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  1. Thanks Squaredy Yeah. Took me 7-8 years to get around to working out the method through research and trial and error, but have been making small numbers of them for the past 5 or so years. They’re based on a traditional West Country splint baskets but modified to suit modern use. The old ones were 3-4 times the weight of one of mine for a similar size basket! I’ve tried various woods in the past mostly in an attempt to get the weight down. Surprisingly Wellingtonia works quite well, but does tend to be both soft and at the same time a little brittle. Western Red Cedar is also pretty good and gives off a lovely smell as you’d expect. Sweet chestnut makes a very durable basket but is a bit of a b…..r to work without it splitting. Cricket bat willow seems to be the near ideal material. Not really tried any other willow to be honest, but I suppose other types might work.
  2. Thanks Stihl123 I think I might have sourced some now, but it’s good to have a backup plan. I’ll give them a ring to sound them out for the future to see what they’re able to supply.
  3. As title says, I’m after a small amount of cricket bat willow for basket making. Can be flexible on the size, but preferably 4-5 foot long lengths x 12-24 inch diameter. Might consider other sizes - it just depends on what’s about. The sizes I’ve quoted allow me to break it down into smaller billets on my Logosol farmers chainsaw mill before it goes over the table saw. The finished splints are between 2.5-1 inch wide x 3/16 thick x 8 inches long once they’ve been machined down so the wood does need to be clean and free of major knots. (Smaller ones I can usually work around.) I’m based in mid-Wilts so local would be preferable, but appreciate I/the timber might have to travel. Thanks in advance Dave
  4. I’ve been buying coppiced chestnut poles from a chap in West Sussex for the past 15 years or so, but of late the quality has been going down hill rapidly and the spec is often way off. So the time has come to try and find a new supplier. (I know it’s not a great time to do so as everyone I speak to seems to be inundated with orders!) Ideally what I need (about once a year depending on orders) is up to a lorry load of 12.5 foot long poles with a top diameter of about 5-6 inches. Alternatively I’m happy to take smaller numbers of poles cut to 8ft on an as-I-need-it basis if that helps cash flow and order turnover. Ideally the poles need to be as straight and clean of knots as possible (or as much as nature allows!) as a lot of my work is split by hand into as many as 16 pieces out of one round. If you want an idea of the sort of stuff I make visit www.greenmanwoodcrafts.co.uk I’m based in mid-Wilts so within 2 hours drive is worth considering.
  5. Thanks for the heads up. I'll get in touch with them.
  6. So do I take it spares are still available then? Must admit that's always at the back of my mind with regard to older machines.
  7. Yeah, there are a few about on ebay I've been watching. Unfortunately I'm not very familiar with Multico or Sedgewick machines so not sure if they're any good or not, or what sort of money was realistic. Some seem very reasonably priced others pretty steep. Was hoping somebody on here might have had some experience over them and be able to advise on what's a sensible price. Yes. After experience with lighter machines I'm defo after a heavier type.
  8. I've got one of those already that I use for mortising posts for cleft post n rail. Brilliant for what they do and if it died on me tomorrow I'd be out there getting a replacement without any hesitation. The problem i have with them is the risk of tear out and the lack of accuracy. I'm after something more precise.
  9. As title says, I'm currently on the look out for a morticer as my old Record one has died. Single phase as I can't be bothered with hassle of invertors (if that's the right techical word) to allow me to use 3 phase machines. Budget of no more than a grand including delivery. Will mostly be used for gate making in air dried oak or sweet chestnut. Have seen a few Multico and Sedgewick examples recently but don't know much about them. Any advice gratefully received.
  10. The bigger stuff is in a different part of the wood with a decent track nearby. Besides, the bigger stuff is well spaced out so plenty of room to manoeuvre. Unfortunately (read sods law!) the smaller acacia is in a sod of a part of the wood with lots of smallish multi-step ash to negotiate. The farmer's getting somebody in next winter to do a proper thinning so they can cut in better extraction tracks. For this year I'll just buy a small number of stems off him that are right for what I make. Drop them in the next 2 weeks and extract as and when I can get there.
  11. Thanks for the offer. I may take you up on it, but I've a few other possibilities locally that are worth exploring.
  12. What a brilliant looking bit of kit! Not seen that before. Yeah, I reckon that would do the job, but unless you hire them out (which I assume you don't) I can't justify that sort of outlay for the amount it would get used sadly. (For 11.5 months of the year it would be sat in the workshop reminding me it wasn't getting used enough.) I do know somebody from back a while who might have a tractor winch so will give him a call. Thanks for that idea.
  13. As it is at the moment I don't think I could get a tractor any closer than 50 yards. It's not been thinned for a good while and it's a case of wending your way through/around them. Thought of possibly winching them out but I don't think you'd get a straight pull. I think there would be too high a risk of snagging up on the other tree butts. But having said that I've no real experience of this method. Just going on what I've seen done elsewhere and the little common sense/logic that my single brain cell can muster.


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