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How To Buy Hardwoods

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sundaytrucker

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custard":24zqffex said:
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

Thank you for the informative thread and also the above links. Some interesting work and in tune with my own taste and thoughts on furniture moving forward.
 

Dokkodo

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monkeybiter":i9mapcoe said:
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.
scathing reviews are always so much fun to read, whether you agree or not...
 

custard

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Kalimna":29ychsjf said:
May I ask why Horse Chestnut is not recommended?
It's exceptionally weak, so weak in fact joinery and legs are liable to fail. It's rot prone unless kept bone dry and the surface tends to wooliness with fibres lifting even under a finish.

You'll find loads of it around, I think (but I'm not sure) that it's susceptible to some disease or blight which means it's currently being felled in large quantities. I've seen it for sale as turner's rounds so maybe it turns okay?
 

marcros

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bleeding canker I think. a big one has had to be felled by my parents because of this.
 

Jamster21

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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??[/quote]

+1 from a new starter for both this thread as a sticky (or a wiki!) and also a where can I get my wood list... I've just discovered Duffield Timber - would be interested to hear where you think they fall ...
 

Mr T

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As with most of your posts that was a delight to read Custard, lucid, well argued and informative, have you ever considered teaching?!

Jamster21":101o7xny said:
+1 from a new starter for both this thread as a sticky (or a wiki!) and also a where can I get my wood list... I've just discovered Duffield Timber - would be interested to hear where you think they fall ...

I am a bit of a fan of Duffields (near Ripon) as a source for beginners and recommend them to my students. They stock most of the species Custard mentions and display them on racks so you can select at your leisure without the yard man ho hummikng beside you. The quality is usually fairly good. They also have some exotics, they have some of these huge boards of bubinga, perhaps it's a good thing that it's going on the CITIES list!

Bubinga-Duffield-Timber-169x300.jpg


Many people find their first trip to the wood yard rather intimidating. Unless you go to somewhere like Duffields you are presented with a pack of timber which you have to select from while the yard man waits. How do you decide? You should have drawn up the project and written a cutting list from it. I think many people go to the yard with a specific idea of how they will cut the parts from a board then find that the boards available are not as they expected then find it difficult. It's better to think about the dimensions of the largest pieces to make sure you can get them out but then think more about the total cubic amount you need, so work out before you go and add about 40-50% (if getting waney edged less if straight edge). At the yard select to make sure you can get the longest pieces without too much wastage but then think more about selecting nice pieces up to the cubic amount required. At most yards the yard man will have a gismo that counts up the cubic rate as you go along.

What to look for. Is the board straight? This doesn't matter so much if you are cutting it into short components. Look for cracks and surface checking, this is common in oak. Woodworm, this will usually be in the sapwood which you would probably cut off, although on some species it may extend into the heartwood, eg walnut. Knots, some people like them some don't select according to your taste. Custard talks about cathedral figure and rift sawn, it's worth looking at the end of the pack you can see which boards have this pattern from the end grain. You may want to select rift sawn for legs. Looking at the end helps to locate suitable boards lower down in the pack.

By the way I think it's good etiquette to help the yard man to reassemble the poack after you have sorted through it. Erans you browny points for next time you are there.


Chris
 

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Bodgers

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Mr T":ilowgutc said:
As with most of your posts that was a delight to read Custard, lucid, well argued and informative, have you ever considered teaching?!

Jamster21":ilowgutc said:
+1 from a new starter for both this thread as a sticky (or a wiki!) and also a where can I get my wood list... I've just discovered Duffield Timber - would be interested to hear where you think they fall ...

I am a bit of a fan of Duffields (near Ripon) as a source for beginners and recommend them to my students. They stock most of the species Custard mentions and display them on racks so you can select at your leisure without the yard man ho hummikng beside you. The quality is usually fairly good. They also have some exotics, they have some of these huge boards of bubinga, perhaps it's a good thing that it's going on the CITIES list!



Many people find their first trip to the wood yard rather intimidating. Unless you go to somewhere like Duffields you are presented with a pack of timber which you have to select from while the yard man waits. How do you decide? You should have drawn up the project and written a cutting list from it. I think many people go to the yard with a specific idea of how they will cut the parts from a board then find that the boards available are not as they expected then find it difficult. It's better to think about the dimensions of the largest pieces to make sure you can get them out but then think more about the total cubic amount you need, so work out before you go and add about 40-50% (if getting waney edged less if straight edge). At the yard select to make sure you can get the longest pieces without too much wastage but then think more about selecting nice pieces up to the cubic amount required. At most yards the yard man will have a gismo that counts up the cubic rate as you go along.

What to look for. Is the board straight? This doesn't matter so much if you are cutting it into short components. Look for cracks and surface checking, this is common in oak. Woodworm, this will usually be in the sapwood which you would probably cut off, although on some species it may extend into the heartwood, eg walnut. Knots, some people like them some don't select according to your taste. Custard talks about cathedral figure and rift sawn, it's worth looking at the end of the pack you can see which boards have this pattern from the end grain. You may want to select rift sawn for legs. Looking at the end helps to locate suitable boards lower down in the pack.

By the way I think it's good etiquette to help the yard man to reassemble the poack after you have sorted through it. Erans you browny points for next time you are there.


Chris
Good info about Duffield. After John Boddy folded, other than Scawton Sawmill near Thirsk, it was beginning to look fairly grim for places to by hardwood round these parts.

Sent from my MI 3W using Tapatalk
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Chris,

Mr T":2993q7ov said:
As with most of your posts that was a delight to read Custard, lucid, well argued and informative.
+ 1 =D> =D>

It is always a pleasure to read posts from professional woodworkers, as I feel you all add so much to the forum.

Neil
 

Newbie_Neil

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custard":30x9e6wf said:
Sawdust=manglitter":30x9e6wf 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

Alright, I'll put my hand up to putting together a list of timber yards . I'll start a separate thread to get things going. I've started the thread here.

Neil
 

Kalimna

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custard":dxegsi72 said:
Kalimna":dxegsi72 said:
May I ask why Horse Chestnut is not recommended?
It's exceptionally weak, so weak in fact joinery and legs are liable to fail. It's rot prone unless kept bone dry and the surface tends to wooliness with fibres lifting even under a finish.

You'll find loads of it around, I think (but I'm not sure) that it's susceptible to some disease or blight which means it's currently being felled in large quantities. I've seen it for sale as turner's rounds so maybe it turns okay?

Thanks for that, Custard. It's interesting you say that because some of the horse chestnut I am using for guitar bodies does feel a little 'soft', but some of it gives the impression of being more like a sycamore in it's shavings and surface finish. Having said that, there is no finish on it yet, and it will have almost no structural role (short of holding some pickups and a neck).

Cheers,
Adam
 

siggy_7

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Adding my voice of appreciation to this very informative guide, thanks Custard.

Mr T":7jpvvdpd said:
Many people find their first trip to the wood yard rather intimidating. Unless you go to somewhere like Duffields you are presented with a pack of timber which you have to select from while the yard man waits. How do you decide? You should have drawn up the project and written a cutting list from it. I think many people go to the yard with a specific idea of how they will cut the parts from a board then find that the boards available are not as they expected then find it difficult. It's better to think about the dimensions of the largest pieces to make sure you can get them out but then think more about the total cubic amount you need, so work out before you go and add about 40-50% (if getting waney edged less if straight edge). At the yard select to make sure you can get the longest pieces without too much wastage but then think more about selecting nice pieces up to the cubic amount required. At most yards the yard man will have a gismo that counts up the cubic rate as you go along.

What to look for. Is the board straight? This doesn't matter so much if you are cutting it into short components. Look for cracks and surface checking, this is common in oak. Woodworm, this will usually be in the sapwood which you would probably cut off, although on some species it may extend into the heartwood, eg walnut. Knots, some people like them some don't select according to your taste. Custard talks about cathedral figure and rift sawn, it's worth looking at the end of the pack you can see which boards have this pattern from the end grain. You may want to select rift sawn for legs. Looking at the end helps to locate suitable boards lower down in the pack.
Some great advice in this. I quickly found the best way to buy what I needed when self-selecting was to go armed with my full cut list ordered from longest/widest timbers first and also sorted by thickness. I then try to work out how to get at least the biggest components from the boards I find at the yard and buy enough linear metres for the rest with some extra.
 

Chris152

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This is a brilliant thread Custard - thank you.

I'm new to working with wood and reading your advice has really helped. I visited two timber suppliers today, Timbersource (near Shepton Mallet) and Yandles (near Taunton). Both good, but chalk and cheese in terms of customer experience.

Timbersource is a huge warehouse with a posh reception/ office, I could look quite briefly at the stacks of wood accompanied by staff (wearing a high vis jacket), but when it came to buying wasn't given the option to sort through. And I had the feeling it wouldn't have made a lot of difference - the wood all looked very standard, high quality but little variety. Which I quite like the idea of for the work I'm trying to do. I only bought one sawn 3m length of beech - I had a more complete cutting list but to get it pse while I waited (something they make a lot of on their web site) turned out too expensive for me.

Yandles has so much diversity of wood type and variety of shapes/ sizes I didn't know where to turn, just amazing. Each piece is available to touch and inspect, identified and priced. A member of staff came with me (because I asked for advice) to help identify what I needed and my naive questions were no problem for him. Squaring and planing prices seemed very reasonable to me. The only real problem I had was trying to make my mind up what I wanted (I left with some ash and maple) and getting out of there before it got dark - a brilliant place.

This isn't supposed to be a review of the two suppliers, and I can see myself using both for different needs. But the difference between the relatively corporate approach of the one and the personal approach of the other really struck me. I bought wood from both for table tops, and the question now is which I go back to to get wood for the legs and things...

Thanks again, C
 

Tasky

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Had a couple of squizzes through already, so will re-read until it all sinks in and I feel confident enough to walk into one of these places and find what I need to get started.

Many thanks Custard!!
 

custard

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There's been a few mentions recently of a problem with Oak called "Yellowstain". During the past few days I've been machining some quarter sawn Oak drawer sides and I found an example.

Oak-Yellowstain-01.jpg


If you look at the very top edge of this board you can see an area of dirty yellow discolouration.

Oak-Yellowstain-02.jpg


Looking down from the top you can see another common feature of Oak Yellowstain, it's often accompanied by quite a bit of internal checking.

I've been hearing increasing reports of this problem over the past few years, it normally looks like a palm sized patch of discolouration but it's sometimes hard to spot on rough sawn boards. I understand it's caused by pushing Oak too quickly through the drying/kilning process in an effort to cut costs. You won't find this if you buy from established yards that do their own kilning (like say Tylers or English Woodland Timbers), but it's becoming more common in yards that buy in ready kilned timber and source strictly on price.

It's disappointing that a lot of this seems to be accepted by customers, unless there's push back then yards will increase kilning speeds even more and the problem will just get worse. It's a fault, plain and simple, so if you receive any then return it.
 

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thetyreman

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hi custard, can this happen in pine as well and other woods? or is it just on oak?
 
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