There are precious few outlets for home grown timber and only a handful of sawmills left in our country that are still cutting local timbers. We spend a lot of time seeking out these sawyers and searching for those British timbers that are grown and cropped in sustainably managed woodlands. We are trying to find timbers that tell the story of our nation; oaks, ash, elm, beech, walnut, sweet chestnut, yew, sycamore, maple, with the occasional rarity such as holly, lacewood, boxwood, apple, pear and cherry.
We principally look for three types of timber. Firstly, timber for stock, mainly 1" (25mm) and ¾" (18mm) thicknesses of oak and ash. We use these for carcase frames, back frames, drawer sides and bottoms, and we are looking for clean, straight grained and the more stable cuts. The drawing in "woodcuts" show the basic cuts which we use and which planks we select for which purpose.
Secondly, we are looking for 2" (52mm) and 1½" (38mm) thicknesses of similar timbers which we use for larger frames and carcase work, chair legs, table rails and legs.
Thirdly, and perhaps most interestingly, we search for the maverick individuals within the British species, those that show their peculiar and individual history, and have the scars to prove it. What follows are a few examples of what we are searching for.