A sign for the Wood Centre

We are getting on well with our latest commission – a sign for the new Sylva Wood Centre.

sign visual v3

A few months ago I created this visual. Today for the first time we were able to put the main elements together to see how close we were to the original vision. But first we had more woodworking to do.

cutting curved oak beam

He you can see me cutting gently curved oak beams that are fixed horizontally onto the shaped posts. We use a bandsaw for this.

sanding curved oak beams

Richard is now sanding the beams to clean up any marks from the saw.


And now we have assembled the main parts of the sign for the first time. We spent quite a bit of time arranging the horizontal beams into the best position in relation to the posts. There is still quite a bit of work to do before we can start installation.

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Today we continued to work on the logs that we split yesterday. DSCF7166 We started by removing all the bark and sapwood with a chainsaw. Left outside in the damp and rain the sapwood will just rot away so we take the log down to just the heartwood which is much more durable. DSCF7165 After the basic shaping with the chainsaw we use an arbortec cutter to take out any rough bits and refine the shape. DSCF7181 Finally we use a sanding disk to smooth the whole surface. Seven log pieces in all, so quite a lot of work.

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Splitting Oak Logs

Today we have been splitting oak logs for our latest commission – an entrance sign for the new Sylva Wood Centre near Oxford.

Splitting an oak log

We start by  cutting a slot in the end of the log with a chainsaw. And then use metal wedges to start a split in the log.

Spliting and oak log

Here Henry is chasing the split down the length of the log with another wedge. With just three wedges we can normally split any log – oak splits surprisingly easily.

Split oak log

And here is the log split. This one has come apart very cleanly – there are no big knots to throw the split off course.

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Oak pergola with curved beams

A few weeks ago we finished a very nice pergola just outside Oxford.


Our clients didn’t want it to look too heavy and so we designed it with a slight curve to the underside of the beams. This gives a much lighter feel to the pergola.


We used traditional oak pegged mortice and tenon joints for all of the braces. The timber was green oak with a few month’s seasoning – just enough to protect it from the surface drying out too quickly. Although it has only just been completed the clients had already trained the wisteria up the pergola.

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