Friday, November 9, 2007

Timber Purchasing & Sawyer Systems

I am sorry but here I am, tucked up in my central London office building, surrounded by a concrete jungle and you are talking about purchasing timber... you are Canadian, just let me revel momentarily in the dreadfully clich├ęd images that this activity is likely to bring to mind when communicating with the average, European jaded city dweller...

...opps, clearly I meant...

…I will just let these calming images wash gently over me while you try to educate me about the old sawyers measuring system.

It involves numbers, right? Now you do realise that you are talking to a numerically challenged, number blind Londoner?

When I was at junior school in West Wales (a village school with about 25 children), we used to have a mental arithmetic practice lesson towards the end of each school day. The lesson props were a gold painted, cardboard crown and a white, conical ‘D’ hat.

I guess that you might be able to see where this is headed - I was about 8 or 9 at the time and liberal 1970s education methods had not penetrated through to deepest, darkest, wettest West Wales…

…yup, I had to wear that bloomin’ white conical hat to the end of each school day for almost a full scholastic year.

The ONLY time that I got to wear that blinkin' crown was when this London born and bred girl mumbled (in her embarassment), “I do not know,” in Welsh.

To this day, I still panic and freeze if someone puts me on the spot regarding numbers, addition and calculations - you have been warned. However, give me a piece of paper, space to think, time to check my measurements or calculations (even better, supply me with a calculator) and I am usually alright!

I digress, back to the table. Cherry sounds like a great choice, its birthmarks will add character and I like the sound of a table that is constructed to last for at least 250 years. It’s reassuring.

A 1” tabletop thickness sounds elegant and light, both physically and optically.

Out of professional furniture making curiousity only and I appreciate that you said that the timber needs to rest, in situ, in order to acclimatise but you have also mentioned that you will have this table completed in a matter of weeks? Is 1" sufficient in depth to challenge Cherry's natural tendency to crack and ensure that the tabletop will not warp as the timber continues to settle over time?

Or does the table’s overall design/construction prevent this from happening? If so, can you explain to me how that works?

(It would be sad for you to put all this effort in, only for campers to discover that their Wolf dinners have a tendency to slide onto their knees?!)

Public Display of Affection Alert (PDA): cover your eyes, Leo.

I would just like to quote West Shore Camp’s lead and resident camper on the subject of the dining table,

"The difference is that this table will be hand made and be 'soft' to the hand and strong”.

Aww - you know, in many ways, this table may turn out to be just like its maker.

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