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Adirondack style chair in sweet chestnut


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Eight years ago, I made an Adirondack style chair, using some nice oak I bought at Westonbirt Arboretum. I copied the design of a commercially made cedar chair and wrote up the project here.

The oak chair is still looking fine but the cedar one is decidedly scruffy and uninviting. It's time to make another one. As far as I know, the Friends of Westonbirt can't offer wood for sale at present, while they pursue a big building project. So a trip to a sawmill was in order.

I'd read about Wentwood Timber Centre on here before and thought it sounded interesting. (See post1181307.html#p1181307 in Neil's useful list of timber suppliers.) It's a smallish operation selling native hardwoods. I went and had a look.

It's not hard to find if you follow their clear directions - from Bristol you go over the bridge to Chepstow then turn right off the A48.

It's a friendly place and well set up for the hobby woodworker. They have an old office building with a number of rooms, each of which has a selection of seasoned boards in it. They are arranged by species and thickness, planed on one side and individually priced. You are completely free to take as long as you want, examining all the stock and picking out what you need. On a Tuesday morning, I was the only customer, though some more people arrived as I was leaving.

I liked this, as I find it quite challenging working out how much wood I need. I went armed with a cutting list, but as it's impossible to say in advance how many pieces each board will yield, I needed some time to satisfy myself that I was buying enough, without buying lots more than I wanted.

The selection of species and widths is quite wide, but this does mean that the number of boards of each type is quite low. I was undecided whether to buy oak or chestnut but there weren't enough inch thick oak boards. If you visited just after me you might not have found enough chestnut!

This is one side of the room with sweet chestnut in.


Inch boards are on the left, 32mm boards on the right. Prices include VAT.

Back home, it was time to go over the cutting list again and decide which pieces to cut from which board. I decide this by looking for the biggest pieces first, chalking out each one and ticking it off the cutting list. Then I go over it again, checking dimensions more carefully.

Here's some of the boards being sorted out like this.

For the curved bits, I used a paper template. I could still find two of these from last time, but had to make a new one for the arms. I then drew round the template with a crayon - my rough cutting line is the outside of the crayon and my exact line is where the inside of the wax disappears.

That's all for now; next time will feature some actual cutting. I think this will be a relatively quick project but expect some interruptions and digressions along the way.


Andy, a nice job.....
second that wood n brass measuring caliper is rather sweet.....
lastly 3'rd photo the nubers in rea ...are theythe price of the board....?
if not can you please give me the prices for a few peices.....
I have a man/tree surgeon/saw miller who I want to use.....be good to have an idea upfront.....
Thank you, agreed, and yes, the prices are marked on each board.

I really appreciate that approach to selling timber. Wentwood list prices per cubic foot on their website.

All boards are indoors, sorted by species and thickness, with the calculated VAT included price clearly marked. All boards are planed on one side to show the grain. You can browse as long as you need to while sorting out which boards will yield the sizes you need. And no nasty surprise when you go to pay.

I've not visited recently but their website confirms that they are open.