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Scott

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Anyone have any advice on sourcing decent wood over here?

After loafing around in France for years I've finally flogged the house in Fife and moved over so I'm feeling slightly marooned from the suppliers I'm used to. As far as I can see, our escargot-munching chums have been a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to internet shopping. The local sawmill seems to just do pine (they obligingly leave the place wide open so I had a mooch aboot on Sunday).

I've checked the "yellow pages" and there seem to be suppliers around but a couple of emails have gone unanswered. I suspect anyone who goes to the bother of having a website (or even just a computer??!!) is too big to be dealing with enthusiasts/small users.

The only French woodworking mag I could find in the local newsagent has ads for tools but none for timber suppliers (interestingly enough it also had about three articles reprinted from articles in Brit mags over the last couple of years).

Any tips or contacts would be appreciated

Cheers
Scott
 

Chris Knight

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I was on holiday recently in the south west of France and picked up three mags. One was basically a sort of trade paper, the others aimed more at hobbyists. Compared with the UK stuff I thought they were rather poor.

I reckon your best bet is to search out a local ébeniste and ask him for some advice.
 

Scott

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Cheers Chris.

That's not a bad idea! I have to agree that the quality of woodworking mags over here is pretty poor but I'm hoping the quality of the timber makes up for it!

:)
 

Noel

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Scott,

Wasn't there a couple of articles in one of the UK comics about a British chippy/furniture maker moving to France. Wasn't that long ago. Don't know if I actually bought the mags in question but will have a look.

Noel
 

devonwoody

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Have a wrd with Philly

Just back from two weeks in France where I chanced upon this. Plainly, Philly is too embarrassed at the size of this acquisition to gloat about it here - and his missus has probably no inkling of it yet...


_________________
Chris
I definitely had one somewhere!
 

Terry Smart

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Hi Scott

We have a stockist in France, their details are as follows:

PHILBOIS MACHINES
47, BD, BERNARD DE TRANS
83300 DRAGUIGNAN
PH: 0033 494 68 82 32
FAX: 0033 494 68 81 89
EMAIL: philbois@wanadoo.fr

I saw their catalogue some years ago (we don't deal with them very much sadly) which was worth looking at, not sure what they're doing these days but could be worth a call.
 

CYC

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Scott, where are you in France? Let's start by narrowing down the search.

If you are in Normandie, I could help.
 

Shady

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My understanding is that, although the 'infrastructure' in terms of the net etc is not as good, there are some real bargains to be had vis-a-vis English prices for hardwoods. Oak and walnut have been mentioned to me. Pure gossip, so I don't know the truth of it.
 

Scott

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My understanding is that, although the 'infrastructure' in terms of the net etc is not as good, there are some real bargains to be had vis-a-vis English prices for hardwoods
That's what I was hoping for!

CYC, I'm in Ain on the Swiss border (10 miles from Geneva) so it's a fair hike from Normandy although I guess delivering anywhere in France is no different from delivering anywhere in UK (?)

Terry, I'll give Philbois a look. Cheers for that.
 

PitBull

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Scott,

I on the Swiss side of the border - nearer Baden in Kanon Aargau - nearer than Normandy for sure.

Not sure if you've looked at Swiss suppliers ? I haven't had the chance yet but will let you know if I find anything good. IIRC, France is supposed to be good for Oak.
 

CYC

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Sorry Scott but you are too far for me to have any remote knowledge of the area.
Indeed online shopping in France is very poor. This is because French people are scared to use their Credit Card without better securities. They have been using pins (input their code at all tills) on their credit cards and bank cards since I was a teen (15 years ago). I don't know about UK but we are only seeing the first chips on irish cards this year!!!

Anyway, Oak in my region, Normandie, is indeed good value. I am currently looking at buying timber for a fence to cover 95m and realised I can do it in Oak for just little more than the price of Pressure treated timber here :D I am talking about one of those lovely horse field fence.
Of course Oak will be in a lot more in supply in Normandie than in the mountains of the Swiss border.

I realise all this is not helping you but I thought I would through my 2 pences in there :wink:
 

johnb

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One supplier of wood online in France is www.roubois.com - they have prices online. But an local source would probably be cheaper; try asking at the local saw mill - they may know where you can get hardwoods locally even if they don't stock it themselves. DIY stores sometimes have a limited selection of hardwood.

There is at least one specialist online supplier of tools, www.hmdiffusion.fr - but they can expensive, especially for delivery (they stock Festool).
Other online suppliers include http://webshop.manutan.fr , www.tb-machines-a-bois.com and www.kity-rouen.com (including Scheppach machines in Kity livery), as well as DIY stores such as Castorama www.castorama.fr (owned by B&Q) and Leroy Merlin www.leroymerlin.fr. As has been mentioned elsewhere buying large machine tools from the UK is usually much cheaper, even with transport costs so I've not tried any of these suppliers.

French woodworking magazines are just about non-existant. However, one has a web site, www.lebouvet.com. Le Bouvet has had the occasional advertisement for wood suppliers. Otherwise it is woodworking sections in DIY magazines such as System D www.systemed.fr

johnb
Vosges, France
 

Scott

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That's brilliant johnb! Cheers :D
I had found an ad for the hmdiffusion crowd. Looks like a French "Rutlands" type thing from the ad so I figured they'd be expensive. I guess the very mention of Festool guarantees it!

Roubois looks interesting. Have you used them at all? Any good?

I'll have a wander into the local sawmill next week when there's someone around and see if I can get any pointers from them.

Pitbull, if you come across anything in Swiss-land I'd appreciate a heads-up.....provided it's not as expensive as the beer in Geneva :? I'll reciprocate of course when I get myself sorted out.

The thought of CYC's Southfork Ranch sized fence for not much more than the price of pressure treated has me salivating now. I've shutters, doors and God knows what else to make as well as the furniture I'd like to be doing!
 

johnb

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Sorry Scott, I've not used Roubois. But I have seen reference to Roubois being the top French firm for supplying wood to individuals.

HMDiffusion send out a catalogue free a couple of times a year - you can request it on the web site. They have an odd mix of worldwide brands and unknown brands (to me).

The other two magazines I've seen are l'Atelier Bois and Idees Defonceuse Atout Bois but neither merited a purchase!

Given the number of local craftsmen turning out wood furniture in France I'm surprised how little there seems to be in the way of woodworking supplies, magazines, etc.
 

Scott

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It is a bit surprising, as you say. Anyway, I know now that French w/w mags ain't much use so I won't bother with them again.

I've requested a HMDiffusion catalogue for a nosy though.

Since "'er indoors" is demanding a pine wardrobe ("by the end of next week will do") I think I'll give Roubois a try in December when I'm next on leave for some hardwood. Anything's worth a try once I guess!
 

CYC

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Scott, go to www.pagesjaunes.fr
Enter in "activité" = scierie
and
Enter in "Département ou région" = Ain
Click "Rechercher" button.

You will get a long list of sawmills, Scierie Subtil are apparently specialist in Oak (chêne).

Note: press the "suite" button at the end of the list on each page. I got 76 entries, a good few are duplicates.

Hope this helps.
 
A

Anonymous

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I met a woodworker in Brittany who used to go around the fruit farms after storms had passed through and offer to remove the downed trees for free. The farmers were very happy for him to do this -- he brought in a portable sawmill capable of cutting up to 15' boards, and he took the lot. He runs his house on the branches, and he's got 5 barns around his property full of air-drying pear and apple - about 6 years' supply was his estimate. Very neat. Some of the pear trees were 150 years old when he got them - nice wide boards. Lovely wood. Perhaps you could think of the same approach in your area? Bit of a problem if you haven't got the portable mill, though!
 

tx2man

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Anyone got any suggestions on how to approach SWMBO about
the construction of 5 barns in the garden?

TX
 

DaveL

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tx2man":2qsy060i said:
Anyone got any suggestions on how to approach SWMBO about
the construction of 5 barns in the garden?
Carefully with a big box of chocolates? :shock: :roll: :wink:
 
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