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Last bit of 2019 and start of the next Year


Our vision for 2020 is ...


... much the same as the others - have a good time playing with boys toys and if we get some fabulous timber that turns into cash then everyone is a winner.


Before Winter hit ...


... I decided that an extension to the tea room was needed and the man to do the bulk of the work was Richard from Hampshire Wood Projects who did a lot of the original in 2016.


Richard is quite easy to lure away from more pressing (better paid) jobs as he likes a day in the woods. He brings his skills, good humour and some useful spare materials and I bring lunch! A few pleasant sunny days had it sorted.



We used Cedar of Lebanon cladding which looks fab close up - unlike Rich in the background fiddling with the gutters and Dave in position as artistic director.

A rather interesting Oak log ...


... with a couple of burry bits, good figure and shake free got on the saw at Helmdon having spent the summer with the mountains of other logs belonging to the big boys. My initial pleasure at the quality planks being produced faded when I saw a lot of active pin hole worm in it.


Just like kids getting chicken pox from others I suspect these chewy little buggers hopped on from an infested log there.


Do you pray when this happens ? ...


... that is a plan but I spray or rather I get Mike to do it as he is more thorough than I am! Someone will like these ' character ' boards down the line. I shall be reducing the amount of time my logs sit at the sawmill.



These will end up with pin holes or as I call it character - no extra charge!

Apparently the difference between a G spot and ...


... a Golf ball is that a man will look for a golf ball! I do have some more but I think I'll get back to timber and tell you about recent purchases - the usual favs Oak, Ash, Cherry and Cedar and summat a bit different, see below:



Not shown here is the biggest bit of Ash I've ever bought which also headed to the Sawmill.


Apart from the Ash ...


... the one log I've not had before and looked promising was the heavily burred one on top - a pretty rare Acacia. It's often quite featureless but I'm happy to report this one is full of burr & a mix of colours and as I've kept the live edge is going to make my table customers very excited.


I'd show you pictures of it but as it will fly out the door I'll leave it to you to email me and beg to buy it!


Someone nicked my chainsaw ...


... my little one kept in the Truck for cross cutting planks for customers. I took it out and tucked it at the woods as I was going into London with the Pick Up and as you know the streets of London are paved with people wanting chainsaws.


Having looked for it for two weeks I contacted Rob who owns https://www.chainsawbars.co.uk and he told me it was my lucky day as he had a fabulous lightweight but powerful saw at mates rates. So I beetled down to the New Forest and came back with the sexy beast shown below and some 4 foot wide Burr Oak Slabs - gotta love friends eh!


Of course I found my old chainsaw behind a plank a week later but this saw modelled by Tuesday Dave has impressed everyone.

Visitors and long time readers ...


... will know that it's the struggle to find quality timber that needs help from contacts. Walnut is one every Timber Merchant even the big boys with huge purchasing budgets can't get enough of.


The Walnut king, Andy featured a lot over the past 15 years goes all over the country looking for and extracting it from awkward places. Just like girls have to kiss a lot of frogs before they find their Prince, Andy goes to a lot of places that don't live up to their billing to get the occasional Jem.


I went to such a place with ...


... Andy in November - early start, two hour drive the owner was a twit with an 'a' and his timber had more worm in it than a recently fed bird. He pointed to an unremarkable bit of Yew that I would sell for about £60 and told me people were paying him £400 a board on Ebay ... more like billy bullshit bay!


Anyway, the day before Andy had picked up a load of 10 foot long Walnut boards that had been in a barn since 2012 and generously let me buy those pictured.



I've planed a few smaller bits & it looks great - best get over and snap some up before they head off or Kevin from Surrey Timbers persuades me to trade!

A blind man applies for a job in a timber yard ...


... and the owner says, " I'd love to hire you but how the do I know you'll be able to get the right wood or not get cheated by unscrupulous customers? "


The applicant says, " I worked in my family's timber business for years and I now want to make it on my own. I can tell the exact type of any wood just by its smell. Test me!"


So, the owner grabs a board from a nearby pile and holds it in front of the man's nose.... " Too easy! Red Cedar." The owner then goes to his supply of exotic woods and places another sample under the man's nose.


"That's more like it! This is clearly Brazilian Ipe wood, which makes for great decking but it's quite hard and challenging to work with."

The owner is impressed ...


... and is going to hire the man but wants to mess with him first. So, he goes to his secretary and has her remove her panties and places them under the man's nose.


The man sniffs once, thinks about it, shakes his head, sniffs again and again, and finally says, dejectedly, " You've stumped me. I have no idea what kind of wood this is ... if I didn't know better, I'd say it was 3 months pregnant and had diabetes."


As 2020 kicked in it was so wet ...


... and muddy at the woods that we left Doris the tractor in the shed as she makes it all worse and cast around for something in a drier bit of the woods. One of the projects left over from last year is to have an Oak framed and tiled seating area with a decent view of the woods in one direction and fields behind.


Most of the skilled bits are being done by James pictured who is hoping to earn a living doing that sort of stuff. The frame has been prepared off site and relies on four level and precisely laid concrete pads for it to sit on.


If you want something done properly ...


... do it yourself I sagely told James - or in other words if it's a cock up it's your fault! So, on the first dry day of January we spent several hours putting them in. We'll find out in the next edition if he's done a good job!



Got to know your square on the hypoter thingy to get this right as well as cope with a slope.


So we're looking forward to Spring ...


... seeing you coming over with pockets of cash. Euros are still acceptable to me as in fact are Europeans.


What will we have for sale? Well, if you are quick some of that Walnut shown above which has ripple in it, innit and er some other wood.