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Summer into Autumn



We've been busy! ...


... not through choice - regular readers know that having a good ol' chat over a cuppa is preferred but there has been a lot going on, gathering some of the finest timber available for sale in er Vernham Dean!


Some customers spend a lot ...


... of money but equally valuable is a customer who steers us to rare or desirable timber - Chris West our man in the South has found us a trailer load of Elm unbelievably still growing near Romsey and several Walnut trees over the years.


Rob from the delightful Wilton has been buying wood from me for many years and holds the record for the most amount of timber volume and money wise in one hit. To top that he rang in May about a Walnut tree in Salisbury that was due to be felled and he reckoned it was a good one - he was right!


Walnut is always ...


... of interest - Kevin from Surrey Timbers never says hello only "Got any English Walnut?" to which I usually reply, yes thanks.


The owner of the tree Janet understandably wanted to recoup as much of the cost of felling as possible but we agreed a price and miraculously Rob the Miller was dragged away from surfing in Cornwall to perform his magic the next week - rather than the usual months! As you will see later I got the bugger up twice in the Summer.


Rob also had a Hornbeam to mill ...


... so I agreed to do that with him the following day and looked forward to back ache and the lovely smell of fresh Walnut being cut.


It was a good day, Rob the finder of the tree came and helped and fully earned his slice of Walnut. Janet was friendly and interested and kept the tea coming.


It wasn't perfect, what job is - there were nails in it. I squashed my big toe on a slab and sadly there wasn't a couple of topless lovelies sunbathing in the garden who became so aroused at our manly skills that they insisted on showering with us - but hey that only happens every other tree!


In other news:

Bloke who invented ...


Predictive text died - may he roast in piss.


Also, my wife has started collecting Beatles records - I think she needs Help!


The first length by Rob had nails down on side so we rolled that to the bottom and cut last - killing his chain but by then the Walnut was mine!


If you have fabulous eyes ...


... you'll see in the short chunky bit nearest a large bit of wire sticking out. I would probably have left that but Rob cut it out and it was the best figured bit of the tree - that why he gets the big bucks!


He's not only pretty handy with the milling Rob also does some interesting (for wood people only I suspect) videos - hit the link below for the one for this job.


You Tube 3 min video on the process

Another day and another ...


... hopefully quite a few dollars in the future for us and a first for me a chunky Hornbeam. It was in the grounds of a lovely Manor House with pretty good access and as we hoped not a sign of any metal or stones - urban gardens are always the worst with washing lines and bird boxes nailed in over the years.



Although a bit creaky from the previous day's toil we were in a good teamwork groove and had three bits cut and loaded by 1pm.

Interesting Ash is a favourite ...


... of mine and also for some of my best customers, so like sex you can't have too much of it. I had a couple of promising looking logs up at Helmdon and decided to cut one all in 2" slabs and leave it there until the Autumn when it will be Kiln dried and other below all 1.25" which I'd take immediately and stack the woods to air dry.


These are the perfect width and length to just fit in my trailer which means I can get the ton or so of timber straight into the woods without an exy lorry which needs to be unloaded at the top gate and double handled.



The centre crack runs through the log but is a natural one rather than a felling shake that will appeal to the artistic resin users - well that's my sales pitch anyway!


How can you tell ...


... whether a person comes from Dubai or Abu Dhabi? The residents of the former don't watch the Flintstones whereas the good people of Abu Dhabi do!


Apparently, people from Western Australia and New Zealand are very similar though they don't like to be compared. The way to tell is to ask if they have shagged a 15 year old. The Kiwis say don't be ridulous, that is disgusting whereas the Aussies say ... A 15 year old what mate?


Moving swiftly on ...


... another Erwin jem was the discovery of a decent sized felled Elm a mile from the woods. These days most Elm available comes from Scotland where the Dutch Elm insect didn't go to in the 1970 s - either due to the colder temperatures or possibly the deep fried Mars bars!


To get a sniff of some on my doorstep is almost a miracle and I flew over there asap! It was a winner and the owner Anthony a top bloke so a deal was swiftly done. As the stump end was 37" wide I was going to need to extract Rob from his surfboard in Cornwall.


To my surprise not to mention delight ...


... Rob said yes and came up before Autumn hit armed with the Panther and his array of sexy toys

( please note there is a Y on the end of sex! ). As it was so close to the woods we decided Rob would drive up from Cornwall on a Sunday afternoon, get his truck etc from the New Forest and get to the woods where we would kip for an early start Monday morning.


This cunning plan ought to have had us alongside ...


... The Elm by 7am but Rob who slept on a camp bed by the fire was still snoring at 8am. I had bagged the Cabin and should have been better off but the air bed I spent fifty quid on - 60 including the electric pump deflated through the night giving me about 3 hours uncomfortable sleep.


It's the first time ever I have been annoyed by something going down on me in the night! Although I was knackered Rob was on his usual top milling form and we had it sectioned and the big first length cut and loaded by lunch.


Rob's patented first cut aluminum jig worked like a dream and made the following cuts straightford. All his gear is on You Tube - check out Alaskanmilling.

If you are wondering how ...


... we get a great big heavy slab off the log and away you obviously haven't seen the last blog! Part of Rob's charm is not only his wit, stories and huge chainsaw mill but his truck with a great crane for it's size.


This takes the strain and subsequent pain previously suffered moving these wet slabs.



Rob transported them to the woods where popping them on the Timber King and turning them into delicious 2 inch book matched boards was a doddle.

Thursday Dave completed 10 years service ...


... he doesn't grab many blog headlines being a man of few words but hopefully he knows how valuable his contribution is - allowing for a few Thursdays off over that period he has brought me around 500 bits of lemon drizzle cake, each one as moist as a moist thing! So, thanks Linda for lending him and the cake.


Tuesday Dave and Mike are also valued - Dave brought Eccles cake and Mike an array of choccy treats until we decided we shouldn't - well not every week. They've all helped the wood business too but who cares about that!


A posh bog with a view ...


... over the fields at the side of the woods has been on the to do list for a while and Thursday Dave made this fabulous creation with attached waiting area.


For his next trick he is doing the windows for the Cabin extension but more of this next time.



We look forward to ...


... the last bit of year with hopefully an influx of timber obsessed women willing to do anything for a nice bit of wood!


Failing that you can come too but you'll have to pay.