‘Its a piece of wood isnt’t it??’


‘Its a piece of wood we can do anything with it’ !!

Can we? There is no doubt that timber is without doubt the most versatile raw material on this earth, but sadly many users really do not understand its properties and what you can and can’t do with it.

There are many questions that need to be asked: Is it being used externally?


Does it need to be structurally strong? Is it being used for painting? Does it need treatment? Does it need to be easy to work? These are but a few of the questions that need to be considered when you select a species for a project.

So, would you, for example, use Beech for external joinery or fencing – the answer is no, Beech is not a durable species and should not be used outside. Oak in contrast is durable and can be used externally very successfully, however, the sapwood on Oak, indeed all species is not durable and will be susceptible to decay and insect attack. In contrast, sapwood is perfectly acceptable to use inside. I know, I know, I know, some of the cabinet makers and joiners out there will say the contrast in colour is not acceptable!! Well, from a timber merchant’s point of view, sap on Oak is not a defect, so we count it in.

On another tack, would you use American Black Walnut if you wanted a painted finish – No of course you wouldn’t, far too precious a resource and expensive. You would choose a joinery grade softwood or inexpensive hardwood such as American Poplar. Generally softwoods are used for strength and hardwoods for aesthetics – albeit we do have graded structural hardwoods readily available.

We still get many requests for timber not suitable for the end use. There are still some unscrupulous traders that would just sell what they are asked for. This can result in a disaster for the customer. We try to get to know our customers, especially if it is the first time we have met them. We want to understand their requirement, to make sure we supply not only to their requirement but also to suit the end use. Talking to our customers is key – we call it ‘hand holding’.

So – Questions, Questions, Questions – we are here to help.

I guess what I am trying to say is that timber is not just ‘a piece of wood’. Each species has its own character, beauty and abilities for end uses. Our customers do not always understand what species can or can’t do, we do, so – please ask us, we would rather take that extra bit of time to ensure a satisfactory outcome rather than rush and have a complaint.

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


The Power of Oak ….. the master of European Timbers


We told you in the previous Beam blog about the power of Oak, and its ability to be stronger than bricks and mortar. We weren’t exaggerating when we said that, it is a remarkable hardwood. We have seen examples of Oak being used in buildings and as the timber has started to dry, it moves and splits and can push walls apart!!

We have recently been to France to buy planking logs, we are very selective as we are buying for 1st quality boards. The last load came in this morning, great logs with one exception!

Nice log, looks OK dosen't it?
Hang on whats that at the other end?
Crikey, how did that happen?
Thats a hell of a split!!

Just shows you the power of tension in Oak. We would not have spotted this issue, the log had been crosscut in the woods after we had done our selection. Just shows you that all is not always what it seems!! I think we need to have a word with our supplier!!!

Call us for all of your Oak requirements.

01798 861611

Handmade Oak Ledged & Braced Doors


We have on stock a cancelled order of 11 handmade European Oak Ledged and Braced Doors.

These are not mass produced in China or Eastern Europe but hand made in our own West Sussex workshop. The eleven doors are 6’6″ x 2’6″ and are untreated. If calling door stock numbers are D052 – D062.

We do have a number of other sizes on stock, please look at our On-line Stock List for details and prices of those.

We can offer these doors for £165 each + VAT or at a discounted rate of £155 each +VAT for orders of 5 or more doors.

Remember, these Oak Ledged & Braced are not machine manufactured they are truely – Handmade In England!!

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