LEARN TO TURN – Woodturning for all

www.wlwest.co.uk

Would you like to be able to turn wood into beautiful things?

We are pleased to announce that we have a new wood turning tutor – Mr John Wyatt. John joins us in the Dsc00734New Year to bring you a course for beginners or perhaps for those of you who have ‘Jaded skills’.

John joins us after the sad passing of our previous tutor George Karon.

Our course is designed to teach you how to use a lathe safely and competently to produce a beautiful item. John will cover tool use, selection and control, sharpening of tools, parts of the lathe and its use. Cutting techniques and finishing.

Woodturning Course 021

The course is held at our teaching room at our sawmills in Selham, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0PJ. So you will be learning in the heart of the timber industry – with wood all around you!!

I have made it seem very simple! For more information have a look at our web site click the link here.

To download an application form with the current available dates, click here Woodturning Course form December 2012

Now, if your really take a shine to woodturning, we can also supply you with a lathe to meet your requirements ……. and

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pocket!, together with the correct tools to do the job. Pop into our shop and have a browse.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email:sales@wlwest.co.uk

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Record Power – Woodworking machines for enthusiasts

www.wlwest.co.uk

Anyone who enjoys working with wood knows that good machines make completing a project very much easier. If you are like me, we were taught woodworking at school 40 years ago and if we tried to hand cut a piece of timber square now we would have a 50/50 chance of accuracy. Similarly, hand planing a piece of hardwood? No I don’t think so.

So, if you would like to either update some of the woodworking machines that you currently have or would like to start to create your own woodworking workshop, then pop along and see us on:

Wednesday 24 October 2012.

Record Power, a name synonymous with woodworking, will be holding a demonstration day at our premises from 10.00am until 4.00pm. We have been working with Record Power for some years now, and they manufacture very good woodworking machines. From small band saws, planer thicknessers to woodturning lathes. We are convinced that if you have a question on what machine to buy, that they will be able to answer you. Good prices too. Record Power are always trying to be competitive in their market, and so you will find extremely good prices.

So, whether you are an experience craftsman, enthusiastic amateur furniture maker or apprentice woodworker – pop along to our shop on Wednesday 24 October 2012. You can find us between Midhurst and Petworth in West Sussex, just off the A272 opposite the Halfway Bridge Inn – follow the signs for Selham and Graffham.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood products and requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

Timber Industry and Education – A Team

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How do we get more young people into traditional industries? We have heard media coverage in the UK of our young people ‘not wanting to get their hands dirty’, and I do think that there is an element of our education system putting unrealistic aspirations into the minds of some of our students. It is not only impractical, but also costly to put them all through a university education. More than that, it is unnecessary. Our local colleges have an amazing amount to offer students, and we should encourage more colleges to offer more in the subject area of Woodworking. We have untapped talent in our students, some of them do not yet know it, and that is where industry and education MUST join in a partnership.

In 2000 I visited a senior tutor at Chichester College’s furniture department. I noticed several large signs from a competitor of ours, this company sponsored the woodwork department. It gave me the idea needed to start a long lasting relationship with the furniture department of Chichester College. Since 2000 we have been sponsoring the furniture department with materials. We regularly host visits at our Sawmills from Chichester college students, together with visits from other colleges and training establishments in the South, where we explain what is involved in taking a tree and converting it into a useable piece of timber, and all of the problems along the process. We explain what they should be looking for and considering when they buy timber. We feel that this relationship is an important part of the future of the Timber Industry as a whole. How else can we encourage potential stars to join one of the oldest industries in the world. It is important that our nations education system takes a different view on young people’s potential, they can’t all become .com millionaires, indeed a minuscule number of people worldwide ever achieve this level of financial success.

Along the timeline of our partnership with Chichester College, we started an additional sponsorship of a prize in the colleges annual prize giving for the construction department. So about 7 or 8 years ago the first W L West & Sons Ltd Best Furniture Newcomers prize was awarded. Over the years some of the students that have won this award have gone on to represent their college and country in the World Skills competition at a very high level. Now that truly is an accolade both for the students and the furniture department. Along the years they have had some extremely talented and dedicated tutors.

Just recently I again visited their end of year furniture show, they didn’t disappoint. Again the standard being produced in all of the years is amazing , not only in the quality of finish, but in the ideas. Where do they get the ideas from? Simply amazing. Every year the furniture department ‘raises the bar’ to use an Olympic term.  Recently the college finished In the top 10 of colleges nationally. This can only be as a result of top class tutors and visionary management.  Congratulations to Chichester College, long may it continue.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email:sales@wlwest.co.uk

What! Yew again?

www.wlwest.co.uk

An amazing avenue of Yew bushes in a local churchyard.

European Yew (taxus baccata), is a native of Western, Central and Southern Europe. It is also found in North Africa and the Middle East. It is a quite remarkable tree with some examples in the UK and Northern France dating back 2000 years or more! One of the oldest uses was for longbows, one of the first documented uses for longbows in England is in 1294. Traditionally Yew trees were planted in Church yards. There are many stories of why this was, from being planted over victims of the plague to purify and protect them to being planted out of the way of cattle, to which they are poisonous.

A great indication of the contrast between sap and heartwood.

The timber itself is almost unique in its appearance, being quite Orangy Red in the heartwood and cream almost white in the sapwood. This gives a dramatic contrast to any products made from this species. Although not a rare species, getting logs with sufficient girth and straightness to be sawmilled is a little rarer.

So….. back to the squares……….

We have a good number of Squares in three sizes and a variety of lengths, all with their own very individual character.

105 x 105mm, 135 x 135mm and 160 x 160mm. For a list of prices including VAT please CLICK HERE to go to our main web site.

In addition……..

We have also cut some Through and Through boards (waney edged) in 27, 41, 54, 65, 75 and 100mm. Can you imaging the contrast of this timber in a floor? How wacky would that be? This is in a mix of Air Drying and Kiln Dried, so a phone call is best to start your enquiry.

Now I said above that the Yew tree had been used for a number of uses over the years, well how about this…. while taking a few pictures of the Yew trees and bushes in a local churchyard, I came across the ultimate in natural garden sheds!!

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email:sales@wlwest.co.uk

Timber’s Green Credentials

www.wlwest.co.uk

There have not been many of my posts that have not praised the flexibility and beauty of timber. In the UK we have a very active promotion of timber through various trade associations including the Timber Trade Federation, but especially in the WOOD FOR GOOD campaign. We should be promoting the use of timber at every opportunity. Those of us in the timber industry truely have a product which is helping the world in its task of healing the global warming problem.

But are you aware of the benefits of the use of timber in helping to deal with climate change issues? Well, here are a few statistics:

  • For every cubic metre of timber or wood products used in construction, approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide is saved.
  • Wood products have some of the best thermal performance properties of any mainstream construction material. Wood insulates 15 times better than concrete, 400 times better than steel and 1,770 times better than aluminium.
  • Europe’s stock of wood products stores an estimated 220 million tonnes of carbon.
  • The timber industry employs nearly 200,000 people in the UK and is worth nearly £20 billion to the UK economy. As demand for wood grows, so will the industry, increasing the strength of the rural economy in the UK.
  • Currently, European forests provide a carbon sink for around 150-200 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, with an additional 500 million tonnes sequestered annually. These same forests also provide approximately 90% of European timber and wood products, which store an additional 220 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Climate change experts have claimed that simply by increasing the UK’s forest cover from 12 to 16 per cent, the country could, by 2050, abate up to 10% of our national carbon dioxide emissions.
  • At end-of-life, timber can either be recycled into panel boards and other products or used for renewable energy recovery.
  • Between 12-30 tonnes of carbon can be stored in the fabric and content of an average timber house
  • A ten per cent increase in the percentage of wooden houses in Europe would produce sufficient CO2 savings to account for about 25% of the reductions prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol.

Some impressive figures, I hope you will agree.  Each and every time that we choose a timber product over another material in our lives, we also benefit in another way.

So – wooden doors and windows over plastic, timber beams over steel or concrete, wooden cladding over plastic, wooden garden furniture over steel or plastic – the list is endless.

And………. as we have said so many times, timber is by far more the beautiful raw material.

AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY – USE WOOD!!

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email:sales@wlwest.co.uk

Hardwoods into Art – Part 2

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Last month I wrote a blog about one of our customers, a woodturner who produced items which I could only describe as Art.

Another of our customers Nicola Henshaw, is a sculptor who produces work that again truely can only be described as Art, again Hardwoods into Art.

Nicola has been sculpting for more than 20 years having studied Three Dimensional design at Wolverhampton University. She produces functional and decorative art for indoors and your garden. Nicola has won various commissions many of which are local to her home in the New Forest.

She received a Crafts Council Grant to set up a studio at 401 Workshops in London, where she worked for 14 years, alongside 35 artists and makers. She moved to the New Forest, Hampshire in 2003 and  produces pieces for commissions and speculatively for galleries. Her work is highly regarded internationally and has been commissioned by a wide range of private, corporate and public clients, including Iwatya in Japan, Himatsingka Siede in India, Freehand in USA, The Forestry Commission, The National Trust, Hampshire, Essex, Yorkshire, Dorset and South Lanarkshire County Councils.

Again Nicola’s work is an example of the enourmous number of different uses that we can put timber to. Nicola uses Oak and Lime sourced from us to turn into Art!! Making a truely unique piece of furniture.

I think one of the amazing things about anyone who creates items in wood is where do the ideas come from? Looking at Nicola’s work there is a clear and unmistakable wildlife theme. Have a look at her website at: www.nicolahenshaw.co.uk or give her a call on 01590 623654. I am sure that she would be only too pleased to talk to you about her work and any ideas you may have for a commission.

Click here if you would like to read the first ‘Hardwoods into Art’.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email:sales@wlwest.co.uk