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How To Buy Hardwoods

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Pete Maddex

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Thanks custard, brilliant posts as usual, you have made a massive positive contribution to this forum.

Pete
 

gwr

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Great post custard! as much if not more detailed information than any book on timber that I have seen.
 

Dokkodo

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Really informative for the self taught (teaching) like me, thanks!

On the subject of CITES and timber scarcity generally, there's a business (or businesses) to be had making better use of what people grow in their back gardens. I recently hired a guy in London to cut down an enormous bit of cedar for me so I could take it away. He wasnt a tree surgeon, a gardener in fact, but also a chainsaw mill enthusiast and hobbyist. He gets called by a few tree surgeons when they are felling trees when he can come and mill in situ and take them away. There are a few problems with this, they are usually in peoples gardens, the tree surgeons dont want to hang around after a long days work for even more, and there are often access issues, but he saves some and gets some decent timber from it, though he says he hasnt done much about selling much of it yet.

Sounds like a huge amount goes to waste though, its not economical for tree surgeons to do much but chop it up and get rid. For example, he said in the garden of a multimillion pound London house where they were landscaping, the owners had 15 or 20 oaks cut down. He managed to plank one big one up in the time he had, the rest was burned. But when he gets lucky he gets good sized yew and other interesting timbers, I guess if you were lucky you could get some rarities, trees which were planted ornamentally and almost impossible to find commercially otherwise.

I dont know whether it would be profitable but it would definitely be rewarding...
 

marcros

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custard":lgik630j said:
marcros":lgik630j said:
Some of the coolest furniture makers I know are now exclusively using Douglas Fir and Hazel! That's probably going a bit far, but temperate zone timbers are definitely the way ahead.
Custard, who should we google to see examples of furniture made with these timbers?
 

Phil Pascoe

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Steve Maskery":1m64wjk0 said:
J
There is another Midlands provider, Sykes. I went there once for a board of Beluga. It isn't Beluga, but the proper name escapes me at the moment. Something beginning with B. The rotary-cut veneer is called Kevasingo. Someone will tell me what I have forgotten, I'm sure.

From Wiki - Guibourtia demeusei - African Rosewood, Akume, Bubinga, Ebana, Essingang, Kevazingo, Kewazingo, Okweni, Ovang, Waka
The genus is well known for its luxury timbers. The best-known timber is bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei, aka kevazingo).
 

custard

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marcros":28bazqdn said:
custard":28bazqdn said:
marcros":28bazqdn said:
Some of the coolest furniture makers I know are now exclusively using Douglas Fir and Hazel! That's probably going a bit far, but temperate zone timbers are definitely the way ahead.
Custard, who should we google to see examples of furniture made with these timbers?
If you look at the work of Sebastian Cox or Max Lamb you can see the direction many contemporary makers are taking. Strong environmental message, sustainability to the fore, local and coppiced timbers, ultra clean designs, clear flat finishes, pale timbers emphasised with white tinted finishes; these are all design cues that I suspect we'll be seeing much more frequently in the future

https://www.benchmarkfurniture.com/Furn ... anks-Bench

http://www.sebastiancox.co.uk/oak-and-hazel/

https://www.heals.com/designer/sebastian-cox.html

https://www.benchmarkfurniture.com/Furn ... -Sideboard
 

monkeybiter

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Thanks for that Custard, hideous. I suppose you have to look at that sort of stuff to stay current, but...
I've noticed people seem to like that 'frame on the outside' stuff but to me it looks like an exploded diagram, and shingles on furniture, so that's Sebastian Cox off my lottery-win shopping list, and as for that other fellow, that bench with integral storage and ill-fitting hatch, is it a dry fit to check the joints, before further shaping?
I must be way out of step with the current aesthetic, but I wouldn't give any of that house room, regardless of price. Thanks for the education.
 

Kalimna

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Thanks for a very informative set of posts there, Custard. May I ask why Horse Chestnut is not recommended? I ask specifically because I have recently received a couple of blocks from David Dykes' place in W Sussex to build some guitars. I know guitars and furniture have a different set of criteria, but so far it works beautifully, so long as you dont mind the somewhat random grain patterning.
As an aside, I am also in the process of building a Hal Taylor rocking chair from sweet chestnut, and what a lovely golden creamy brown timber it is. Like oak without the density, but with that distinctive smell. It also has some stunning ripple to it :)

Cheers,
Adam

P.S. Another vote here to make this a sticky.
 

Bodgers

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Custard, do you have any experience of Hornbeam - in both working with it and finding it?

It is native to the UK but I have only found one timber yard that lists it on their price list, but they never seem to have any stock.

I have an ECE plane and some tool handles made with it and it seems to have a real nice creamy tone and obviously it is pretty tough. Was thinking of making some replacement handles and odds and ends out of it...

Looks like there are a few firewood dealers selling some!

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

MattRoberts

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Bodgers, I have a bunch of 'mini slabs' (resawn thick branches) of what I believe is hornbeam - you're welcome to a bunch of it if you'd like?
 

Bodgers

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MattRoberts":2lu14o97 said:
Bodgers, I have a bunch of 'mini slabs' (resawn thick branches) of what I believe is hornbeam - you're welcome to a bunch of it if you'd like?
PM sent...

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Sawdust=manglitter

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Excellent post again. another +1 for this as a sticky!

Also, I think it would be very beneficial to many if there was a sticky similar to "The List" of online tool sites, but for timber yards or good sources of timber which was sorted by region and stated things like what kind of timbers stocked, choose the timbers yourself or not, online order etc??
 

custard

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Bodgers":bt1qejxm said:
Custard, do you have any experience of Hornbeam - in both working with it and finding it?

It is native to the UK but I have only found one timber yard that lists it on their price list, but they never seem to have any stock.

I have an ECE plane and some tool handles made with it and it seems to have a real nice creamy tone and obviously it is pretty tough. Was thinking of making some replacement handles and odds and ends out of it...

Looks like there are a few firewood dealers selling some!

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk

Hornbeam isn't a commercial timber, so your best source would be a tree surgeon. It's common enough and a lot gets sold for firewood. That or take a stroll around Epping Forest, it's by far the most common tree there and the ground's littered with Hornbeam branches! For most practical purposes you could substitute Beech for Hornbeam, they're both very hard with indistinct grain.
 

custard

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Sawdust=manglitter":23gy78vr said:
I think it would be very beneficial to many if there was a sticky similar to "The List" of online tool sites, but for timber yards or good sources of timber which was sorted by region and stated things like what kind of timbers stocked, choose the timbers yourself or not, online order etc??
+1

I once trained at a workshop that ran regular open days, these were well attended by hobbyists and two questions got asked over and over again. "How do you sharpen your tools?", and "Where do you buy your wood?". There's probably too much talk about sharpening on this forum, but not nearly enough about timber buying.
 

Lonsdale73

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Steve Maskery":n1do0h7e said:
Just my 2p.
Custard is SE-based. For us Midlanders, Whitmore's near Hinkley is the place to go for a wide range of good quality timber, like ABW and AC. You have to book an appointment if you want to select your own boards, and you will pay a premium for that service, because someone has to stand over you, move boards for you and wait for you to say yay or nay, but you will get top quality material to work with.
There is another Midlands provider, Sykes. I went there once for a board of Beluga. It isn't Beluga, but the proper name escapes me at the moment. Something beginning with B. The rotary-cut veneer is called Kevasingo. Someone will tell me what I have forgotten, I'm sure. The going rate was £60 a cube at the time, they charged me £90 because I was buying just one (fairly large, IMO) board. I didn't like that, not been back.
S
Haha! There's a lot of Scots (probably quite a few English too) tgat would relish the prospect of feediding your bandsaw with some Sturgeon.
 

cowfoot

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Really useful information Custard, thanks again.
I've used Tyler Hardwoods a couple of times now and can't wait for my next visit - they're really friendly in the office and the yard. I'd recommend phoning ahead to let them know you're coming. I hope amateurs/hobbyists don't get put off by trade yards - it took me twenty years of almost daily visits to Morans in Kilburn to get a nod of recognition, but they're not all moody so-and-sos!
 
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