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Last bit of 2015


The Autumn passed ...


... as quickly as the rest of the year but was good business wise apart from a bit of equipment theft we won't dwell on.


The best marker to me of a blog period is not how much I have sold but how much hard to source stuff I have acquired and this time we have more Walnut than the average year so that should keep you & me happy when it is seasoned and on sale!



At the end of the last blog I'd ...


... just bought a decent pile of Oak. Buying it is the easy bit especially with my mate Erwin who isn't greedy. Deciding how to process is a 3 choice brain teaser.


Transporting it to Andover Down Sawmill is easiest but getting Mark to actually mill it is a challenge I haven't quite cracked in the past 15 years.


Plan B is for Erwin to take it up to Helmdon on his lorry. This is more expensive but Steve will have it cut up before you can say a mix of 1 , 2 and 3 " please - but then you need to move it 70 miles back and off load into the woods.


The third option not yet tried is to ...


... get the biggest bits quartered at the woods so that we can put them on our little saw at our leisure. This works well with Rob on the one off Alaskan Mill jobs we regularly do.


A bit of help is always useful and a bit of bartering with skills and equipment is right up my ally, so to speak!


I have an associate Dom who is willing to do this for a bit of his own sawyering on my Timber King. Typically us both finding time to get it done caused this to slide back from about to do, to must do that sometime - which can never happen!


Erwin's Italian super machine makes light work of loading timber.The lump of Oak pictured has a nasty crack and as I avoid those in wood and women that bit went to Mark for fence posts !

An old man and an old lady are ...


... getting ready for bed one night when all of a sudden the woman bursts out of the bathroom, flings open her robe and yells "Super Pussy!"


The old man says "I'll have the soup please love."


My next jaunt with Rob the God of ...


... love and rustic furniture - well at least in his mirror was to a Field Maple just outside Winchester. They don't come up often and though not as sexy as a bit of Walnut it's a good seller and worth the effort.


As usual Rob was on good form, full of tales and plans and with the weather still warm a pleasant few hours passed.


The Maple was slightly blighted by ...


... some barbed wire in the middle which blunted Rob's saw but not his enthusiasm. Barbed wire is nasty vicious stuff - invented by a women so Gordy tells me, just saying!


Despite the metal it was pretty interesting with a nice bit of rare ripple - the wise regular customers will quietly acquire a bit of this and put it away themselves to dry.



With a lot of teeth on these big bars for Alaskan milling you need the kit to sharpen. The hand grinder he is using works well ... fortunately he sells them !

Lots of Walnut ...


... well two impressively sized trees, expertly felled with good lorry access and in Andover attracted my interest. They were on the site of what was once a stately home which had been knocked down and a cul de sac of executive homes built around 1970 .


The Residents Association owned the trees and I dealt with Pam a former Company Secretary and a tough negotiator. As a result I had to pay top dollar and with transport to the mill on top I hope it turns out to be shake free ... or I'll be shook up!




Mark off loading at Andover Down Sawmill ... Kevin the lorry owner was excellent with his 3 ton hiab in a tight location and worth every penny.

I took Tuesday Dave ...


... on a road trip to see the ever impressive Helmdon Sawmill. Back in the spring I'd dropped off what I initially thought was Lime but Steve at the Sawmill pointed out was in fact Red Oak - Doh!


When collecting that - a very nice bit of timber actually (pics available on request) Steve flogged me the Elm pictured below, which needed my trailer.



Dave thought it quite an operation & he is right - sadly the masses of cut timber around belong to bigger boys than me but the bit of Elm in the truck and trailer will interest my regulars!


There are no rules in Constipation Club ...


... You can do whatever you want - Nobody gives a shit!

Chris West our man in the South has been ...


... seeking out timber for us almost as long as I have been selling it. A talented woodturner he knows what is of interest and is quick to get in touch.


I always ensure that however good or bad the tree he finds turns out, that I'm grateful and treat him politely. I've seen pictures of a very promising Walnut he says on the phone. Not quite applying my aforementioned gratitude policy I respond " The last one was shit Chris and the bloke a total tosser"!


This is a good one and a must go see ...


... so with Rob up for it we did. Chris was of course right, it was a cracker and with Rob's quartering skills it was cut and divided into a bit each in no time. We never fall out in dividing the spoils - we like different bits and are both keen to be fair.



Big thanks to Neil the Tree Surgeon who felled it for remembering us and seeking Chris West out.

I was shocked to hear a former colleague ...


... had been rushed to hospital where an emergency operation revealed he had five plastic horses shoved up his bum.


He's now in a stable condition!

The huge Yew tree Erwin felled ...


... at the beginning of the year finally went under the saw at Helmdon. It was clear that there was quite a bit of rot at one end and I was hoping it wasn't all the way through.


It was mixed news, the good being a lack of any shake through it - Erwin always lays them down gently but the bad was that the rot was at both ends reducing the usable timber from about 40 cube to under half.


In the better bits there are some boards up to 30" wide and over seven foot long. There is also some beautiful figuring as you'll see below.



I reckon I can see a scream type face in both of these but not sure yet if I can see a profit in it - time will tell but Erwin is on the look out for more!


If you haven't been for a visit ...


... for a while it's time you did as the sheds are full-ish of interesting bits. If you have never been then what are you waiting for:


' Come on down - the price may be right! '