Getting Your Wood
The furniture is made using locally grown, sustainable timber, predominantly oak. Whole tree trunks are supplied by a local woodland and are then cut into various sized planks according to the furniture that we are likely to make. For example, 1" timber is used in the majority of cabinet work, 2" is used to make table tops, and the 3" and 4" is used to make table legs and four poster bed posts.
Milling Your Timber
A local timber contractor with a mobile planking machine, comes for several days during the year, to process the wood delivered to the workshops. The highly experienced mill operator (Ian Carmichael, owner of the company, Teme Timber,) and Stephen Edwards both inspect each log being processed, so that the maximum quality wood can be harvested for your furniture. Great care is taken to machine the boards to gain the maximum beauty of the wood as decades of growth are revealed with each pass of the saw.
Drying Your Timber
Boards are placed in a stack, with sticks between them to allow air to circulate through the boards and dry them out slowly, until they are as dry as the air flowing through them. This is known as â€˜air dryingâ€™, and in Britain will bring the moisture content down to about 15-18%. This will not however, dry the wood sufficiently for use in furniture placed in your house, especially if it is in a dry centrally heated home. The use of a simple dehumidifying kiln will take the moisture content of the timber down to a satisfactory level, before it is used to make your final product.
Timber is placed into a kiln, which is basically an insulated box, where heat can be introduced to help the excess moisture to come to the surface of the board. Moisture can then be extracted from the air within the kiln, using a refrigeration unit and timer. Once the wood has reached the desired moisture content, about 12%, it can be cooled down slowly, to avoid putting stresses in the planks, and then use them to make your furniture.
Most of wood used is English oak, but we also dry smaller quantities of ash, sycamore, Douglas Fir, yew and walnut. Producing our own dried timber, allows us to keep a close eye on quality control throughout the whole process. Our craftsmen can select wood for your furniture from a comprehensive stock of timber built up over the years from local sources. Furniture made from West African mahogany, American cherry etc., also comes from sustainable forests.
Much thought is going into the use of timber from local sources within the business, without losing quality within the end product, and we are working hand in hand with The Marches Woodland Initiative(MWI) to achieve this as far as possible.