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Middle bit of 2015



I'm really not running this business how I ...


... intended, which was basically to have an excuse to the wife for buying boy's toys like the Tractor and the Timber King bandsaw. My business plan was to mostly stand round chatting to interesting people.


Of course, I accepted I'd have to do a little light work now and again but this would be compensated with some cash for selling a bit of wood. Both of these would be occasional events and for a few years this progressed quite well - albeit not very profitably.


The fault lies with you dear reader and others who have been buying all my stock. As a result I have to go and get more and it isn't a picnic ... there's no time for lunch let alone a picnic. Well, I lie actually we always find time for lunch but you get the idea.

Finding you the best timber ...


... requires skill, a nose for something special and years of experience. Sadly I don't have much in the way of those so I need my 'contacts'.


A good example of contacts and networking paying off concerned the Apple pictured below. It actually lived only 3 miles from the woods but I was totally unaware of it and the tree surgeon who felled it.


My mate Richard was working on a big job ...


... along the valley that he had got from my website. He always parked his distinctive sign written Landy outside and one day Doug the tree surgeon who felled this Apple stopped for a chat about Landys and swapped details. 6 months later he rang Richard to see if he was interested in it.


Richard knowing my unending search for fruitwoods offered it to me. He'd have liked it himself but had just put his finger in his saw and was sore!


Like a rat up a drain pipe I was along with the ol' trailer and it was heading up the road to Vernham Dean before anyone else could have a sniff.




Just pop that on my Cherry - as the Actress said to The Bishop!


Conning people into helping me ...


... er I mean offering opportunities in woodland conservation is always good - for me. Faithful readers will have seen many and various 'volunteers' grace these missives over the years.


Dave the II or one match ...


... Dave due to his skill lighting bonfires joined me at the beginning of this year and has brought much to the table. To the lunch table he has brought jacket potatoes. Once the fire is going we chuck foil wrapped tatties in the middle for one hour and they are perfect every time.


During the school holidays he brought his nephews Connor and Matt. We have had the odd younger helper over the years - some very odd but these two are amiable and grafters and set about chopping duties with enthusiasm.



Who said the youth of today are all lazy - not me !


I went to a meeting of my ...


... my Premature Ejaculator's support group. But it turned out that I was a day early!


An Infantry Major was about to ...


... start the morning briefing to his staff. While waiting for the coffee machine to finish its brewing, the Major decided to pose a question to all assembled. He explained that his wife had been a bit frisky the night before and he failed to get his usual amount of sound sleep.

He posed the question of ...


... just how much of sex was "work" and how much of it was "pleasure?" A Captain chimed in with 75-25% in favour of work. A Lieutenant said it was 50-50%. A 2nd Lieutenant responded with 25-75% in favour of pleasure, depending upon his state of inebriation at the time.


There being no consensus, the Major turned to the Private who was in charge of making the coffee.
What was his opinion? Without any hesitation, the young Private responded, "Sir, it has to be 100% pleasure."

The Major was surprised and, as you might guess, asked why? "Well, sir, if there was any work involved, the officers would have me doing it for them."

The room fell silent.

My next milling job with Rob ...


... was an Oak in a wood near Romsey. I didn't much fancy it - Oak is heavy and is easier to deal with when delivered to the Sawmill on a nice big lorry that involves no sweat and pain from me. I got myself out of my pit an hour earlier than usual as he likes an early start and prepared myself for a long day.


It was a short and enjoyable day. Good weather, the Oak turned out to be a beaut as they may say in Australia burr wise. We spent 20 minutes discussing the mostly up and occasional downs of the wood business and 3 hours discussing the regular ins and occasional outs of Rob's sex life!


The secret of on site milling ...


... is make as few cuts as possible to quarter the log to a liftable size and to sawyer it back at base with a bandsaw. The tree was on the edge of a very attractive wood and had fallen on to a well drained field that meant we could get Rob's truck and more importantly hydraulic lift right up to it.



The second half of this decent size burr Oak log was loaded quickly and we were away by lunch!


Sweet Chestnut is always worth ...


... having if it doesn't have ring shake and let's be honest who wants that! Rob had tipped me off that there was a couple of my size bits inside this wood and a deal was quickly done.


James pictured below is interested in milling so came along to get a lesson from the Master - Poldark Rob. The man himself is planning on using his passing resemblance to the Sunday evening TV star to increase his harem.



It was James's 40th birthday - what better way to spend it ... milling with us!

God visited a woman ...


... and told her she must give up smoking, drinking and sex if she wants to get into heaven. The woman said she would try her best.

God visited the woman a week later to see how she was getting on."Not bad" said the woman, "I've given up smoking and drinking but then I bent over to get some stuff out of the freezer and my boyfriend caught sight of my long slender legs, he pulled up my skirt, pulled my knickers to one side and made love to me right then and there."

"They don't like that in heaven, said God.

The woman replied: "They're not too happy about it at Tesco either!"

Meanwhile back at the ranch ....


... well the Woods anyway as summer peaked sales of Smoking Wood just kept climbing - doubling last year's record levels and putting me into over work mode.


I survived a little warning from the table saw with just the tip of a finger and a bit of blood and tried to up the volume of stock safely.


A sure sign I'm at the limit of my energy and commitment when the spam " Want to improve your website ratings and get more customers." produces a no I blooming well don't from me.


My £30 mixed box of Smoking Woods ...


... sells as fast as I can pack them. I'm currently working on a uniform Cherry chunk produced at the sawmill. I will also be able to do this with Oak. This hopefully should result in my fingers being away from the table saw more and a speeding up of the time packing each box - usually about 20 minutes.


Meanwhile OMD or Tuesday Dave ...


... as he is also known continued to add value to the whole operation and make little and large improvements.


The tractor shed roof was drooping and there was less than an inch clearance above Doris. Sorting these jobs is never easy and requires a lot more skill than I possess. Rather usefully Dave's son in law Shane is a master Chippie and agreed to come and sort it one Sunday.


As the old supports were held by a mix of 6" nails and ropey timber removing all this took 2 of the 3 hours to do the job. The end result is a vastly stronger roof and as you can see from the picture below a lot more clearance Clarence to get Doris in and out.



As any woman will tell you - a couple of extra inches can make all the difference!

As summer wore on Oak to buy was springing ...


... if not eternal then up here and there so I bought it. Some from Erwin are officially big buggers together with that very large Yew I mentioned last time. More in the next edition about processing this - I have a new contact who could help me quarter saw them in return for use of my bandsaw for his timber.


The ' to do ' list changes but never gets shorter but gradually things like the Yew below which has sat awaiting the saw got cut at 2 and 1" depths should appeal to someone.



The three words women like " I love Yew "!


Usually I end the blog ...


... by encouraging you to come over and part with some dosh but I've got enough thanks so don't bother!