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Autumn 2017

As Summer started to fade ...


... it was time to get more timber delivered from the Sawmill. I'd had a couple of biggish Sweet Chestnut logs cut, sticked and stacked at Helmdon and with some Sycamore and other bits and bobs so had a full load.


Kevin the lorry driver mentioned last time is a good bloke but it also a bugger to get hold of and pin down. He's worth waiting for as he'll get the timber as close to the woods as any lorry can. Usually that's when Graham the farmer with his telehandler comes in for the last bit.


Tragically Graham was unavailable ...


... a farm inspection in the morning led to sheep shearing pm so I was on my own. Well, what's the agg moving 8 tons of woods down a slope made extra slippery from a summer storm and into the woods to stack on yer jack ?


I managed to get half of it in on my trailer but the two Chestnut logs at 10' long were too heavy. Kevin's lorry has a pretty impressive crane so he was able to get it into the field.


They don't look particularly heavy in the pic below but they were too much for Doris the tractor's loader so I had to split the stack and hand ball them one at a time on to the forks.



It took me 5 hours to off load, move and stack in the woods & you sods will come along in a year or two and buy it in 5 minutes!


A delivery driver stopped me ...


... the other day and asked the time. I said it was between 8 am and 6 pm! If you don't get that one you'll probably struggle with the constipated Mathematician who worked it out with a pencil.


A lady who was having ...


... trouble getting a man went to see a famous Chinese Sex Therapist who asked her to strip naked and then crawl on the floor away from him down to the other end of the room and then come back. Having done that he told her to get dressed and gave his diagnosis.


You have Ed Zachary disease ...


... he told her. What is that, she asked? Well, your face is ed zachary like your arse.

In search of Love - well Apple ...


... I found you - well Yew! Orchards are a good source of Apple for smoking wood. There is a worrying falling demand for traditional things like Bramley Apples and if there's no demand they have to be removed.


My source for the last couple of years wasn't grubbing out this year so put me on to Will the boss of an Orchard about an hour from the woods. Unfortunately I didn't get back to Will until mid summer by which time the Apple had gone.


I do have some Oak and Yew ...


... that may be of interest says Will - He was right, I was and shuffled over! The Oak wasn't speaking to me so I passed and the Yew had been cut some years.


Despite that it looked ok and as Will was a reasonable man price wise I came back the next week and took three bits to try.



Thanks to Tuesday Dave for taking what is a rare picture of me actually doing some work!


The Orchard handily ...


... had the very useful JCB telehandler pictured & George a helpful friendly driver - happy days. Well, the day hadn't started so well with the steering rack on my Pick Up dying but perked up with this trip.


The Yew has a bit of rot and the occasional stone but is good enough for me to pop back and get a bit more. Will is a decent bloke and it's good to put a few pounds into his pocket and to save the Yew from a fate of firewood.


On getting back from the first trip my day nose dived again when Dave the mechanic told me that he'd been unable to locate anything other than a genuine Toyota rack which was £1500 + VAT + fitting = bummer!


The Internet which you may have heard of ...


... ( it's a marvelous invention where you can find everything anywhere ... including naked women but I can't recommend those) came to the rescue where perhaps more motivated than Dave the Mechanic I located & went to collect a new rack for £180.


I followed that by locating an exhaust system for a third of the price for exactly the same thing. It pays to check around!

So with a bit of vehicle expense I ...


... I could have done without the pain I suffered cutting a Sycamore log that I thought had the potential for a nice bit of the prized ripple.


I started cutting it one Sunday with my friend James who pops over now and then and likes to help cut timber. The Saw was making a strange noise on the first cut and I told James there was something not right about it.


I have found the problem ...


... I declared on lifting off the first bit of slabwood which showed it wasn't so much the saw as the eight nails it had cut through. Changing the blade and cutting 8 inches lower I avoided those eight nails and found a dozen new ones!


This log came from a London park and I wonder if it took them during one of the early 1980s nail bomb attacks. I ended up ringing it for firewood and of course took a few teeth off my chainsaw with yet more nails.



The worst log I have cut in nearly 20 years - there was no ripple in it anyway!

Luckily the next log ...


... which is a bit of a mystery one turned out to be one the best ever so we were back adding interesting things for you to buy in the future. I'd acquired it at the same time as metal mickey above and no one at the yard knew what it was.


I sent pictures of it in log form to various learned tree peeps and got lots of opinions which didn't seem right. So having referred to it as that bit of wood at the sawmill for a couple of months eventually it was cut.


Steve the Sawyer with his 50 years ...


... experience was happy to declare " I dunno what it is but it's nice !"


My mate Andy, the Walnut king knows a bit about timber and I think his guess of a Sorbus known as The Service Tree a rare - ish hardwood found in ancient woodlands with Oak and Ash is most likely the winner.



Whatever it is ... it could be yours for a few quid ! To be honest I could be yours for a few quid.

Having sticked and stacked that lot ...


... and flogged a bit more wood than usual I thought I'd better go and get some more. The parcel I bought had the ever useful Oak with a little burr and some Sycamore and what particularly got my juices flowing some promising looking Olive Ash.


Ash is a good seller but if it has decent olive figure inside the demand and value goes up - as do my spirits and bank balance!



Got half a dozen or more 1.25" x 26" x a bit over 6 foot - come and buy before someone else does !

The last month or two of each year ...


... can be grim light and weather wise. However, a big plus is the return of the jacket potato season. This lunchtime boost was the brainchild of Tuesday Dave remembering growing up on a farm in Scotland.


We also introduced a new part time member of the team Mike who comes Tuesday afternoons. Mike's a wood man so has taken to cutting timber immediately. We have an hour or two cross over with Tuesday Dave which includes lunch so have added a spud for him - see below.



Dave and Mike in the background but can you spot the real stars the spuds in the fire?


So as another year ...


... comes to an end we look forward to what will be my 20th and hopefully not last year in the timber game. I've learnt a bit about wood but most usefully over the passing time has been getting new and helpful contacts - you know who you are ... cheers!


I've ordered a new Pick Up truck for March which will need to be paid for by YOU so come on over and buy some timber.