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Nature to furniture

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Hi all

I love working with wood. I love the texture, colours, grains and smell of this natural, organic material and have often thought it would be nice to go from tree to furniture.

What I mean is to cut down the tree myself, dry it, cut boards and then make a special piece of furniture - something for my own home that will show off the wood's character really well and be constantly used (something like Chris's rocking chair). Nature to furniture

This really appeals to me and I wondered if anyone else feels the same way?

For now I'll carry on visiting the woodyard :wink:

Cheers

Tony
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Tony

Don't get too close to Trevtheturner.

He "helps out" by cutting down and taking away those walnut trees that get in the way. :roll:

Mind you, they do make wonderful bowls. :wink:

Cheers
Neil
 

Philly

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Hi Tony,
yes I do like the idea of that-although i dont have the space for a tree's worth.
My personal solution is this-I pick up the odd log here and there and then turn bowls, plates, etc out of it. Green wood is great for turning (makes you look like a pro......). Also I get the Arbortech out and make "sculptures" shall we say. not wanting to get "arty", but all lathe work is symetrical, so doing things with the grinder you can make similar stuff, but definitely not symetrical!
regards
Phillly :D
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Tony,

I'm with you all the way. :wink:

Yes, as Neil says, I do try to be a helpful sort of fella. :roll: Lady in my village wants to build a new bungalow in her garden but in the way is a huge old walnut tree, about 3ft. diameter, and she is very worried about getting rid of it so the builders can make a start. Can't leave her worried like that so offer to fell it for her. But what about all the wood, how could she get it moved - could she sell it for logs? :shock: :shock:

Long story short - by fair means and foul the tree was cut and slabbed and ended up at my house. :lol: :lol: I did feel so guilty when she presented me with a bottle of single malt for my troubles, but didn't have the heart to offend by declining her appreciative gesture. :oops: I turned a special platter for her from the tree, and she proudly shows it to everybody, explaining how it came to be. The rest of the wood is drying nicely but, although some is okay for turning, a while to go yet - cut a 4" piece today and it is 20%MC.

Now, not too far away from me is a very large, thick laburnum tree in a front garden. :twisted: Unfortunately it really has grown much too large and is cramped in between two other trees. Must remember to have a word with them soon, poisonous danger to their young children, etc................ :twisted: :twisted:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Dewy

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You could at least make a nice walnut table for the lady.
I used to have a laburnum tree in my garden.
Every year I had to strip it of the seed pods in case the kids tried to eat them.
My wife insisted the tree stay.
I eventually cut it down & burned the branches & trunk.
Every part of a laburnum is poisonous so I was not prepared to take that risk.
 

Dewy

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One tree I wish I had kept for woodwork was a flowering almond that started dieing off 25 years ago. I cut all the branches off & cut as much of the trunk down as I could then gave it to the people next door as a garden feature. 2 foot of trunk still in the ground is all that is left. At over a foot across its a bit to hard to remove with any saw I have unless I borrowed a chain saw.
 

Alf

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Dewy":3b9cjl3s said:
I eventually cut it down & burned the branches & trunk.
Nnnnng. :shock: Damn nearly choked on my tea there. Heck, people pay real money for laburnam branches. :cry:

My tree to workshop stuff has been solely confined to turning so far, and will probably stay that way. Got a couple of apple tree trunks hanging about at the moment, but it can be a bit pesky about splitting I understand, so whether anything will come of them... :? Favourite wood from the garden so far is pittosporum. Very pale, fine grained hardwood, just a tendency to tiny knots here and there. Makes lovely chisel handles but that's about all as it only gets about 3" diameter max. Less successful was the rosemary trunk. Yep, rosemary bushes grow trunks round here. :shock: I just managed to squeeze out a seed dibber from it, but the stuff was pin knot city. Still my mum, who grew it in the first place, was extremely chuffed. :D Worse miss for wood would have to be the monkey puzzle my brother took down some years ago and burnt. It wasn't untill afterwards that I discovered it made rather a good, and unusual, turning material. D'oh. :cry:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Trev, I am green with envy :shock:

Any chance of a nip of that malt?


Cheers

Tony
 

Dog

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I agree with you Tony, opposite my workshop is a forest of 50 larch trees, which I own but it forms a 40' high wind break so as yet the temptation to start chopping has not as yet arrived but Larch isn't as exciting as walnut etc.
 

Dewy

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Alf":3ulfusir said:
Worse miss for wood would have to be the monkey puzzle my brother took down some years ago and burnt. It wasn't untill afterwards that I discovered it made rather a good, and unusual, turning material. D'oh. :cry:

Cheers, Alf
We have a field behind us that was taken over as a conversation area by the council. It's a mile long. Years before someone decided that his monkey puzzle tree was dangergous with his kids running round so, rather than destroy it, he planted it in the field.
As soon as it was seen to be established someone went with a spade & dug it up for their garden. :(
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Tony,

The wood's still green, too! :cry:
If you are ever in Herefordshire you will be made most welcome for a nip (or three) of malt. :wink:

Dog,

I'd try one off one end - you'll still have 49 left! :lol:

Alf,

On a more serious note (what - me serious?) you are dead right about apple trees. Last year Bulmers cider makers took out 22 acres of apple trees from their orchards surrounding our house (decided, apparently, that after 25 years they were the wrong variety of apples! :roll: ), left them on the ground for a few weeks then proceeded to bulldoze them onto enormous bonfires (just two bonfires on 22 acres! :shock: ). I thought what a waste and asked if I could have a couple. Next thing I knew there was a mountain of old apple tree trunks, all neatly trimmed, deposited in the lane by my back gate. Thought it was my birthday but, just a couple of weeks later, when I went to move them they were all horribly, and I mean horribly, split and pretty much useless. I had heard that apple wood is notoriously difficult to season - and I believe it! Burns well on the workshop stove, though. :lol:

Hope you have more luck with your apple wood - but then, dunno, you might just have the right variety! :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Dewy

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I'm further south in Glos. Trev. When I was a kid there was a stone cider press for anyone to use in the village. Perry was the Gloucester drink but every orchard I knew of both apples & pears has now got houses on. I know of one old perry pear tree but it's on land that is having a new estate built on so is unlikely to be there much longer. The last trees in an adjacent orchard are all old plums that regularly get broken by passing motorists who steal the plums to sell. Pear is a nice wood to work with too but so many trees are being burned ready for houses. I've seen mature oaks felled then burned to make way for a playing field. What a waste!
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Dewy,

I agree with you - terrible waste going on.

I don't like cutting down trees but obviously will do so when necessary. Sometimes they just grow too large, perhaps having been planted by somebody in the wrong place, not realising that they would grow.

When I moved here nine years ago there were five 70ft. poplars dangerously near the house (within 20ft. or so), especially when the wind blew! Had a guy round who said he could fell them for me in his spare time one weekend, it would take about an hour, for 200 quid! I remarked that that was not a bad hourly rate - never saw him again. Into town, bought a chain saw for less than 200, felled them myself over two years (missing the house) and still use the chainsaw!

Whenever I have removed any of my own trees I always plant at least one replacement, taking account of mature height and spacing - seems the best thing to do.

BTW - she is now a family friend and will have a nice walnut piece made for her - when it's dry!

Hey - guess what. We have actually got a very old perry pear tree at the top of our garden. Very tall and thin, about 50ft., and most years quite productive. Have made perry from the fruit, very refreshing on a hot day, and seems quite innokkuous at frist.................. :? :?

As the tree is very old, and fruit trees don't last for ever, I want to get hold of a couple of suitable rootstock to graft onto from the old tree to, hopefully, propogate a couple of new ones.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Dewy

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You should make sure those poplar roots are dead Trev.
Poplar roots are shallow and fan out sideways to support the tree.
They should never be closer than 100' from a house or they could weaken the foundations.
 

trevtheturner

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Yep, dead right, Dewy. They are well and truly dead.

Took advice from Forestry Commission before felling them. Very interesting - on a hot summer's day one mature poplar tree will apparently consume as much as 320 gallons of water. So, if the trees were felled straight off, as the 200 quid an hour 'tree surgeon' would have done, there was a real danger of surge, opposite to subsidence, affecting the house - we might have floated away! I was advised to cut them back by about a third, leave them for a year for water to make its own drainage waterways away from the trees, then if all okay fell the remainder. Followed the advice and no problems - a valuable 'phone call!

Trev.
 

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trevtheturner":d5xw2lzx said:
Dog,

I'd try one off one end - you'll still have 49 left! :lol:
Good point Trev :D

This has got me thinking, looking round my garden there is a lot of species that require thinning out. Oak, Sycamore, Birch, Beech, Hazel, Willow & loads of Poplar. If I cut down a few do I plank them immediately and let them dry but for how long or do I stack them as logs and let them dry, again for how long, then plank them ?

I grew 100 English Oaks from acorns and have since planted them all, I won't benifit but future generations will I hope ;)
 

Dewy

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One method tried 30 plus years ago was to use the same method as is now used for pressure treated wood.
This was to put green timber in a vacuum tank to remove all the moisture content. Polyeurethane was then added as a mist. This was drawn into the timber and fully impregnated it. Once dry, the timber could be machined & would never suffer from warping therefore this timber should have no further problems. They must have either found problems with this process or it was not economically viable so it did not appear.
 

Chris Knight

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Richard,

There is a lot on drying timber available on the web, including designs for solar kilns as here http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Solar_Kiln_Designs_1.html

If you have the space - and it sounds as if you may have - then one of these may help you convert a useful quantity of wood in reasonable time. It would also enable you to purchase green, fresh sawn timber at prices far below the cost of KDD stuff.

I went on a buying and drying wood course some years ago and saw one of these kilns in action, it worked very well.
 

Dog

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Thanks for the link Chris. I did a brief search and was surprised how much info is available on this subject. As for space, yes, a lot of jungle spread over 3 acres with plenty of potential to do all sorts of things the only stumbling block is something that doesn't physically grow on trees but can be harvested from things made from trees and that's money :D

I'm working on a new business idea as surprisingly my planters have received more interest than I expected them to and, albeit small, there is a profit potential there considering the cost to make/profit band which is quite appealing. So, if things go as planned I will eventually make better use of the space around me :wink:
 
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