Wood Shoppin’ Time!

If I look back, it’s more than three-long-years since I last splurged a serious amount of money (more than £35) on a quantity of sawn hardwoods! That’s quite a saddening statistic that makes me question what the heck I’ve been doing since I bought all that ash and walnut for the chair in my final year of college.

Stack of 2in black walnut at Oscar Windebank.

That ended this morning, with a trip to Oscar Windebank in Box (between Bath and Chippenham).

It was the first time I’d been there as a customer, despite having pestered them for quotes over the years. My only previous visit was for a job interview in August 2009. It would’ve been unreasonable then, driving over an hour each way for only three-days of work each week. They seemed like nice people and I’m pleased to say that my opinion of the company hasn’t changed in all this time, based on the helpful service I received today.

Hard Maple and American Black Walnut – 2in thick.

All of this wood is going to transformed in to seven chopping boards for a client. I spent over £200 on the lot (one of those walnut boards was more than 1ft³ on its own) and it’s also fair to say that, after a couple of hours of cutting to length, I have quite a lot of material to spare! I shut my eyes as the invoice came through but I was only £20 short with my estimate so, it wasn’t too great a shock.

American Black Walnut (MINE!).

Windebank (if it was the same woman I met in 2009, her name’s Carolyn – I was afraid to ask) showed me to the relevant stacks and allowed me plenty of time to sort through and pick out my own boards (after being informed that I was looking at beech and not maple…). They also now keep a small selection of individual boards near their machining area that are priced individually and I happened upon a length of meranti that I can use for a bench repair (now, I need to find a use for all that sapele I’ve been hoarding…). Honestly, that stuff’s like gold dust in the Bristol area!

Sitting neatly in the back of my van.

We then forklifted my boards over to the crosscut saw (a modern Griggio model, for anyone interested – I should’ve taken a cheeky photo) and my boards were ready to fit straight in to the van.

Marking-out before cutting.

I’ll keep you updated both here and on Keek with how this one progresses but I’ll try to save much of the detail for the video(s) I’ll be uploading at the end of it. 😉 Tomorrow morning, I’m aiming to rip everything down in to rough widths. I thought about making a day of this and spending more time in Bath but, I was alone and buying this wood took nearly three-hours, with traffic and a stop for fuel as well.

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