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About ucoulddoit

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  1. A couple of methods which I've not tried are drilling a 'largish' hole to remove the pith, or soaking the disk in PEG (polyethelyne glycol). Not sure what size of hole would be needed, I'd guess 25 to 50mm diameter, but maybe someone could advise on this? But a patch in the middle might not look too good. What I did about 20 years ago was use an ovalish piece of wood which had been cut at an angle instead of straight across the butt. I bought the air dried slab from Boddy's of Boroughbridge (no longer in business unfortunately) and leant it against the wall on our landing for a few months to acclimatise to the centrally heated house. It distorted quite a bit, but it didn't crack from the centre to the edge. So, that method of milling could be experimented with. The attached notes explain a bit about the table I made which which still looks as good as the day it was finished. Andrew
  2. The following link is about a 13m long table made with single lengths of bog oak which is surprisingly thin, about 39mm after drying. The pictures show a plank being carried by about a dozen people.......! Andrew The Fenland Black Oak Project WWW.THEFENLANDBLACKOAKPROJECT.CO.UK Our aim is to transform a 4,800 year old Fenland Black Oak into a spectacular 13 metre long table for the nation.
  3. News item about Tim Stead, an artist/sculpter and pioneer of natural edged and slab furniture which might be of interest to others. Andrew Anxious funding wait for Tim Stead's house with a wooden heart WWW.BBC.CO.UK A trust wants to buy the property in the Borders to celebrate Tim Stead, the artist who created it.
  4. I've been following this project for almost 2 years also and the story about sourcing the Douglas fir for the mast was fascinating. I liked the story about how the forester had records from when the tree was first planted and also each time it was 'looked after' by trimming branches, etc. so that a century on, someone would be able to fell a top quality, long, straight and knot free trunk! Does anyone do that these days? A few years ago I had some old larch trees milled for cladding which yielded some boat skin quality planks and the sawmill manager talked about rumors of larch trees planted locally a century earlier for boat building which some folk round about like to believe would now be worth a fortune...... He clearly thought I might have stumbled upon this 'pot of gold', and was disappointed when I said there were just a handful in a neglected patch of trees. But who knows what's out there......? Acorn to Arabella is another boat building project worth following on YouTube. It's a slightly small boat than Tally Ho and is being built almost entirely using timber felled and milled by the two chaps building the boat on the farm owned by one of their families. Andrew
  5. Just thought I should add that when re-sawing this plank with the Alaskan mill I used a guide ladder carefully wedged off the top of the plank so it was as near straight and twist free as possible. So the re-sawn faces are virtually dead straight and not twisted which I wouldn't have achieved if I'd just run the mill along the top face of the plank. That provides a good start for planing to thickness. It's not often I need 3.5m + long planks that are dead flat and straight and shorter stuff is a bit easier and less wasteful. Andrew
  6. I recently re-sawed a 3" (80 mm ish) x 400mm x 4m kiln dried oak plank into two thinner planks with my Alaskan mill, and reckon I'll end up with a thickness of 20 to 25mm once they've been left a while before final planing. I'd thought I'd easily get 30mm, but it's surprising how the slight warp and twist along the length of the original plank will lead to more waste than expected. Fortunately the two planks have barely warped after being split apart which are an indication of slow and careful seasoning, but not by me! Andrew
  7. I've not seen one but NMA Agencies Ltd who supplied my machine and the spare bearings might provide one? I've seen various comments on other forums over the years so that might be worth a search. If you're struggling, let me know and I'll scan the relevant pages. Andrew
  8. First picture below is the blade guide which came with the machine and 2nd picture is a spare thrust bearing I bought last year at a cost of £54 for a pair. If the hardened steel bearing gets stuck in the sleeve, instead of rotating, the back of the blade quickly cuts a groove in the bearing face and subsequently, it then tends to catch the blade and won't rotate freely which just makes the groove worse........! But the thrust and side bearings are the same size, and the side bearings still work fine if there is a groove in the face. So if the thrust bearings get worn, they can be swopped with the side bearings. I damaged a thrust bearing soon after buying the machine and was pretty disappointed when I discovered the cost of replacements. But because the bearings are interchangeable, I'm still using the original thrust/side bearings after 15 years and bought the spares last year just in case they become difficult to obtain in future years. Andrew
  9. Looks good! One bit of advice is to keep the hardened steel thrust bearings well oiled as they are outrageously expensive for what they are, and easily damaged by the blade if they get struck. I learnt the hard way, but at least they are all interchangeable and I was able to swop the thrust bearing for a side bearing and years later is still going fine. Andrew
  10. The publications on the ASHS (Association of Scottish Hardwood Sawmillers) website might help you to get started with understanding some of the processes involved. What are the objectives of your voluntary organisation? I don't understand if you're just clearing a site or looking to make milling, etc. a long term venture? Andrew
  11. It needs to be milled into planks as a whole log will stay wet for years and probably split badly. It would be better to dry the planks outside with plenty of airflow and shaded from the sun instead of in a garage with little airflow. Rule of thumb for air drying is an inch thickness per year. So 2 inch planks need to be stacked for about two years outside. But, air dried planks will dry further in a centrally heated house which runs the risk of shrinkage, distortion, splits, etc. occurring in a finished piece of furniture if the moisture content hasn't been reduced further before making it. If you haven't access to a kiln, simply stacking the planks in the house for a few months works fine to 'condition' it, provided no one minds a stack of planks in the house.......! I run a dehumidifier in my workshop and planks stacked there are fine to use after a few months following the initial air drying. What size is the cherry tree? The first tree I had milled many years ago was a cherry my parents had planted and I made the mistake of milling the planks too thin. As cherry can distort a lot during drying, I had to scrap most of it as it was useless which was a shame as it had sentimental value. I now tend to mill cherry at 2 inches and re-saw it into smaller sections if necessary after drying. It's a lovely timber and well worth using. My avatar picture is a cherry tree I cut down in a garden. Andrew
  12. I noticed an auction just outside Glasgow coming up with a Sheppach Basa 5 which might be of interest. That's the updated model of the Basato 5.2. Current bid is £55! Hope the following link to the auction on 24th Sept works. Also, I realise I should have pointed out that 240V machines like this need a 16A supply Andrew Sweeney Kincaid WWW.SWEENEYKINCAID.COM
  13. I've been using a Sheppach Basato 5.2 for about 15 years and am very happy with it. 240V, has a cast iron table, 300mm depth of cut and a max 25mm blade size. Often use it for cutting tenons and the photo below shows it being used with roller supports when resawing some oak for window frames. Longest piece was almost 4m and weighed about 50kg initially, but the saw was quite stable despite 'pushing' really hard to overcome the friction on the table. Quite expensive though if it is just used for cutting tenons. I bought a ripper blade a while back after good reviews on Arbtalk, which are usually used for horizontal mills but is great for resawing large timbers on the vertical bandsaw. I wish it would take wider blades than 25mm and am pretty sure the Jet bandsaws have this option. I never cut the full 300mm depth of cut, but it is very accurate and with a decent blade can cut 200mm wide veneers, 2 or 3mm thick, all day long. I'd go for a significantly larger depth of cut that you need for regular use to be sure of having enough power, accuracy and stability. Andrew
  14. Visqeen is a just a trade name and a DPM plastic sheet should be fine. Andrew
  15. Just seen this thread and looking at the dates, might now be too late to comment? Anyway, after a quick scan through, I didn't see any mention that visqeen serves two purposes. In addition to reducing dampness, it provides a slip membrane. Once the initial setting involving heat of hydration (the chemical reactions) has finished, the concrete will gradually cool and hence shrink. If cast directly onto the ground or hardcore, the friction can sometimes resist the shrinking, creating a crack in the middle if the tension in the concrete exceeds it's strength. That's what the mesh or fibres are usually there for, to resist the early thermal cracking tension forces. The slab should be able to easily slide over what it's sitting on. Waterproof concrete will keep the water out, but cracks through the slab won't! Not relevant here, but a basement structure in a high water table would have water pouring through cracks if not properly detailed and designed. Having said all that, long lengths of slab are obviously more prone to early thermal shrinkage cracking and joints if needed (can be saw cut a day or so after casting) are usually 5 to 6m spacing. I guess the garden room is about this size in which case no joints needed if adequately reinforced and with a slip membrane. Andrew


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