Timber Yard Trip
When new students are about a month or so into their course Marc takes them on a day out to a few timber yards. The first stop of the day is usually at English Woodland Timber where they have a vast collection of European and North American hardwoods. English Woodland Timber is generally where we go for most of our timber. Apart from being one of the closest timber yards to us, they have huge amounts of the timbers most commonly used in furniture such as oak, walnut, cherry, maple etc all in a large variety of sizes and they often have whole trees which allows us to select sequential boards. They also allow us to enter the kilns and explain to the students the process of kiln drying timber. The next timber yard we stop at before lunch is
WL Wests and Sons, which is not dissimilar to English Woodlands in the wood they sell but they do have a nice little shop where you can pick up interesting books, tools or interesting pieces of wood.
After a spot of lunch, we head up to Tonbridge to visit Timberline, a place that specialises in exotic hardwoods. All kinds of rosewood and ebony are available as well as wenge, purpleheart, rippled sycamore, mahogany and many more that I don't even know how to spell. It is here that students usually end up spending more than they intended as it's so easy to get drawn in by all the beautiful timbers on offer. The owner, Robert has a vast knowledge of timber and is always very forthcoming when we visit.
The timber yard trip is always a good day out, despite being somewhat cold, and the students get a chance to learn about the process of selecting the right timber for the job, how timber is stored and dried, and have a chance to familiarise themselves with some timbers that you don't see every day. Pub lunch is also a welcome stop.
Our new thicknesser finally arrived on Wednesday! Digital rise and fall, variable speed, maximum width of 530mm, maximum cut depth of 6mm, four knives and a sectional infeed roller for boards of varied sizes. We've only had it two days and we are already feeling the benefits.
Thus week the students have been experimenting with different finishing techniques using Osmo oil, Tung oil, Danish oil, Sam Maloof solution, Kiel's wax and Renaissance wax. By dividing up pieces of wood with masking tape you can apply the various oils and waxes to compare the effects each one has on a variety of timbers.
|Darren applying oil to his samples|
Art Nouveau Chair Project
Marc's side project is starting to take shape now and is almost ready to glue up. He has roughly cut the shapes of the legs, rails and crest rail which will all be carved by hand once the components are glue together.
Well done to 50 week student Kris who has now finished his two jewellery boxes in Madagascan rosewood and aluminium!
Have a good weekend, more next week.