Show Video

The story of our Boules

Our sticking team is busy in the yard putting together some gorgeous fresh sawn T&T boules, all sourced from sustainable managed British woodlands.

The story of our Boules

We’ve got air dried Oak, Elm (both pippy!) Chestnut, Ash, Cedar of Lebanon, Yew, Sycamore, Plane & Beech jumping the queue straight to the kiln & into Peter’s shed ready for use. They’re a cabinetmaker’s dream!

Our logs are carefully selected from well managed British woodlands, they are cut every autumn, winter and spring* by the best sawyer in the country (he really is!).

The story of our Boules

Then they’re sticked, measured, graded & stacked in boule for air drying in the open (for a year per inch!) until thoroughly seasoned. This is the complete log traditionally sawn ‘though & through’ (T&T) so it contains crown boards (great for wide figure) and quarter sawn boards (straight grained and stable) in the same boule.

The story of our Boules

What is a Boule anyway?

Well, ‘Making the Grade‘ says a boule is:

“A stack of timber formed from a log that is sawn longitudinally by a series of successive parallel cuts with the resultant waney-edged pieces then assembled to re-create the original form of the log”

Hmm, they’re not wrong, but whilst that statement is quite true, it really doesn’t capture the romance and soul of traditional sawmilling, boule sticking and artisan wood drying associated with producing our beautiful, flat, well-seasoned, stable, unstressed boards of waney edge timber… but we’ll let them have that one anyway shall we?

Nevertheless thank you ‘Making the Grade‘ for the definition.

What can you use them for?

Let’s see, because it’s seasoned and stored outdoors, air dried boule is appropriate to use for exterior joinery, decking, exterior furniture, cladding projects and sometimes even structural work.

After kilning the moisture content is bought down to a level good for internal use. These kiln dried boules are perfect for furniture, kitchen making, cabinet making, interior joinery & flooring. With timber it’s all about what it’s going to be used for and selecting the appropriate timber for the job.

Hopefully we’ve got that covered – Just ask us for advice!

Why use boule?

If quality and board stability are important to you, if selecting your own timber, matching grain and colour, having a wide range of available dimensions, utilising all of a board for economic use, knowing where your wood comes from, having stock on hand, supporting the British Forestry & Timber Industry, knowing that your work is unique…

we could go on!

But if all these things are important to you, then boule may be the right source of timber for you and your next project.

What are ‘provenance’ & ‘certification’?

Our stocklist holds data about our timber. We have worked hard to record all the information we think will be useful.

We hold chain of custody certificates so that we can source and supply FSC, PEFC timber. We also have certification for the new Grown in Britain licensing for all British Woodland owners, woods folk, sawmillers & wood users at all stages of the chain to be able to certify all well managed, homegrown timber.

Part of the reason this is possible is that we always record the source of a log, even down to the individual forest compartment it grew in. Provenance is always available to our customers and we’re working to make that information available to everyone.

And the nitty gritty?

Species: Ash, Beech, Chestnut, Cedar of Lebanon, Elm, Lime, Oak, Plane, Sycamore, Sequoia, Scots Pine, Walnut, Yew and there’s always more! Click here to see what’s in boules stock today.

Sizes: Boules are usually cut in 20mm to 120mm thicknesses and widths go up to 1000mm or more, lengths 6.2 or more. Click here to check the stock for more in depth detail.

Grades: Find out more about grades in Making the Grade, a great reference book for anyone interested in understanding grading of homegrown species. Download a copy from our website.

Prices: All our prices are on the website against the particular boule & reflecting it’s qualities.

More

Watch a little film showing Graham & Grant sticking boules – click here

Watch a little film showing the guys using the Joulin vacuum lift – click here

As always, thanks so much for watching and until next time…

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

*but not summer, it’s a bit of a harsh environment (v.low humidity & lots of direct sunlight) to lay down newly sawn logs with saturated moisture content, the timber get’s put under stress, giving off moisture too fast… not our idea of quality seasoning for quality boule.

It’s all about the wood

2

It’s all about the wood…

Twitter has opened up a fantastic channel for English Woodlands Timber to engage with some our customers, prospective customers, suppliers and end users.

We know that this medium does not suit everyone but I wanted to share with you some of the stories we are tweeting. The challenge we have is getting the tone right. It is essential that this is not seen as a pure selling tool but as a way of delivering valuable information to our customers…

Our “Photos and Videos” TAB on Twitter is a great way of viewing our story in picture form…
 
We have posted a number of customer gems – here are some of my favourites;


Wicked Box Car’s American Black Walnut Table – View on Twitter


Tom Cunninghams’s Elm table with the resin infill – View on Twitter


This Sycamore Bike – my next treat!! (…..when I get taller) – View on Twitter


This Cedar of Lebanon Boule that has was cut last season and has now been kilned and sitting in the shed ………..not for long! – View on Twitter


We would welcome your comments about of TWITTER page and the quality of our tweets.

Please share your product photos with us and we will happily publish them to our 2,376+ followers.

Also, check out the English Woodlands Forestry Twitter Page – we only launched this last year and the Forestry team are already up to 725 followers…

As always, thanks so much for watching and until next time…  

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

The story of the Boules

Our sticking team is busy in the yard putting together some gorgeous fresh sawn T&T boules, all sourced from sustainable managed British woodlands.

logs waiting to be cut fresh cut waney edge boules ashboules to be sticked

We’ve got air dried Oak, Elm (both pippy!) Chestnut, Ash, Cedar of Lebanon, Scots Pine, Wellingtonia, & Yew with Sycamore, Plane & Beech jumping th e queue straight to the kiln & into Peter’s shed ready for use. They’re a cabinetmaker’s dream!

(more…)

Air Dried Waney Edge Timber Packs

Search our Pack stock      

Just like we did when the sawwil was first started up in the 1940’s, we still put together waney edge timber packs for the joinery & furniture industries.

The waney edge timber packs are usually made up of smaller width boards from smaller girth logs that don’t warrant being kept as boules.

They’re good news if you can make use of small widths for furniture making, architectural joinery or floor manufacture. The thicknesses and lengths are still as you’d expect to find for boules (and there are usually really good lengths in there flooring people!)

Typical species in packs would be Oak, Chestnut, Ash & Beech but you can also find some unusual species,  maybe a bit of cedar of Lebanon, maybe a bit of Scots Pine… have a look at the stocklist and find out what’s on offer today!

Each pack has unique content so specifications vary considerably, but if this is the just product you’ve been looking then we’ll source and cut just to suit your purposes.

All that square edge you buy starts out this way…   why not get to choose how much of the board to waste and how much to keep!

Certification:  Grown in Britain, FSC & PEFC

 


WHAT NEXT?

For more on timber Species & Grades download  Making the Grade

Tell us about your project or submit your cutting list and project documents in the space below for Chris, Grant & Nick to fettle with

  • Tell us about you and what you need on the form below and we'll get back to you quickly with a price & availability on your timber. If you're unsure of some of the words we use to describe timber here's our Glossary & if you get really stuck give us a call on 01730 816941.

  • About You

  • About your project

  • Tell us what you need

  • Timber Spec.
    Dimensions
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

PK.AD.WE.F

 

A Scented Slice of Life

There’s really nothing like the feeling that what you do on a daily basis is worthwhile.

Last Thursday Terry Giltinan was generous enough to give us all that feeling by copying us in on this email he sent to the editor of British Woodworking magazine.

As Terry says, I spoke to him about the small piece of Cedar he needed for a drawer base (beautifully scented Cedar of Lebanon) and for that one little order Chris, Peter & Philip put their heads together to find the right piece of Cedar and to machine it to Terry’s requirements… and they did that in what amounted to minutes.

The part that took us the longest was the ‘R&D’ we had to do to discover the minimum planing capacity of the Wienig and/or the over and under planer!! 5mm is the answer.. which meant we could achieve Terry’s 6mm requirements which were crucial for a drawer base.

It’s rare we go down as thin as that in our heavy duty machine shop but now at least we know it’s possible… thank’s for your patience Terry!

Terry Giltinan's email

I guess this is what happens when you work with great people, they make your job easy, and together we all make it worthwhile. So “Thanks” you guys… please keep doing what you do!

And a BIG “Thank You” to Terry for making our week… it’s our pleasure.

Visit the website of the British Woodworking magazine.. backissues aplenty! http://www.britishwoodworking.com/

 

Air Dried Boules

See our Air Dried Boule Stock         

Our English logs are sawn through & through, sticked and stacked, in boule form, in our yard for air drying (for a year per inch!) every autumn, winter and spring until dry enough to be kilned.

Until that time they are available for exterior joinery, furniture making, cladding projects and structural work.

We keep boule stock in as many species as we can, usually Ash, Oak, Chestnut, Elm, Cedar of Lebanon, Walnut & Yew as a minimum. Inthose species we keep as many thicknesses as we can to be able to supply full cutting lists for joinery and furniture making i.e. 18 – 100mm if poss.

We also offer a bespoke sourcing and sawmilling service to makers that want to season their own stock boules or have a requirement in atypical dimensions.

Click on the image below to download a pdf with more information about Boules

Product Info

Product Info BL.Boules of waney edge timber

 

GALLERY

  Tom inspecting Brian Harman's round timber lorry delivering in fresh sawn boules boules logs are cut into boules of waney edge boards left to season for a year per inch inthe yard boards being taken off the bandsaw at helmdon sawmill to make waney edge boules of english oak for Cocking sawmill the first cut of an english oak log at helmdon sawmill   


WHAT NEXT?

Browse our air dried Boule stock

For more on timber Species & Grades download  Making the Grade

For more on timber certification:  Grown in Britain, FSC & PEFC

Tell us about your project or submit your cutting list and project documents in the space below for Chris, Grant & Nick to fettle with

  • Tell us about you and what you need on the form below and we'll get back to you quickly with a price & availability on your timber. If you're unsure of some of the words we use to describe timber here's our Glossary & if you get really stuck give us a call on 01730 816941.

  • About You

  • About your project

  • Tell us what you need

  • Timber Spec.
    Dimensions
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

BL.AD

 

Kiln Dried Waney Edge Boards

 

Waney edge boards are our undeniable treasure trove. They’re the staple of our woodyard, the largest range of all the board stocks and the basis for nearly all of our timber products.

As professional as we try to be here at Cocking, we all go a little weak at the knees when it comes to the kiln dried waney edge boards (Through & Through sawn boards). The T&T boule is the traditional method of timber production, the conversion from the log as it has been for decades, if not centuries.

Our waney edge stocks are varied and extensive and they change every day. See our current stocks of  Ash, Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,  Cherry, Chestnut, Elm, Maple, Oak, Plane,  Sycamore, Walnut

Whether you are a bespoke furniture maker, a specialist joiner, a kitchen maker or you just want a plank of raw wood for a table top, our waney edge boards stock is fabulous and will give your project the edge over a more standardised source of timber.

You will have the whole intact boards to work with, to get maximum use out of. With T&T boards you can utilise the  characteristics of the species that may otherwise have been discarded in the grading and selection process of pack timber.

We’re always very happy for our customers to come sightseeing, to look through the sheds and to select your own timber. We’re also more than happy to pick the timber to your specifications and to send it anywhere in the world that you would like.

Here in the yard we joke about the trials and tribulations of our work but one thing remains true and is worth remembering… there will never be another of the board you are looking now.

T&T boards are individuals, they are unique and will never be repeated. It makes sense for us to treasure them, so we can pass them on to you to create your treasures.

We’re happy for you to visit the woodyard to select your own boards and to get an idea of what you’ll find when you get here search our online stock to in the comfort of your own home or send us your  list requirements on the form below

If you have a questions, don’t hesitate to talk to us.

 

english woodlands timber explore the stock button

 


WHAT NEXT?

See the Kiln Dried Waney Edge Board stock

Looking for something very special? See the Super Thick, Super Wide, Super Long or Super Wild stock

Read about timber grades & species in Making the Grade

See Boards by Species Ash, Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,  Cherry, Chestnut, Elm, Maple, Oak, Plane,  Sycamore, Walnut

For a list of Joinery, Flooring, Cladding & Decking profiles visit our PROFILE LIBRARY

Download the PROFILE LIBRARY pdf

 

Submit your cutting list or upload your documents in the space below for Chris, Grant & Nick to fettle with

  • Tell us about you and what you need on the form below and we'll get back to you quickly with a price & availability on your timber. If you're unsure of some of the words we use to describe timber here's our Glossary & if you get really stuck give us a call on 01730 816941.

  • About You

  • About your project

  • Tell us what you need

  • Timber Spec.
    Dimensions
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

BD.KD.WE

BD.KD.WE.PK.O

BD.KD.WE.PK.F

 


Solid Wood Flooring

See our Solid Flooring Stock 

There are many solid Oak flooring options we can offer to order, but we also keep real honest-to-goodness stock of our most popular floor, the French Character Oak.

So once you’ve decided it’s the floor for you, there’s no waiting. No lead times. It’s yours for the taking!

We keep three widths – 150mm, 180mm, 200mm – which can be mixed together (which looks great in older properties) or used alone.

The flooring comes sealed in a pack of 1 to 1.5m2, with a mix of lengths within. Board lengths are between 1.5m to 2.4m with the majority at around 1.5 to 1.8m.

Boards are 21mm thick with tongue and groove on all 4 edges with a tiny (just 1 or 2mm) microbevel (some people call it a ‘v’ as in TGV) on the long edges.

The point of the microbevel is two-fold. The first utterly brilliant reason it that it means you don’t have to sand the floor once it’s fitted. Halleluja!.

The second reason is a really nice little visual trick. The microbevel creates a shadow which gives a nice directional ‘look’ to room and stops the floor looking so ‘monolithic’.

This floor can be fitted over joists, concrete, ply boards of existing floorboards.

Our French Oak Flooring is Certified PEFC

P.S. If you’re wondering what to do about finishes we keep good stocks of Osmo products and can order any that we don’t keep! We’re not floor-finsh experts but we do LOVE our Osmo. So user friendly, and there’s always a right product for whatever job you need to do. Browse Osmo in our webshop

*We can custom order our French Character Oak floor machined without the microbevel if you need, with a lead time of 2 – 6 weeks.

 


WHAT NEXT?

 

Read about timber grades & species in Making the Grade

See available stock Boards by Species Ash, Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,  Cherry, Chestnut, Elm, Maple, Oak, Plane,  Sycamore, Walnut

For a list of Joinery, Flooring, Cladding & Decking profiles visit our PROFILE LIBRARY

Download the PROFILE LIBRARY pdf

 

Submit your cutting list or upload your documents in the space below for Chris, Grant & Nick to fettle with

  • Tell us about you and what you need on the form below and we'll get back to you quickly with a price & availability on your timber. If you're unsure of some of the words we use to describe timber here's our Glossary & if you get really stuck give us a call on 01730 816941.

  • About You

  • About your project

  • Tell us what you need

  • Timber Spec.
    Dimensions
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

 

FLR.SOL

GLOSSARY


Oh, that’s what that word means…

 

AD  or Air Dried

Air Dried timber is timber that has been left to season in the open air. Rule of thumb for Hardwood air drying is 1 year per inch of thickness to be fully seasoned. The reason for drying timber is to reduce the moisture content within and therefore reduce the chance of movement once in use. Air dried T&T timber is suitable for external joinery/furniture/cladding/ etc.

 

Beams

Horizontal load bearing timbers.

 

Butt

The useable (usually the lower& branchless) part of a log

 

BTM or Boards to make

Is a term used to refer to a way of supplying timber. ‘Boards to make’ is short for boards to make a cutting list and describes a method of supply where intact boards, waney or square edged, are selected and provided against a cutting list, rather than cut to match the cutting list nominal sizes or planed all round to match cutting list finished sizes. For experienced woodworkers it can be preferable as the choice of cut is theirs and any waste is kept but conversely it takes more work and space to store. It’s

 

Boule

The French term for a log butt that has been cut through and through

 

Character

This term refers literally to the ‘character’ of the timber species i.e. the typical look, feel, behaviour etc it displays.
It can also refer to a grade when talking about Oak, more than any other species, and generally means that the timber has too much ‘character’ to be able to make the plain, clear, knot free grade that some joiners and woodworkers like to use and which we call Prime. See our TIMBER GRADES page for more info

 

Check

Separation of fibres along the grain forming a crack or fissure that does not extend through timber or veneer from one surface to the other

 

Cladding

Although it is possible to obtain timber in large width dimensions for cladding there are guidelines for dimensions from TRADA that exclude large dimension widths because the shrinkage and movement that can occur will be greater in wide boards than in narrow boards and the same width long lengths tend to bend or warp very quickly, whether bowing off the saw or in storage. The resulting problems with fixing and wastage are enough for us to advise against use of timber cladding in large dimensions, width or length.

Durability of the timbers has been measured by TRADA** to a degree (we assume you are not going to bury your cladding in the ground), but the service life of your timber cladding will be largely down to the detailing and fixing methods. Water is the element most likely to cause rots and damage and is the element you are managing by purposeful design. TRADA’s book External Timber Cladding has very good information, details, photographs, advice etc.

TRADA and the BRE’s timber density figures are generally given at 12% moisture content – technically a kiln dried product – but all homegrown cladding material will be of higher moisture content than this and therefore will be heavier. As a rule of thumb F/S Oak is 1100kg/m³ at roughly 50% moisture content and A/D will fluctuate depending on the weather with an average moisture content ,once fully dried (1 yr per inch thickness for hardwoods), of around 20%.

Density of the timber is important for cladding in terms of impact resistance, durability, weight (loading), stability etc.

 

Colour

The colour of a timber depends on it’s species, age, the soil it was grown on, weathering and many other factors. It is probably the most important visual element in choosing a timber.

Conversion

This the process of taking one raw material eg. log and converting it to another material for use eg. beam or T&T board

 

Coppicing

Forestry practice that involves the harvest of young growth of Ash, Hazel or Chestnut by cutting back stumps to ground level that quickly re-grow. The material harvested has many uses including for thatching, fence making, lath & batten making, and makes very sustainable fuel supply. We use coppice for our lime plaster laths and for fencing.

 

CTS  or Cut to Size

Meaning the timber is cut to a nominal width and length in a nominal thickness and sizes indicated are pre-planing dimensions

 

Durability

Likely to be the key factor in choice of species for cladding and external joinery work, the choice coming down to whether to use a preservative, a modified timber or rely on natural durability of a timber species and it’s ability to achieve a desired performance

Natural Durability: The inherent resistance of wood to attack by wood destroying organisms (BS EN 350.1) and in this classification relates to the resistance of the heartwood to attack by wood decaying fungi

 

Class 1 Very Durable
Class 2 Durable Cedar of Lebanon, Chestnut, Oak, Yew
Class 3 Moderately Durable Western Red Cedar, Walnut, Cherry
Class 4 Slightly Durable Elm, Larch (3-4), Douglas Fir (3-4), Scots Pine
Class 5 Not Durable Ash, Beech, Sycamore

 

External use

A few species of wood are suitable for use externally. The timber can generally can be higher in moisture content. Fresh sawn timber is fine outdoors and as air dried timber which has already lost moisture, shrunk and stabilised. Changing conditions will continue to impact timber used externally. The key is intelligent application i.e. using the right timber for the job with good detailing, good fixings and if any, good finishes.

Face dimensions

Face dimensions are the specific measurement – usually width in mm – of individual boards that are used for decking, cladding and flooring where the profile includes an overlap and the total width of the board is larger than the width of the face.

 

FE or Feather Edge

Feather edge is a simple 4 sided overlapping profile, usually cut from Fresh Sawn timber, for cladding and fencing use. It has one thin edge and one thicker edge, one overlaps the other.

 

Ferrous

Metals containing Iron – not many common metals are Ferrous free. For use with our timbers containing Tannin (Oak, Chestnut, Walnut, WRC) Austenitic Stainless Steel is recommended to avoid corrosion and staining issues.

Finished sizes

Finished sizes are exactly that, the sizes the piece of timber is machined to finish at. It’s used a lot in cutting list quoting where a customer provides a list of sizes of timber they require. The finished sizes have to be less (8mm) than the origin timber dimensions, what we call nominal dimensions.  So if the required finished size is 45mm thick, then the raw timber must be from 54mm thick to allow for 9mm of timber to be machined away to finish at the 45mm. It’s hard to talk about wasting so much but that’s the nature of requirements, need timber to be perfectly smooth, flat and to specific dimensions.

 

Fire resistance

Timber has minimal deformation during fire and it’s strength is not compromised by extreme heat, therefore risk of sudden failure is excluded. Timber will only fail mechanically after fire has eaten into the wood, which happens gradually over period of time. Steel by contrast, is affected by extreme heat and is prone to sudden failure

 

Forestry

Also known as Woodland Management. The management of land and trees with regard to protecting the natural woodland environment whilst facilitating forestry based industries.

 

FS or Fresh Sawn

Fresh Sawn timber, also known as Green, is timber newly cut from the log. It is timber still in a soft state, it’s is high in moisture but evaporates most of that off as it dried,  hardening at the same time.

 

General Info

Descriptive. timber colour and grain pattern, whether it can be treated, painted etc and how it works. eg. prone to split when nailed etc

 

Timber Grade / Grading

Timber grades vary depending on the qualities within the wood and standards set for assessment for purpose. Structural timbers are graded depending on their use and fitness for purpose. Joinery (inc furniture, flooring etc) timbers are graded on their visual qualities and signs of stability. See our TIMBER GRADES page for more info. and or see Structural Grades and Joinery Grades

Grain pattern

Determined by the way a tree grows, different on every species. The main visual quality of a piece of wood is in it’s grain pattern, perhaps second only to Colour.

 

 

Heartwood

The inner zone of wood that, in the growing tree, has ceased to contain living cells or conduct sap.

 

Homegrown

Grown in the UK.

 

Internal use

Most species of wood are suitable for use internally. Wood for internal use generally requires to be kiln drying but air dried can sometimes be dried enough. Using timber internally always depends on ambient moisture content and is all about managing moisture movement.

 

Joinery

Assembly of worked timber components and panel products other than structural timber or cladding. Generally Joinery refers to finely worked carpentry like doors, windows, frames, skirting, architrtaves and mouldings. It requires skilled wood working and a good understanding of wood. The deeper the understanding the better the joiner.

 

Joinery Grades

BS5756 Hardwoods
See our TIMBER GRADES page for more info

 

Jointed Wood

Piece of wood made up from smaller pieces joined together end to end, such as finger joint or built up with face to face or with edge to edge joints

 

KD or Kiln Dried

Kiln Dried timber is fully seasoned AD timber that can be further dried in the kiln. This takes the moisture level down from that achieved naturally in the open air so that the timber can be used in our very dry, centrally heated homes without risk of extreme movement.

 

Lamination

Layer wood glued to make a solid thickness, width or length

 

Lintels

Horizontal load bearing timber supported on brick/blockwork over an aperture (window or door to you and me!)

 

Moisture content

All solid timber has a moisture content and this is measurable to within a few percent. Moisture meters are available in varying types and accuracies. The moisture content of a timber changes due to a natural rate of drying once sawn, the mechanical drying process and in response to atmospheric conditions.

Guidelines for levels of moisture content are given in BS 1186-3 as follows

 

Exterior Joinery – all 13 – 19%
Interior Joinery – Buildings with intermittent heating 13 – 17%
Interior Joinery – Buildings with continuous heating to room temperatures of 12º-19º 10 – 14%
Interior Joinery – Buildings with continuous heating to room temperatures of 20º-24º 8 – 12%

 

Moisture movement

Movement is the dimensional change across the width and thickness of boards when the moisture content of timber changes in response to atmospheric conditions (statement TRADA)

Moisture movement is a relative term and species have been given the broad classes of Small, Medium or Large movement

Rule of Thumb: within the moisture content range 5-30% the across the grain dimensions change by the following classes

 

Small 1% movement for every 5% change in moisture content
Medium 1% movement for every 4% change in moisture content
Large 1% movement for every 3% change in moisture content

 

to illustrate: a board of 150mm width Oak (Medium) at 25% moisture content will come down to 148.5mm at 21%, 147mm at 17%, and 145.5mm at 13%. Greater width boards are therefore more liable to larger movement.

 

Moulding

These are the shaped profiles , often called architectural joinery, that will finish off the interior of a property. The door linings and architraves, the scotia, the picture rails, dado rails and skirting boards and any other decorative finishes that might be required.

 

Nominal sizes

Nominal sizes are the raw timber sizes.
When we use nominal sizes to pick on a cutting list we supply the original thicknesses – the ones we cut the logs at on the bandsaw, reduced due to shrinkage over time but pretty much predictable – and widths that allow for waste material in machining. When it comes to length we just aim for the least waste possible.

Oldest timber building

…in England, the Stave Church at Greensted in Essex, has timbers dated at 12th century. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensted_Church. www.essexchurches.info

 

Oldest timber building

…in the world is the Horiyu – ji Temple in Ikaruga, Japan has timbers dating early 7th century( built 607AD) and possibly late 6th. See:     http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/indepth/featuredarticles/worldheritage/c_6_horyu-ji.html

 

PAR or Planed all Round

Meaning planed on each surface apart from ends (4 sides), usually to specified dimensions i.e. the required finished sizes

 

Peter the stockman

Peter has worked for us for over 30 years (he won’t thank me for telling you that) and knows all there is to know about the timber in the yard. He manages the stockshed and the kilns and you’ll know him by his hawaiian shirt and cheeky grin!

 

Pippy

The occurance of Pippy knots in a timber is due to a species specific (usually Oak and Elm only) behaviour and results in a very attractive knot and grain pattern, also known as Cats Paw.

 

Posts

Vertical load bearing timbers

 

Prime Grade

Timber that is mostly knot free, clear and straight grained. See our TIMBER GRADES page for more info.

 

Production

Logs are felled (generally a winter activity) and extracted (generally a summer activity) from woodlands throughout the UK and transported to our site as Round Timber (the whole log with branches cleaned off). We try to keep a stock of as many species as may be needed to cut plank and beam.

To produce Air Dried and Kiln Dried timber we saw the logs in our bandmill into planks of pre-determined thicknesses in anticipation of the future requirements of stock. These thicknesses are cut slightly larger than the required thickness to allow for shrinkage eg: to be able to supply a 25mm /1″ or nominal 27mm board we will cut a plank to 29mm and it will shrink to 27mm whilst drying. Allowances increase slightly as planks get thicker and shrinkage ratio increases.

The planks are then stacked as a whole log with small sticks of timber (usually Poplar) laid between each plank, evenly spaced to allow for constant air flow. These are then stacked in the yard and left to dry in the open air (Air Dry). The time can vary depending on thickness of board and species of timber. Some timbers are more sensitive and dry rapidly eg; Ash & Sycamore. In general hardwoods dry slowly at one year per inch of thickness. The timbers reach a level of moisture content after this time period that allows them to be kilned. Care is taken to avoid stick marks in sensitive timber species.

Beam timber is always custom cut to order so that it is in optimum condition and the customer can determine the exact size required.

 

Profile

The sectional outline of the timber i.e. the shape you see if you sliced across the grain. It’s mostly use to talk about machined shaped mouldings. These are the detailed, shaped profiles cut with a moulder – a machine with 6 or more heads (cutting blades) – often used in architectural joinery as part of interior finishes.

 

Riven                         

This refers to a traditional method of hand splitting wood down the grain. Used to make laths*, battens, shingles and shakes. *Hand riven laths are always the best kind as the lime plaster can grip to the roughly grooved surface of the timber easily.

 

RT or Round Timber

The term for trees that have been felled and are now large diameter felled logs

 

Sapwood

The outer zone of wood that, in the growing tree contains living cells and conducts sap.

 

Section

Section is short for cross-section, a 90 degree slice across a width – as opposed to down a length.
Sections are the way we talk about structural timber – structural sections – because the inherent strength is a factor of the surface area of that cross section and the ratios of dimensions. Further info on STRUCTURAL TIMBER via TRADA

 

Service Life

The TRADA test for durability class involved timber being buried in the ground and measured the susceptibility to infestation and rot. It is not a measure of durability for typical uses eg: beams and posts, cladding, windows and doors, furniture etc. The actual service life of any species of timber may be a very long time depending on the fixing, design and detailing, orientation and prevailing weather.

Shake

Separation of fibres along the grain, irrespective of the extent of penetration, due to stresses developing in a standing tree, or in felling, or in drying of converted timber. ‘Shakes’ also refers to the riven timber tiles made for cladding.

 

Shingles

These are WRC, Oak or Chestnut timber tiles, made by hand or machine, to clad walls and roofs

 

Shrinkage

Also know as moisture movement. Can be estimated depending on species Re: Trada data.

 

Silver down

This is a term used to describe the way timber cladding, or any timber left unfinished externally, weathers as it dries and hardens whilst exposed to the elements. After a period, averagely 1 to 2 years, the colour will fade to a quite beautiful grey, silvery colour. To prevent this the timber must be protected with an external finish of some kind on a regular basis. To restore timber to it’s original colour would require sanding or planing work and the original colour will be revealed under the silver surface.

 

Sourcing

Where it grows/ it’s origins, inc where we source it from eg ‘SE England’ Typical growing sizes of the tree – dependent on growing conditions i.e. soil content, local climate, orientation and prevailing weather. Availability – common or rare/easy to source or not – some species are grown very low numbers, or only ornamentally and are therefore harder to source and available volumes are low and prices can reflect this.

Species          

Given as the Common Name and the Biological name of the tree

 

Split

Separation of fibres along the grain forming a crack or fissure that extends through timber or veneer from one surface to the other

 

SE or Square Edge

Square edge, meaning the Waney edges of the boards have been cut off so that the timber is squared and usually rectangular shape rather than tapered. This is usually how imported timbers are supplied. Square edge also refers to a profile cut from Fresh Sawn timber for cladding.

 

Strength

Mechanical strength of timber should be assessed in relation to resistance to shock, axial compression & tension, resistance to bending and elasticity /deflection. various data sources are available for reference. Trada and BRE are good authorities on technical information on timber.

 

Structural Grades

BS4976 Softwoods

BS5756 Hardwoods

issues to be considered for use of structural timber : re: loading ; bending, tension, compression, shear, elasticity also :sapwood, knots, slope of grain, deflection, distortion, self-weight of frame. Further info on STRUCTURAL TIMBER via TRADA

 

Super Prime Grade

Super Prime grade really only applies to our Croatian Oak square edge boards that have been selected out from Prime grade stock as they achieve over and above the requirements. This grade of Oak is of a consistent pale oak colour,  it has very little variation in grain, it does include a fairly high percentage of quarter sawn boards, in appearance it is the ‘cleanest’ Oak it is possible to buy and in function it is very stable and as such is highly sought after for joinery. See our TIMBER GRADES page for more info

Tannic Acid

Some timber species contain Tannin, Quertannic acid that is corrosive to Ferrous metals, eating into the metal and leaving black blue stain on the timber but ironically (not pun intended) makes the timber species more durable.

 

Thermal properties

Wood is a good insulator, has good U-values, in that it does not conduct heat well. By the same token it has bad thermal mass, in that it does not store heat well.          This makes wood great as an insulator, as a barrier to stop heat getting out or cold getting in, which why it is great as flooring, external cladding and roofing. For this same reason it is not the ideal material to put over underfloor heating but if used, once the floor is up to temperature it will maintain the level of ambient heat required to heat the room but will not be able to store heat and therefore will probably use more energy than a material that has good thermal mass. It is also a good electrical insulator

T&T or Through & Through

A T&T plank is where a log has been ‘sliced’ right through the length with the bark left on. This is how we mill the majority of our logs and is always done to a specific thickness.

 

Timber Type

Given as Hardwood or Softwood depending on species

 

Timber properties

More technical info – on movement/stability, durability, strengths, density, particular values that are relevant to the appropriate uses. Fixings and metal components & tannin

 

Treatability

The ease with which a wood can be penetrated by a liquid eg. a preservative. There are classes for which species are rated.

 

Treatment

TRADA states that timber species rated as durability Class 3 or better can be used without treatment if non-durable sapwood is excluded (BS EN 350 Durability of Wood… statement)

 

Wastage

This is the term we use to assess the amount timber left after conversion i.e. the ‘unusable’ timber separated from the usable timber. We have established averages for waste for the purpose of measuring and pricing, but it varies depending on species, specification and material.

 

WE or Waney Edge

Boards that still have the bark left on the sides, left as T&T or sometimes, e.g. for cladding, one edge is squared and one left waney. Waney edge timber is usually tapered, having the natural shape of the log i.e. the tree is wider at the base and narrows higher up

 

WRC

Western Red Cedar

 

Workability

This refers to how well a species works, whether it is easy or difficult with hand tools or machine tools, and is usually related to grain patterns, hardness, acid or resin content etc. Generally with dry hardwoods the more wavy grained and knotty they are, the more tricky they are to work. Fresh sawn timber is always softer and therefore easier to work.

 

Working Sawmill

We still operate as a fully functioning sawmill, sawing T&T plank through the autumn/winter season, beam, making laths, fencing and all our waste goes for firewood or sawdust for the local farm

 

U-value

The u-value (thermal conductivity) information for timber is very generalised and gives the value as 0.14 W/m.k .Not much data is available and what is does not go into individual species, although for construction purposes this figure seems to suffice (NB it is based on data for material 1 metre thickness) Ref.

 

Visual grading

Our resident Visual Strength Grader Steve (TRADA Reg.no.5183) will be glad to grade your structural Oak to BS5756 if required. Call and ask him for advice on 01730 816941.

 

 

Got a question about the glossary of wood words? Get in touch…

Species

Our Timbers

Here is where we pay homage to the tree, the timber and the knowledge passed down through decades from within the forestry & timber industry we’ve been a part of for so long.

We’re holding onto what we’ve learned and leaning more everyday about the different species of wood we work with.

Here is where we’ll share everything we know with you.

Come back soon and find out about Ash, Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,  Cherry, Chestnut, Douglas Fir, Elm, Larch, Lime, Maple, Oak, Plane, Poplar, Sycamore, Sapele, Southern Yellow Pine, Walnut, Western Red Cedar, Yew and more

If you just can’t wait to find out get in touch and ask us a question and we’ll get right back to you.

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