It's been a few weeks since my last blog post, probably due to my every spare moment being spent working on jobs that have been on the back burner over the summer. As well as finishing a load of pieces for family and friends, there has also been the small matter of the huge backlog (excuse the pun) of big bits of tree that have accumulated in the barn waiting to be milled into usable timber.
The boys at Arborist Tree Care have been hard at work extracting large pieces of oak, white beam and sycamore from woodland in the Riven Valley, so now it is time to start processing all this wood and turning it into something useful. Its very hard and laborious work - lots of heavy lifting with the crane to get the logs onto the mill, then the sawing of endless boards from each stick. Once this is done, then each cut board must be treated with borax to deter woodworm, have each end sealed with wax, and then they are carefully stacked into 'sticked' piles to allow them to dry properly, and to keep all the planks nice and flat.
It certainly makes me appreciate the effort that goes into preparing good quality timber - what we are producing is not the sort of wood you can by in a DIY superstore, or even at many commercial timber yards (which is normally cut by vast processing machines and kiln dried). Our wood is air dried, and will be used to make structures, furniture and flooring that will last for centuries.
The past week we have been processing a lot of oak. To get timber of the best quality, we have quarter sawn all this wood, which gives beautifully figured boards that are very stable in use.The only drawback is the faffing about and extra work this quarter sawing process take, but the results justify the workload.