Friday, 25 September 2015

Oak and Sweet Chestnut Timber Milling

There's nothing like using timber which has grown for 100's of years at Woodhayes for your own use. We have a project to put up a post and rail fence around an extended garden to Tillicks Cottage the farm labourers cottage in order to provide more garden to the Cottage. We did not have to look far for timber as we had already extracted a lot of timber from Crownall Wood this summer but there was also a very large dead parkland oak tree. We contacted Francis Huffman from Honiton Hardwoods who collected the timber we wanted to be used for 180 meteres and rails and 32 x  2 meter posts. The following photos show the process and what turned out to be a big surprise.

Multiple Timber Trunks extracted from Crownall Wood, including Ash, Sweet Chesnut, Oak ad Sycamore. 

Cross section of an Ash Tree

Francis Lifting Large Oak Timber trunk into position for Milling.

Oak Trunk edges closer to Timber Milling bench

Francis prepares large Oak Trunk for cutting

First Slice to take off outer section of the Trunk

This is what we found a treasure of oak design showing Wavey oak grains and cat's paws or Pippy Oak, so this oak was to good for posts, so we decided to have 1- 1.1/2 inch planks made which we will use for kitchen work tops for the new kitchen we plan for Tillicks Cottage

Another image showing the cat's paws, this type of wood makes £40-50 per cubic foot at British Hardwoods. so we were right to have this wood made into planks.

Francis making more cuts to the main oak Trunk.

The Oak Boards start to stack up , note that we have put wooden dividers between each plank to allow for circulation of air to help with the drying. Drying takes approximately 1 year per inch.

here are posts being made from the heart of the Trunk, note some rot at the end of the post.

A Sweet Chestnut is up next, this wood is as hard as oak but more prone to splitting, so one needs to be careful when cutting the trunk.

Another view of the Sweet Chestnut ready to be sawn.

Here is the first Cut

Here is the timber beautifully stacked back at the farm, note that the timber posts, rails and planks have spaced out dividers to allow for air circulation helping with the drying process. The wood will need 2-3 years to dry, it will then be ready to be used. The Timber planks will have to be sanded to leave a polished surface for the kitchen work tops, we will revisit that process in a few years from now.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Metal Detector Finds at Woodhayes

We had Scott and his son from Bristol sweep some fields one weekend in August and these are some of the finds they have come up with over 4 hours detecting. Scott cleaned up the items and they are as follows :

Large buckle probably a horse strap ,
Other buckle belt 1600 ,
Two fantastic thimbles , one  pewter,  the smaller one is  brass
Iron wedge,
Chest of draws handle,
Musket ball,
Spur buckle or a small shoe buckle 1600-1700 ,
1935 six pence,
Flat button with initials of cs on it

We hope to see Scott and his son back here again soon and we will update you with his finds.