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Where to buy oak wood for E15 Backenzahn Stool?

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Lomisz

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Hello everyone, this is my first post here on this forum. i hope that someone will be able to of help.
I saw this E15 Backenzahn Stool/Table which i fell in love with but the price of £500 was shocking! I' not allowed to post any links or pictures so try googling it to get an idea of what i'm talking about.

I thought that it's a very easy design and being a keep DIYer I should be able to make one of these myself. So I tried to look for suitable oak wood online. Lots of places come up offering very good prices between £20-30 but they seem to be quite far away from where I live in North London and the delivery charges a very expensive of up to £100. So this is one of the reasons why I came for help here to see if anyone will be able to suggest some wood suppliers where i would be able to buy this wood. If it's really close to me then i will be able to collect or at least deliver at much lower prices.
First i thought that i just buy a new railway sleeper but then i thought of the amount of cutting that will be required and handling an 80kg sleeper will not be easy. So then i searched for custom cut oak beam saving me from doing most of the cutting. If I can order 130x130x470mm pieces it will be easier to handle and much less cutting.
Then I came across the choice of air dried and green oak. This is the second thing I would like to ask advice for. I understand that air dried oak is much more dimentionally stable but it will be much tougher to cut. Also i'm not sure if it will still have that golden colour of will it be gray? Green oak should be easier to cut and any splitting of the wood as it dries will add to the character of the stool, but i don't want to find that one leg becomes 1cm shorter! Will greem oak be suitable for this project? Also the colour I suspect should be golden.
Here comes my next question about cutting this type of wood. What saws will I need? I do own an record power bandsaw but i don't think it will physically handle wood as thick as that and also it was struggling with much thinner hardwood when i used it previously. I have a few hardpoint saw and one if pretty long but not sure if that will be enough. I thought maybe a bow frame saw.

Any advice from you will be very useful!
 

JakeS

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Air-dried oak will still be golden-brown - it's only being left out in the elements which makes it grey. My understanding is that it's best to do all furnituremaking with dried timber, because as the green stuff dries not only will it shrink, but it may warp and bend. That said, wood shrinks perpendicular to the grain direction, so your legs probably wouldn't get shorter... but they may get less straight.

If you have a bandsaw then try contacting Ian at tuffsaws.co.uk - he sells excellent blades and will be able to advise you on which ones are best for the task at hand (it makes a lot of difference) and whether you can expect to be able to do whatever with your particular bandsaw.

In general, though, you're probably better off buying timber closer to the dimensions you actually need than sleepers are, even leaving aside green/dried!
 

JakeS

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marcros":2zvcaan7 said:
http://www.nest.co.uk/product/e15-backenzahn-stool
My first reaction upon seeing that is "sod it, make it out of green gate posts"!

That may be because it's - how to put it? - "not really my taste in furniture", though. ;-)

I guess you could make it green, leave it to dry for a year or two and then finish it, squaring the outside faces and carving the bowl of the seat at that point, after the wood has moved? Of course, that would mean going without a stool for a year or two.

Or you could make three or four, keep them out of the way 'til they're dry, keep one, sell the others and pay off your mortgage on the proceeds?




I'm curious, does anyone know how it's fixed together? It looks like there's a deliberate space left between the four parts...
 

Alex H

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JakeS":1k36xb10 said:
marcros":1k36xb10 said:
http://www.nest.co.uk/product/e15-backenzahn-stool
My first reaction upon seeing that is "sod it, make it out of green gate posts"!
My feelings as well :) My current part of house renovation is the creation of a lounge - I'm using similar sized wood for the ceiling. Now I know what i can do with the offcuts.
 

stevenw1963

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I'm lost for words - £700+ for 4 bits of wood cobbled together - shocking

Doesn't look comfortable (stool) nor safe as a table, top looks uneven.

No doubt one of those arty-farty things you don't actuallu use!!
 

SurreyHills

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Peter
That's just an upturned box - they certainly seem to have consistently high price tags on their stuff.

Andy
 

Lomisz

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I guess charging prices like that means they do not have to sell many to make the money.

How much would green oak warp? Will I be able to cut air dried oak with some sort of bow frame saw? I think my bandsaw can only handle thinkness of 100mm and the oak will be 130mm.
But the most important thing first is where can i get this wood for low delivery price.

I was thinking of joining the legs together with some sizable oak dowels leaving a 5-10mm space between the.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Hi Lomisz, and welcome to the forum!

Buying hardwood timber in smallish quantities is something all of us struggle with. The timber yards are set up either to supply the building trade with (mostly) softwoods, or to supply hardwoods in factory quantities. In this case, the other problem is that oak of this sort of thickness is even harder to come by in seasoned condition, so if you do find any, it will likely be at a premium price.

There are a few yards around the country prepared to supply small quantities by mail order. It might be worth trying Interesting Timbers ( www.interestingtimbers.co.uk ) who have a yard in Somerset, or one of the specialists like Timberline in Kent ( www.exotichardwoods.co.uk ).

To make it, I think I'd use a hand rip saw to cut the tapers, and finish with a jack plane. For the top, I might be tempted to shape it with a large, shallow carving gouge, which would leave an interesting texture. Fixing together with dowels sounds fine, but you'd need a template or jig to get the dowel-holes in just the right places.
 

morfa

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I'm on my own here it seems, but I have to say, I quite like it. As a simple/minimalist piece it works quite well. It is a bit steep for what it is, but you're not really paying for the building of it.

Anyway, on to the wood buying. I can't believe that there isn't a decent timber supplier near you in North London. I really can't. I live in Wales and I can think of at least two decent timber yards in a 30 minute drive who would be able to get what you want. So there has to be something near you in London. They might not have a website however. So check yell.com and start ringing around local places. There's about 20 odd in North London. But these two might be able to help:

http://www.thomerson.co.uk/
http://www.erobertstimber.co.uk/

It might be worth thinking about creating the four legs from smaller pieces of wood stuck together. With some careful selection, you should get it looking good.
 

Togalosh

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Lomisz... you could try asking your local tree surgeon. They usually cut oak a lot smaller than what you'll need but some do branch out (ahem) into timber supplies or they might be kind enough to do you a favour. They sell european //Russian oak 'sleepers' in some garden centres who might deliver.

My local saw mill sells off cuts of the size you need for £5 (if/when they have them) .. they are green & would easily take years to dry & it's cracking that'll be the problem more than warping _ I recon anyway. The faster you dry them (ie the sooner you bring it indoors) the bigger, wider these cracks will become... but you can fill the cracks with resin.

As for tools..start with a big rip saw, a big cross cut saw & a plane (#5 or more ) with a sharpening stone or 3....something to work on, something to hold the work, a mallet, a straight edge, a set square, a low angled plane for the end grain, a sliding bevel, clamps & cramps, drill & drill bits for dowelling, a dowel jig, a scraper & some sand paper....

I recon they are dowelled together
 
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