Woodworking

Playing the Long Game

It was in February 2020 that I arranged to have some oak trunks milled at the in-law’s farm. The farm itself, in years gone by, had its own sawmill (I’ll take pictures of what remains of the mill next time I’m down) but nothing has been milled there for at least 20 years.

With my plan to join the professional course at the Chippendale School of Furniture having been formalised, suddenly there was interest in having the wood milled ready for me to make something (once I knew how).

There were three logs – all around 2 ft in diameter – one log was 30 ft and the other two were around 8 ft long. Everything was going to be cut to 1.5 inches thick and I had stakes ready for stacking.

Mark Rowe, who is based in the nearby village of Dunscore and who has a mobile sawmill service, was lined up to do the milling and work began promptly at 9 am.

I have to say that I wasn’t prepared for the weight of the wood and at the end of the day I was thoroughly knackered having been shifting heavy oak boards for 6 hours. But seeing the beautifully figured wood with the cats paws and the big stack of oak boards made it all worthwhile, and it was fun too.

That was a year ago, and there’s still another 6 months of seasoning to go before the wood can be used. It’s definitely a long game…

…and now there’s a 200 year old ash to be milled which is 3-4ft in diameter!

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