The majority of the wood I use at work is locally sourced English hardwoods from the Blackdown Hills where I live and work. This burr oak tree had died standing and then blew over.
The moving and transportation can be dificult.
Local farmers, tree surgeons, timber merchants and other contacts keep me well supplied. Here are beech logs starting to spalt at the timber yard.
Depending on the tree type and size, different preparations at work are carried out. For example, beech may be left to spalt for two years and then sawn into planks for chopping boards, as shown in the picture on the right. This is actualy an Elm tree.
Wood can be left to air dry or more normally kiln dried to produces a stable material for finished work. Otherwise splitting and warping may result.
As a rule 8 to 10% moisture content is required for an item sited in a modern centrally-heated house. Dry wood will pick up moisture if allowed to, it is still “alive” even when dead! This is why items warp and split when their surrounding conditions change.
At work loading the Kiln.
Wood is “sticked” in a kiln with sticks 15mm high at 400mm distance apart to create an air gap between boards. An industrial dehumidifier is used with extra fans to drive warm air through the stack which condenses and drains to outside the kiln.
About 500lts of water will be removed during the drying cycle which takes 4 to 8 weeks dependent on wood and moisture content.
From tree to end product can take from 6 weeks to many years, it all depends on the moisture content and the type of wood being processed.