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Retired

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Hi,

Just a quick message; I've bought three sycamore 4" square x 10" spindle blanks and as expected they are expensive because of the work that goes into supplying them with kilning etc. and postage costs. I had a thought a while ago and have just got round to acting on it; I've emailed a local company who sell outdoor treated timber like fence posts and sheds; they have their own saw mill converting locally grown timber; I've asked if they can supply 4" square sawn but untreated sycamore in 4' lengths allowing collection by car but if not then 6' lengths to be delivered; I can rough turn then leave alone to dry before finish turning? At the moment it's just an idea but worth trying for the sake of an email? ;)

Kind regards, Colin.
 

SVB

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Worth a email but I suspect treated fence posts will be pine. Untreated oak posts are also available. Both may be expected to crack (or even delivered with checking) are part of the character of the item. As far as I know, sycamore is not used for exterior garden structure but it maybe someone will be along and say it is and who to contact.

simon

PS - when you say ‘expensive’ if you don’t mone out of interest what did it cost / from who as I have a need for so,e 4” syc’y so am about to do a bit of a web-trawl?
 

Retired

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply SVB. I bought the last 3 lengths of sycamore of the size quoted from Turners Retreat; I like Turners Retreat who took over from the old Craft Supplies in Millers Dale; when Craft Supplies closed it firstly went to another address in Derbyshire it was an old farm type building but now at Turners retreat I can highly recommend a visit once Covid allows; turning blanks are expensive but justified due to the way the blanks are prepared needing a lot of care and selection of the timber being dried; then comes all the handling etc. and VAT plus postage can add a lot to the basic price. I believe Turners Retreat are owned by Sorby's.

I did lots of web browsing and at one supplier not Turners retreat the basic price of the sycamore blank I wanted was £13 but by the time VAT and postage (£9.50) were added just for the once piece the total came to around £25 this is what I meant about expensive.

Sycamore

Above is a link to Turners Retreat sycamore; as I say I bought the last three of the size I wanted but other sizes are still available; I bought my Peter Child pyrography kit from Turners Retreat plus lots more over the years; good quality is assured and I've never had problems.

The timber supplier I emailed mill all common native timbers and there are plenty of sycamore around; they pressure treat it but about 30 years ago I did buy rough sawn cladding still with bark attached for use on the front of our bungalow; I'll be interested to see their reply and my fingers are crossed if they can't supply sycamore then at least I've been cheeky enough to ask. I can always try other saw mills. ;)

Years ago I bought lots of fresh sawn beech at a timber yard in Flockton very cheaply indeed but the timber yard closed down. I'm not in a hurry because I already have lots of dry turning blanks. Again years ago I asked a local tree surgeon to let me have logs of holly next time he felled them; when he delivered them he only wanted £10; these were stored beneath our bungalow where it's ideal not allowing warm air onto them; here's the last holly log I've just turned;

Goblet_0004.JPG


A couple of years ago I used two holly logs to turn a pair of vases; one for us and one for former neighbours as a leaving present. Lots of turners obtain fresh felled timber then rough turn to remove most of the bulk then put the items under a bench out of the way for months; when they return to them the item is dry and all the stresses are relieved it doesn't matter if there is distortion because of the extra thickness left during rough turning. Holly is a lovely timber to turn.

Good luck in your search for timber and if you do find a cheap source let us all know.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

Richard_C

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I had the same 4" fence post thoughts last year, but when I wandered around a couple of landscape/fencing suppliers I realized that although fine for fencing jobs there was a lot of checking, irregularities and big knots in most lengths of treated softwood and untreated oak. You might get lucky, but not something to buy 'unseen'. Not seen anything other than oak or softwood.
 

Retired

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Hi,

No reply from Job Earnshaw's to my email enquiry asking if they could supply untreated sycamore; I'd have been happy just to receive the courtesy of a reply saying sorry can't help rather than no reply. It was worth a try though. It's likely they only convert softwood?
 

marcros

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This is a tennuous link but...

There is a member on here in South Wales who processes a lot of his own timber (uses some, sells some). He has posted several times about it but I have forgotten the name. He has a friend (called Saul I think) who does similarly and who is based near you. It may be worth doing some detective work and dropping him a message. I had a chat with him once but I can't find the PM.

I would start by looking at some recent chainsaw threads because he certainly posted on those.

@topchippyles I think it was you!
 

Lonsdale73

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Hi,
I'd have been happy just to receive the courtesy of a reply saying sorry can't help rather than no reply.
This is a huge bugbear of mine. Not as many as it used be but whenever I receive an enquiry, I endeavour to answer as quickly as I can, even if only to say "Sorry, not something I can help you with." I send out lots of emails, asking only for permission to do something or othe that will be of no cost and little to no inconvenience to whoever's permission I seek, often something that might actually be of use to them and the number of non-replies by far outweigh those with the decency to at least acknowledge me at all. A little courtesy costs nothing.
 

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