One dreary January morning we finally lost our old re-saw to the bandmill in the sky (the bandsaw we used for re-sawing boards & beams rather than cutting logs) commonly known as the scrap yard!
This was a wood working machine from our old bandmill was engineered and built by John Pickles & Sons of Hebden Bridge (see the lovely red painted lettering) goodness knows how long ago but we think the John Pickles company was manufacturing at the turn of the century (the 1900’s!).
The re-saw has been a working bandsaw here at Cocking Sawmills since before Peter arrived so we know it was more than 35 years old.
Peter says that when he first started at the sawmill (after leaving his job in a well known men’s fashion outlet..!) he worked on the back of the re-saw square-edging a never ending production of waney-edge Beech.
When Peter first started in 1977 enormous volumes of Beech were used by the British furniture industry for wooden furniture and for upholstered & framed furniture*. English Woodlands Timber produced massive amounts of timber to supply the local furniture makers and the big High Wycombe based chair-makers. Sadly, the demand for English Beech died off with the demise of British furniture making.
Having said that, we did cut some Beech** logs this winter which are air drying happily in the yard, maybe it’ll come back into vogue? That would make the foresters happy as there is plenty of large dimension top grade Beech growing out there in our native woodlands that will probably end up as firewood if no one wants it for anything else!
Anyway.. I digress.. back to the poor old re-saw’s demise..
We never had a manual for this machine, we have no records of where it came from, how old it was or how much it cost to buy but it has been part of the furniture of the sawmill for so long I thought it deserved a little testimonial..
So here goes.. a selection from those who knew it well..
from Me (Sarah): ‘I was always impressed/awestruck/horrified by the fact it took over half an hour for the blade to stop turning once you’d turned the power off..’
from Steve: ‘…at least it did the featheredge when we needed it to…’
from Graham: ‘.. sad loss of a good machine..’
from Philip: ‘.. that machine was built to last.. and was alot better than alot of newer machines!’
from Peter: ‘ it made heavy old work of sawing 4″ waney edge back in 1977 that’s for sure”
The disposal of our re-saw was made possible courtesy of Chris at Charles Muddle scrap metal dealers www.charlesmuddle.co.uk and transported by the very able & willing Sussex Transport Hiab lorry driver www.sussextransport.com/
*Check back for pics of the yard stacked full of Beech after the war… more pics coming soon!
**Get in touch if you’d like to know more about English Beech; we keep cutting, kilning and bringing in new stock.. and so it changes nearly everyday!
See our current Wood Machining Services https://www.englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk/timber-services/
which includes our super duper 6 head Weinig moulder & a wide boards planer up that does up to 800mm in a single width… #liveedge central!
Or find out about Bespoke Sawmilling https://www.englishwoodlandstimber.co.uk/timber-services/
On vintage woodworking machinery
On British furniture makers
The Association for British Furniture Makers http://www.bfm.org.uk
The Woodworkers Institute http://www.woodworkersinstitute.com