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Last bit of 2023


The Summer ticked by quietly with ...


... no dramas and solid sales which suits me fine. Smoking wood sales were up on last year whch probably only interests me and my bank manager. The days of large to do lists are gone and if we can add a bit of stock without too much pain that works for us old boys.


I took a trip to Croydon which isn't fun traffic wise to see my mate Ian which is always good - he gets what I am after and steered me to these manageable lumps of Sycamore and popped them in the back. Decent sycamore sells but you don't want to have too much hanging around as the beetle loves it when dry and will soon eat it - the buggers don't pay for it either, well only with their lives when I spray them!


Having Ian pop them gently in the back is the easy bit - getting them off at the other end on my own needs a plan !

Luckily I have been doing it long enough ...


... to have fine tuned me plan which involves preparation. Planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance an old army geezer told me so I laid some ratchet straps on the pick up bed beforehand and just had to ratchet strap the two logs together and hook them on Doris the tractor with a small chain.


The only other thing is be aware of is whether the old girl has the lifting power but I knew she can do about 700 kgs and I calculated the two Sycamore were only about 400kgs so they came off the truck smoothly.


Dropping them by the Saw awaiting Mike and Tuesday Dave is no hassle.

Oak logs can often spend a few months ...


... stacked in the round before I cut them especially when it's hot in the Summer as it's better not to cut Oak then. On the other hand cracking on with Sycamore is to be encouraged ... cut, stack, dry and flog asap is the way.


Getting the saw running after a decent service is quite easy, firing up Mike and Tuesday Dave takes a bit longer and some sugary tea for Mike. Once warmed up though Mike gets in the groove and he and Dave soon have a load of boards to stack.


A mix of 1.25" and 2 " with a couple of 4" slabs for turners who love Sycamore but not spending money and pop them away to dry and the the graft is done - flogging them is easy !

An old man ...


... lay dying in his bed. His devoted wife of 58 years was downstairs baking. The aroma of his favourite cakes waft up the stairs and he knows he must taste them one last time.


With enormous effort he slowly hauls himself out of bed and inch by inch makes his way to the stairs. He staggers step by trembling step down to the kitchen.


Seeing them invitingly ...


... cooling on the side he puts out a shakey, wrinkley old hand and grasps one. Get your hands off that the wife orders slapping his hand away, they are for the funeral !


This was the same old boy who went to the doctors a few months before with his wife. We need to do some tests said the doc.. I need a sample of your Urine, Semen and Faecies.


Waattt did he say ? ...


... the deaf old coot asks his wife. He said he wants a pair of your dirty pants, she grimly replied.


The timber fairy aka ...


... Erwin delivered a load in the summer. I never know he's coming I just turn up and instead of being robbed and finding things missing you notice a neat stack of assorted logs. It's very exciting, better than Christmas for me as frankly apart from a West Brom shirt when I was 9 everything else has been dull.


A quick glimpse showed some Oak, Elm and one log of Cherry that looked interesting and in fact turned out to be the most fantastic bit of Cherry I've had in 20 plus years as below.


It really is as good as it looks if not better and talking of better you'd better get down and buy a matched pair or two before everyone else does !

The Cherry discussed above ...


... is bottom right of the 6 logs in the foreground and didn't at that stage stand out as the beauty it was. The two on top I identified as local Elm but I was rather stumped by the two larger logs to the left and right.


Bark wise it could have been one of a variety of mature Oak and in fact Ash. Erwin told me it was Sweet Chestnut but I wasn't sure as all the Sweet Chestnut I've had has a different bark and colour. I asked a few people all experienced in the timber world some with degees and not just in media studies!


More of this in the next episode ...


... as the great and the good all had an opinion and confused me. I knew what I didn't want it to be and several said it was.

At the end of the last blog ...


... was a picture of Erwin placing a biggish Oak out of the way on some logs. This was because it was too big and heavy to lift with Doris the tractor and to fit on the saw bed. It was then just a matter of getting my mate Ant to come over with the first cut system we bought last year.


This took longer than I hoped due to both our big chainsaws being nicked from Ant's workshop and then summer arriving. Not only is it not great cutting oak when it's hot but also Ant switches from wood cutting to motor biking and he disappears in a cloud of two stroke and creaking leather.


In the Autumn ...


... New Forest Rob our friend and supplier of all things chainsaw related : https://www.chainsawbars.co.uk comes up with a top of the range Huskie and all the trimmings like 5 foot bars and chains for a very generous price and Ant's enthusiasm for timber cutting returns.



Ant makes short work of neatly cutting the log in half and two days later it's on the saw.


Incredibly it's now 25 years since ...


... my father retired from the wood business due to being dead and I guess it isn't going to be that long before the same fate catches up with me. Hopefully though, not before you can get your arse down and buy some wood!


Next edition around Spring 2024 when I'll have some rather beautiful Ash that you'll like and some other bits to wet your appetite if not yer pants.