.


One more shove boys we'll have the sod where we want it!

Having shelved the idea...


... of the grant we were still in need of a decent trailer as the common denominator of the firm's current ones are that they have no brakes. This is fine with the little two wheeler but frankly going down Hurstbourne Hill with 2.5 tonne of Oak on the back is very wearing on the underpants.


It's not just for this though, the plan is to travel as far as necessary to get the timber you want - Yew and Walnut to name two. I had decided on the make and size I wanted and where to get it but was lacking in one small detail- enough cash to buy it. More of this on the second part of the Sundays blog.


Whilst I was looking at the...


... options trailer wise the Truck let me down for the first time when it wouldn't start whilst I was in the middle of the wood and on my own. Past experience of the A A told me that good though they are they won't go more than a couple of hundred yards off a road let alone a mile or more into a wood.


I tried to get hold of Paul the gamekeeper who is helpful and then anyone who owed me a favour - it 's a short list soon exhausted.


Without much hope I rang Mark Melly the local farmer and he not only answered but left off his hedge trimming to sort me out in under 20 minutes- top man !


The Cavalry arrive- I asked Mark to tidy up the wife's bush with his attachment on the way out !

Rob had been after my four wheel trailer...


... ever since he had borrowed it and found his M7 Logosel mill fitted perfectly in the back. He knew that I had acquired it cheaply and assumed that I would sell it to him for the same price.


He had obviously forgotten what a tight git I am and how it is usually me giving him money and never the other way. However, as he is the Oregan chain rep and gives me discount, in the end I agreed a deal where he felled some firewood trees.


I was glad he was...


... at the helm of the chainsaw with one not too difficult looking Ash that was leaning heavily in the right direction. As it went it did a text book barber's chair where it basically splits down the middle and half the trunk comes back at the cutter taking you out if you aren't quick enough. Fortunately for me and Rob, but not for some he was up to the challenge and lived to fell another day.


This widow maker wasn't quick enough to get Rob- but gave his pants a thorough testing !

I'm not one for giving freebies...


... to non customers e mailing for them. Particularly design students who think that if they tell me I might get a future order when they are qualified I should excitedly send them what they need for nothing. Yeah, right kid, gosh that would be great!


However, fair exchange is no robbery and when a pleasant sounding bloke called Dave wanted a small bit of Walnut I told him that if he sent me a decent joke I'd sent him the Walnut. He overpaid in fact coming up with a dozen of the best jokes I've heard and some newies most of which would get me in trouble repeating. The following is my fav:


"Granny, What's that" ...


... asks little Suzy pointing to her lady bits as they shower after going swimming. "That's my beaver darling", granny replies. A couple of weeks later Suzy is showering after swimming this time with her mum. "Is that your beaver mummy", she asks pointing at you know what. "Well, yes it is Suzy but who told you it was called that"?


"Granny, when we went swimming last time - only I think hers is dead because it's tongue was hanging out".


Moving swiftly back to Timber...


... who else but Erwin comes up with some Wellingtonia (Redwood, if you're a Yank). It's unusual for him to mention a tree more than in passing. I soon found out why it he was unusually verbose about this one, it was a monster, twice the size of the previous one he provided a few years back- seven foot across the base!


He managed to get half a dozen bits 8 foot long to the sawmill but the butt end was too much for a standard Manitou. It was too big for Mark's saw too so with the help of the old maestro/git Brian (depending on the day), we decided to slice it down the middle.


Having knackered my newish...


... and biggest bar milling with the chain too tight apparently Rob persuaded me to spend a couple of hundred quid on another and a super doopah chain. He has decided to give up milling and start selling this stuff in a bigger way from premises.


I had always suspected that glaziers smashed a few windows after a beery night out to give business a boost. Rob used my little saw and left it with less teeth than he has, but kindly offered to sell me new chains at the same time as the new laser tip mega strong bar.


The new bar lasted...


... 10 minutes and one cut. Apparently I should have turned my oiler on the saw to full to allow for a longer bar. The bad news was that I had wasted my money but the good news was that he could get me another one very quickly !


I have to admit the old bugger cuts straighter than me- actually most people do!

So I have a lot of Wellingtonia...


... and a need for money. I intend to let the first 25 cubic feet go cheaply to save drying space and recoup my outlay. It is a lovely red colour and very good for cladding and things like Bee Hives and Chicken sheds as like Cedar it is resistant to rot through beetles and the other little blighters that destroy wood.


If you want to save cash and...


... buy other green timber I am cutting Beech, Cherry and the Monmouth Walnut over next month or two. I can usually be persuaded to let my unseasoned stuff go for significantly less than the fully seasoned price.We are also developing a cheapie corner of half priced odds and ends.


A Forestry geezer called Tom...


... bought the house and wood yard up the hill from The Kiln in the spring. I got an early introduction as one of his best friends had bought a load of wood from me a couple of years back and suggested he said hello.


Well, he did and we instantly found common ground in our wood activities with the slight difference that he is a professional with 20 years of experience so knows what he is doing whereas I'm not and don't!


He plans to buy a timber moving tractor and trailer that I have been in need of since Gordy selfishly sold his. Talking of Gordon he has bought a brand spanking sexy New Holland tractor but more of that another time.


Charcoal making is something...


... both of us fancied having a go at. Around this time I sourced a Kiln that was being kept in a wood near Stoke. It had been stacked for action in the autumn so the plan was for us to fire it up one early summer morning.


There will be more of Charcoal, Smoking Wood and Country Crafts next time but on arriving we found that though the steel ring was in A1 condition the top, pictured below was rusted though and needed welding. Happily, Tom has the skills & equipment to sort this and I have the skills and equipment to making encouraging supportive noises!


Stacked with Ash and Hazel but not quite ready for action and introducing the back of Forestry Com man Jon's head & half of Tom's face and three fingers.. more next episode !

Also coming soon...


... apart from me (with a bit of luck!) is a revamped and much improved if I say so myself Smoking Wood website. I missed a trick first time round as I chose a girl who was good at design and websites and willing to do mine for practice.


I was very grateful and pleased with the result which was aimed at females 30 + with disposable incomes to spend on cooking stuff. The resulting site is small with a pretty banner and logo and unappealing to the people who actually buy wood for smoking - beer drinking, manly men.


The British BBQ society...


...or BBBQs are one of a growing number of Brits who have learnt the American skill of big outdoor cooking and compete in teams with championships in the UK and trips to the USA to compete there.


BBQ team competitions are growing and are fiercely competitive with a very high standard of cooking.

I was happy to sponsor my local team ROYAL Q PIT CREW and their captain Steve offered to have a look at my site and instantly hit the right note for a proper Smoking Website.


Check out Smoking Woods- depending on when you read this you will either get the before or after- hopefully you will be able to tell!... update it's the new one now


This is a rare sight a lump of Apple so big it needs Mark's forklift to load it - come and sniff it !


So, with lots about to...


... happen it's looking like another busy summer. By the time of the next blog in the Autumn I hope to have some wood to tempt you to visit. Erwin has just felled a Tulip Tree and a nice bit of Cedar so I'm due to pick that up soon and he is closer to getting back to the Yew wood in the last newsletter to get me more stock... er do some essential tree surgery.


Don't forget all £20 notes...


... with Edward Elgar rather than the latest Adam Smith on the back cease to be legal tender in June so have a look under the mattress and bring them to me for safe disposal. As the old saying didn't actually go : If you haven't got a twenty then a tenner will do and if you haven't got a tenner then God bless me old boots what have you been spending your money on ???




Paul Goulden



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