We are always looking for large trunks/ butts from central and outer London to mill into planks. We will consider the odd softwood butt like cedar of Lebanon, but generally we are interested in hardwoods.
It’s particularly important that we know where they have come from. We can collect and mill on-site if access is an issue, but prefer to collect with a 7.5T grab and mill later.
Generally, to be worth collecting, the butt needs to be around 60cm diameter measured 6ft above ground. Fruit and nut trees are of particular interest – and we will happily pay for timber of smaller dimensions such as walnut. Please feel free to email us with a photo and details.
There are 2 prerequisites for our business. One is that we generally don’t pay for felled trees, and the second is that we don’t generally pay a lot for space to air-dry it. Aside from a nominal rent we are also happy to recompense land-owners in other ways – such as provision of timber, firewood, or joinery services etc. We are grateful for the simple goodwill of landowners who have unused space, and who are supportive to re-using natural resources and to working with nature.
WHAT IS AIR-DRIED TIMBER?
Air-drying is simply leaving the timber outside to season as it’s a carbon zero process, as opposed to kiln drying which is costly and uses energy. Air-drying is much cheaper and therefore makes the cost for extraction of joinery quality timber in London to be achievable. All the timber needs to dry is wind, a top covering to protect from rain & sun, and to be left alone for at least a year.
HOW LONG IS THE SITE NEEDED FOR?
Minimum of 1 year, preferably at least 2 years. Timber typically takes one year per inch to dry. Most of our timber is either 1 inch or 2 inch – so it needs between 12 to 24 months to be seasoned.
HOW OFTEN IS ACCESS REQUIRED TO THE SITE?
Vehicle access would only be needed when dropping off or picking up stacks of timber – so I would reckon on a couple of times per month. I would also visit on foot every few weeks or so just to monitor and to tighten the ratchet straps as the timber slowly shrinks.
WHAT SIZE AREA IS NEEDED?
Each stack is 3m long x 1m deep x 1.8m high (the same footprint as a small car) – ideally over time I would like to build up to between 8 – 12 stacks. However, the stacks can be dotted about – it would be simple to spread them along something like a fence, or hedge etc.
WHAT SIZE VEHICLE WILL BE USED TO BRING TIMBER ON AND OFF THE SITE?
Usually a flatbed 3.5t – maybe up to a 7.5t flatbed with hi-ab. The timber will have already been milled, and will be delivered as planks. They will either be hand-balled onto a base, or lifted via hi-ab as a whole stack.
HOW WILL THE STACKS BE MADE SAFE FROM FALLING OVER:
Each stack will be built on a steel stillage 3m x 1m, on 6 inch legs. The stillage will have 2 vertical side bars backand front to support the roof covering. These side bars will also prevent any planks from falling or being interfered with. In addition, 3 x ratchet straps will be used to squeeze the stack tight, to prevent the timber from warping or twisting as it dries.
CAN THE STACKS BE MOVED?
Yes – if necessary each stack can be lifted as a whole and re-located.
WILL ANY WORK OR PROCESSING BE DONE ON SITE?
No – all the milling is done elsewhere, and the timber would be taken off-site once dry for indoor storage and planing etc.
H&S, INSURANCE & RISK ASSESSMENT?
I can provide a method statement, risk assessment, and public liability insurance.