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Mark Rhodes Furniture & Kitchen Maker & Woodwork Courses - Norfolk

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>Oak Fire Surround

>Received this order last week from the same clients I was doing some site work for. It needs to be done fairly quick, as I have had to take a week off  before starting another job. As with most things I make, a trip/call to the timber yard is my first port of call, after doing a Rod and a cutting list.

The timber yard/sawmill I am using today is Sotterly sawmill in Suffolk, it is run by Ben Sutton, and the mill is in full working order. Ben is a very friendly chap, and very helpful too. I normally use John Boddy’s in Yorkshire, but because this is a job that needs doing asap I’m using a local yard for speed. I’m glad I made the two and a half hour round trip, as the timber is excellent, and there is lot’s to chose from. I was directed around by Ben to some really choice timber, he has most of the common native timbers, Oak, Ash, Elm, Sycamore, Cherry, Chestnut, and Beech. He also kiln dry’s most of this native stock. He stocks European timbers also, and had a very nice burr elm pack that I was very tempted to buy(I must resist), but sadly no job with that kind of timber coming up. I can highly recommend Sotterly Sawmill for good quality native timbers, I would give Ben a call to discuss your needs first, as he travels a lot in search of good timber, and might not be in himself. The yard is open from 8 till 1 then 2 till 3.30

As you can see his stock levels are very high, this is one lane of about forty to chose from, I could of looked around for most of the day, but need to get on with this fire surround.

That’s 15 cuft back at the workshop, I decided to buy lot’s extra(about twelve cube), as stock levels of three and two and a half inch are non-existent at the moment.

Slight problem when I got back, how do you lift this lot on your own, answer, brute strength and ignorance I’m afraid, nearly killed me too.
Mantle detail.

Gun barrel turning.

Here is some of the detail for the middle panel, not that clear from the drawing I’m afraid, but the triangular panel is to be a veneered panel with Golden Madrone as it’s face.
It was time to start breaking this timber down into more manageable pieces, this first cut is for the split turning that I’m applying to the front. I would normally use my chainsaw for this, but found it in my dad’s shed, and of course it’s out of petrol.

The longest length of timber I can deal with in my shop is 12 ft, so these 14 footers have to be broken down thus,  it needed to be ripped from both sides, as these boards are 85mm thick, and then cross cut.
These two lengths of 30″ are planned, square edged, then thicknessed.

At the top of the turning, the block is to be smaller than the bottom block. I set the planner with a depth of cut  of ten millimetres(my gauge reads about 11.5).

I then need to set the stop, which is just a board cramped to the out feed table.


Then it’s just a matter of running this through slowly, my planer is an old cast sedgwick, and is easily up to the task.
This is how it looks after processing, there is a lot of breakout, but this will be turned away.

I then need to clean the mating surface’s, ready for gluing. My turner is going to do this as I don’t have the time, but the process is to glue them together with paper in-between, so they can be easily split after turning. That’s it for today, I’m doing some more site work tomorrow, but will be back on this the day after, thank’s for looking, if you feel like leaving a comment or two, feel free. 

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