Monday, 7 January 2013

You bought beans?

The last week has been a dusty and hot affair. I've been down to the Otways milling some spectacular Blackwood with Dad and Carl Karascay. More to follow about Carl and his family later... 

This was no ordinary Blackwood though with each log being around 8 metres long and most of them barrel straight and BIG. Between the 3 of us we milled over 15 cubic metres of the stuff in the last few days, a good effort with a portable mill I'd say. Good friend and fellow furniture maker Tim McLeod even came down and got in on the action, milling up a very nice 1.2 cube log too. 

There was some good variation throughout the logs from light browns through to rich and deep reds. A couple of logs even showed some nice fiddleback figure. The Blackwood will be set aside for both furniture pieces and chairs. The timber earmarked for furniture has already been sticker-ed and is going to be kiln dried, the chair stock will be sticker-ed, stacked and put aside to air dry naturally. Why? Air dried stock can still be steam bent reasonably successfully, kiln dried cannot, unless it's a very slight bend. So the air dried is much more versatile stock for me, chair wise.

                       Some of the wany edges split for spindle and legs stock......waste not

The unfortunate part of the whole deal was starting last week with two 40 degree days in a row, unpleasant. But the nights were anything but, staying out a Carl's place. 

                                             His view of the Otways is pretty damn fine. 

But beans you say??

Whilst I was down that way I happened to come across a few stacks of pre-cut stickers. Stickers, spacers, sticks, I've even heard them called sliders. Whatever you want to call them, these wooden spacers for puting between green timber are invaluable to sawmillers and without them your just wasting your time and the wood your cutting. 

So when I heard from Carl that he had a source for them I was pretty happy. Happier still when I found out they were 'Class A' hardwood. Knowing that I have a lot of Elm, Oak, Plane and other logs to mill I thought I'd best buy a couple of packs. Ok, I bought four packs, but you can never have too many right? Well perhaps I should have looked at the packs first. They are immense, so much so that when Carl loaded them onto the ute the springs lay flat!  I have another trip to Colac later in the week just to collect the rest! Over 3 tons worth all up I think.....oops.

I came home that day with the first load of stickers and a couple of packs of Blackwood. As I unloaded I had visions of Lisa seeing the huge pile of sticks and saying you came home with sticks? "You went milling Blackwood and came home with sticks??" "STICKS!?"  You know the whole Jack and the beanstalk thing. Of course then then I started thinking of beans, which in turn made me think of the Blazing Saddles bean scene.  Hilarious. Anyway enough about the beans. I'll eventually have a page on our website ( which is all but a week or so away from coming on-line ) about the timber I'm milling, but in the interim I thought I'd throw open an opportunity here on the blog. 

Blackwood retails for around the $4700 per cube mark for 2"/50mm stock at one of the better known Melbourne timber merchants. I thought I'd make some of this magic freshly cut stock available, but at a very reasonable price. It all averages around 50 and 60mm thick, 400 wide and around 4m long.

So if you are interested in either green or kiln dried Otways Blackwood, drop me an email  here and let me know. Cheers.


  1. Phew, looks like you had a busy - and hot - time in the Otways! Looking forward to The Chairmakers Wife opening, sampling some local cider, and meeting you and Lisa soon. Lucy :)

  2. Hey Lucy! The cider will be on ice ready for tomorrow afternoon! Looking forward to meeting you too.