Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Personal Information

  • Location:

Recent Profile Visitors

1,220 profile views

ucoulddoit's Achievements

Community Regular

Community Regular (8/14)

  • First Post
  • Collaborator
  • Reacting Well Rare
  • Conversation Starter
  • Very Popular Rare

Recent Badges

  1. Brettstaple is a form of construction that uses ungraded timber. Solid timber panels are fabricated using hardwood dowels to hold the timbers together. I’ve no experience of this type of construction though, so can’t give it either thumbs up or down. Andrew
  2. Thanks. I’m really pleased how it’s turned out and good to do it with not much more than a router, hand plane and sander, and mainly working outside in the garden. I was set on having a slightly concave front edge, but that was at odds with the convex natural edges. So the initial idea was to add a triangular piece both sides, which led onto the single piece across the front with the curved joint to the main slab behind to keep it’s basic shape. The curved joint further back on the initial design spoilt matching the grain, so that was changed to a traditional straight book match. Took a while to work it all out though, and quite conscious it would be easy to spoil two great slabs. Andrew
  3. This is the second project using some more of the burr oak planks. It’s a desk for my son and making the top from two largish slabs might be of interest. First picture are the two planks chosen for the top. Nice planks, but I had a shape in mind for the desk top and simply edge joining the two planks wasn’t what I wanted to achieve. The burr is great, but I felt losing some of it would overall be better. Following pics are the trial and error process using paper templates and chalk to find what might work. Took quite a while but found a solution that’s was obvious once found! Then onto initial flattening and thicknessing the planks with a router, further trial fitting to find the best match for the joints and final flattening of the planks once glued together, using a very sharp jack plane and a random orbit sander. I made the edge joints using a router with a kitchen worktop bit and running on a sheet of mdf on top of the burr oak. So, the slightly rough surfaces on the planks at this stage, pre gluing together, weren’t an issue as the router ran smoothly on the mdf which also acted as the guide template for both the straight and curved joints. The curved joint was quite a challenge, but the finished joint is barely visible as shown in the close up pic. Final picture is the top with a coat of oil. Still need to cut a hole for the computer cables and managed to find a bronze ‘desk cable grommet’ for these to match the resin bronze filler used to fill holes in the burrs. Progressing now with the legs, frame and drawers which are way too complicated and just as well it’s a present, not a piece to sell. Andrew
  4. Not relevant to the original question, but regarding green/wet versus dry timber, pretty sure there should be less in service movement in timbers that absorb moisture compared to wetter wood that has dried down to the same relative humidity. The equilibrium moisture content of wood which has been kiln dried to say 12%, then left outside to acclimatise to the ambient relative humidity, will be lower than wet wood left outside to air dry and acclimatise down to the same ambient relative humidity. No matter how long the two pieces are left outside. Probably not relevant for a ‘rustic gate’ but could be for an external door and more so in furniture making. I aim to dry timbers for furniture making to a moisture content which corresponds to less than the expected ambient indoor relative humidity. Then store the wood for a while to acclimatise to a slightly higher relative humidity which in theory makes the wood a bit more ‘stable’ and the subsequent furniture better able to tolerate variation of relative humidity indoors at different times of the year. Andrew
  5. Pretty sure PEG was used in the preservation of Henry VIII’s warship Mary Rose, which was raised from the seabed about 40 years ago. Round about the time PEG was being promoted for woodturning. Think the remains of the ship are in a visitor centre in Portsmouth now? Must go sometime. Andrew
  6. Instead of rounds cut straight across, you could try cutting at an angle to make oval shapes. But you would need to experiment with wood species, log diameter, oval thickness, etc, to find what works! A book I have suggests an angle of 75 degrees, that’s just 15 degrees from straight across which might be fine for thinnish ovals. I’ve done it with elm from a log about 400 dia and 60 to 70 thick ovals. It was years ago and can’t remember the angle but it was probably about 45 degrees. There was a fair bit of distortion, but they didn’t split. I guess it works because the outermost wood fibres are not a ring right around the oval shape as they are with a circular disc. Andrew
  7. Took a while to find some old pictures, but in the meantime, I googled wipe on polyurethane and found there’s lots to look at. I clicked on the following, and it seems a good starting point. First two pictures are a box of children’s building blocks, made in 2007 using ‘weathered’ sycamore, that’s 14 / 15 years ago, surprising how time flies. It was finished with the 50/50 poly. First picture was taken when new. The second, of the top, was taken today and shows how the light sycamore has darkened, and interestingly, looks like the ‘weathered’ brown sections have lightened. So overall, it’s a more uniform colour. The box is kept at a southeast facing window, so gets lots of sunlight. But the finish is still intact. The bricks which have been in the box since new, with the lid on, are still almost white. Last two pictures are a yew bed made 10 / 11 years ago and finished with danish oil. Comparing the pics when new and taken today shows how much it has darkened. I was quite surprised by the magnitude of the change, maybe poor lighting contributed to it in the picture? Anyway, still a nice piece of furniture. Andrew
  8. Not done much milling for a few years, and only ever as a hobby for my own use. So hopefully the pro’s won’t roll their eyes too much…. This wasn’t a money making venture. I was offered some of this beech butt earlier this year by my brother in law who’d had it delivered to his house already cut into three sections. He needed help cutting it up for firewood. He mentioned there was some rot, so I immediately thought, spalted beech, maybe mill it? Today’s (half day) milling was the top section. The bottom 8 feet was so rotten it was almost possible to crawl inside the hollow trunk! We’d cut it into rings for firewood a few weeks ago. But the top section, about 5 ½ feet long showed more promise. The rot was coming down from the top, not up from below. My mill is the 24” Alaskan, a bit small for milling a 3 foot diameter butt! However, the odd shape, meant that with minimal freehand trimming, the mill fitted fine on the top part. The bottom half was then freehand sawn down the middle, split apart, and milling continued down the right hand side below what had already been completed, to create matched slabs 3 inches and 2 ½ inches thick, about 20 inches wide. I suspect they might distort a bit and perhaps split as it’s at the transition between the 1st and 2nd lengths with grain running in different directions, but pretty sure there will be some worth keeping and at those thicknesses, there should be plenty to plane off to flatten them. Some nice looking bookmatched slabs, even allowing for the rot at the top end that will need to be cut off. Decided to let my nephew keep most of the slabs but I’ve kept a 20 inch wide by 4 ½ inch slab which might become large bowl blanks one day. And there was lots of firewood. Was good to be out with the mill today. Reminded me how much fun it is opening up a lump of wood, wondering what will be inside, the delight when it’s something special, then dreaming about what could be made with it……. Andrew
  9. I've not used it on yew but can't see why it shouldn't work. I'll post some pics in a day or two when I've time to take them. It was a tip I got from a 'well known' Yorkshire furniture maker I met at the Harrogate woodworking show years ago and was his method of finishing dining tables. Andrew
  10. As there hasn’t been any response yet, I’ll suggest a hardwearing finish like polyurethane. An oil finish on yew looks good. So instead of using a brush, you could make a 50/50 mix of polyurethane and turps then apply it with a rag like an oil finish, i.e. wipe it on, leave for a few minutes to soak in, then wipe off what’s left on the surface. I’d start with say three coats and see how it looks. Andrew
  11. I used a MS391 for milling with a 20 inch bar in the small log mill which was fine but a bit slow and just for a few smallish logs, max size about 18 inches diameter. As others have said, milling can become addictive and my kit was quickly on the small side for what I then wanted to do. I bought parts from Rob D to convert the small log mill into an ‘Alaskan mill’ and changed to a 25 inch bar following advice from Alec, to get about 20inches width of cut. Stihl recommend a max bar length of 20 inches, but I was happy to try a longer bar as set up in the mill it can’t cut more than 20 inches. That worked fine for a while and was more accurate than using the small log mill at the limit of it’s capacity. Subsequently upgraded to an MS661 which is just so much better. But still happy to have progressed gradually to this point instead of investing a lot at the start when I really wasn’t sure if I’d have much milling to do. Andrew
  12. Would be awkward to use plain resin as it would need a mould set up around the edge. You could thicken the resin to make a stiff paste but that would be pretty expensive using bronze as the filler. Alternatively, you could use talc which is really inexpensive to make a grey coloured filler and maybe just finish the exposed edges with a different coloured filler? But, I doubt it would stick to the wood sufficiently to take screws for the legs, so the screws would need to be long enough to get a grip in the wood, if it’s thick enough. I think it might be simpler to cut a recess and glue in a block of wood, then shape the edges. Or maybe flatten the surface and glue on a wedge shaped piece of wood. Andrew
  13. I had another look at the Axminster site and they still sell a 100mm nylon wire brush for a drill, but much more expensive than the 75mm one from Toolstation. I can’t remember when I bought my B & D foam sander, but probably a few decades ago as well……. Andrew
  14. That’s a shame as it’s a good attachment that has lasted well. Bought mine ages ago, so apologies for the dead end on this. Maybe someone else can let us know what they use. Anyone want to suggest something? I found it good because the soft foam was good for freehand shaping whereas other sanding drums I’ve looked at have a rubber core and are a bit too solid. Andrew
  15. That's stretching my IT skills a bit, but here goes. Also struggled to find them on the Axminster site, but Toolstation have the nylon wire brush. Abracs Nylon Filament Wheel Brush 75mm WWW.TOOLSTATION.COM Non spark filament circular brush impregnated with abrasive grain. Ideal for deburring, surface treatment, stock removal... It's a Black and Decker sanding drum I use. Amazon site says it's unavailable, but this link will let you see what to search for. https://www.amazon.co.uk/BLACK-DECKER-DX32365-Cushion-Sander/dp/B0001IWH52 Andrew


Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.