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Middle bit of 2021 into Autumn


Just before Summer burst into life ...


... we finished off one of the best Winter Woods tidying ever, thinning out the dying Ash. Quite often we run out of puff and the sap rises and that's it for another year. I was greatly aided this year by help when the shooting season finished by Paul the Gamekeeper and his oppo James who did more clearing in two 3 hour sessions than half a dozen of our gentle paced days.


A new friend of the firm, a young skilled tree surgeon climber Alfie was introduced by Jem another friend who in return for a few days out of town boshing squirrels is always looking at improving the environment. Alfie has already dealt with a couple of the tricky dangerous trees in the Woods and we have put together a plan to deal with the half a dozen others over the next year or two.


Getting up a tree like this is a doddle for Alfie but when a family of squirrels leapt out of a hole where he is perched and he found it totally hollow he wisely decided to fell it from the ground!

"Give it to me!" she yelled. "I'm so wet ...


... give it to me now!" She could scream all she wanted, but I was keeping the umbrella.


Alternatively : A woman walks out of the shower, winks at her boyfriend, and says, "Honey, I shaved myself down there. Do you know what that means?" The boyfriend says, "Yeah, it means the drain is clogged again."

Last time I wrote that Rob god ...


... of all things chainsaw bar and mill wise was required to come and perform his tricks on a decent sized Oak. His spirit is willing but his flesh is so busy he can disappear up his own rectum so needing and getting him are two different things.


Anyway, I wore him down and he turned up with an untried method to quarter a 4 foot plus by 4 ' log 8 feet long. The plan was simple to do the 4 cuts - which if you have tried doing it, is easier said than done.

If you are interested click on this link for a 10 minute video with Rob's commentary and tips


This is Rob on the home straight final cut. I think you can see how straight the cuts are on the top left quarter. Took well over 2 hours preping but less than 15 minutes cutting time.

The next stage after James ...


... the farmer had kindly popped two of them on my trailer was to take them to the Woods. The tyres groaned a bit but with the aid of a bit of air from the farm compressor I got to the Woods without mishap.


These beauties are right on Doris the tractors lifting limits. She was ok with the one pictured at 680 kgs but his big brother at 770kgs was almost too much for the old girl. In the end I did the old trick of lifting it an inch off the trailer bed and then getting Sunday Dave to drive the trailer off from under it.


Tuesday Dave and Mike ...


... with occasional help from me got cracking on planking them and as board after board of perfect knot free Oak came off the saw to be cleaned and stacked I convinced myself that for those 3 hours at least we were almost a proper milling company. What I can tell you is that once these are dry they will be as good any any air dried Oak you can find.

It just shows that the whole log at 3000kgs was going to be unmanageable without Rob's magic wand. He says it also works on women but luckily I have't seen the evidence!

I don't usually write about the fabulous ...


... things people make from my timber. This is mostly because I couldn't care less and just want your money! I have various customers who are specialising in the difficult but potentially valuable wood and resin tables.


A pair of chaps both called Andy have been doing this for some time and have a growing portfolio of stunning table and bar tops. What is double 'andy for you is that they are soon going to be able to offer a service where they can flatten a large slab you own for you to finish off.


Getting a finish on rough sawn wood either ...


... needs a planer or sanding. Anything wider than about 20" isn't going to be planed and if you've sanded a six foot by four foot slab you'll be able to confirm it's hard work. These chaps have a massive cnc machine that will put the ready to oil finish on it for you.


Their shop about 10 mins off the M4 j11 Reading is up and running and if interested their contact details and website are shown below.


Handily, one of the Andys owns The Motivation Pub next door ... I can recommend the Thai Curry

Do you want to sell your bandsaw?...


... my mate Ant enquired talking of my Timberking Saw that is fine for milling small stuff in the Woods. I declined without much consideration as it's useful. No worries, he said I think I'll make my own and bugger me with a spanner if he didn't.


Fortunately for me, you can put the spanner away as he has done just that and the early indications are that it's going to be better than my £5K American thing quality of build and performance wise for a fraction of the cost.

It's powered by a little diesel tractor engine ...


... and is going to be not only more robust than mine, it will also be a mobile saw. It's going to bedded on an old caravan axle which will be adapted so that the overall towing length is not a pain in the 'arris to drive/turn into tight sites. I'm looking forward to seeing it in action and you may get a glimpse in a future blog.


Cutting width and depth is going to be superior to mine and it should be quieter operating !

Stocking up for Autumn cutting ...


... brought a visit from Andy T and his state of the art forestry forwarding gear. He does not hang about so he has a load off and stacked before the kettle boils. This gives us a short while to chat which is great as he is one of those woodmen who does and loves everything to do with forestry from vintage gear to training courses - v interesting chap.


If I can only stop the ferker driving on the farmer's barley trying to duck low branches on the track into the Woods I won't have to compensate him too which adds to cost of timber!


Bit of Oak Ash and Cherry which all sell as as soon as dry.


Coming up in the next edition which should appear at the end of the year will be news of some beautiful perfectly air dried burr Oak, an update on Ant's custom mobile sawmill and the kids camp in the Woods.


Could also be news of the best Walnut tree of the year coming my and then your way.


If you're lucky they'll be some vile jokes and fabulous timber to keep you amused in 2022.