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I have been making a very imposing set of garden gates with timber from a tree that was felled less than a hundred yards from where the gates will eventually hang. We talk a lot about the provenance of things nowadays - whether it be the coffee beans that have made our latte or the vegetables we might have for dinner.

Provenance means the place of origin, so for a wood worker using timber from trees that have grown around the place where the timber is used is a wonderfully economical way to work. It might not be easy or quick but it is immensely satisfying.

The Larch I have used for these gates has taken the best part of a year to be ready. From the trees felling in the winter of 22/23 and the hours we spent milling the rough boards from the stem with an Alaskan chainsaw mill, to the time spent now once the boards have dried to plane and square the wood into useable stock, the preparation of the wood has been a labour of love.

The material I have worked to prepare is finite and precious - no nipping out to the builders merchants to buy some more if I make a mistake and ruin a board. Care, thought and planning is required to try and reduce the potential for disaster, but sometimes it is nice to work like this and have a real focus for your mind.


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