Sourcing Timber for a Handmade Sideboard

If you want to make great furniture, you need to start with great timber, so sourcing timber is a critical part of the overall process. I source a lot of my specialist timber from Tyler Hardwoods, but the Walnut for this particular sideboard came from Thorogoods, as you can see in the photo below.

Sourcing timber - packs of Walnut awaiting my inspection

When I arrived at the timber yard they had pulled out two unopened packs of 52mm Walnut for me to look through; a short pack and a long pack.

The longer of the two packs of 52mm Walnut

After looking through all of the short pack I decided there was more chance of getting all the timber we needed in the longer pack, as there was an average of 4 planks to a log in each pack.

52mm Walnut timber planks

I settled on two logs in the end. The one on the right had four nice boards which are ear-marked for the internal faces of the piece.

Walnut timber planks

The log here on the left has 6 long good boards which I will use for the top and most of the saw-cut veneers on the external faces. There is one board in particular that has lovely looking grain pattern and I think will be great for the drawer fronts.

Four plank Walnut log stacked for acclimatization

After getting back to the workshop I stacked the Walnut in stick so as to leave it to acclimatize in the workshop’s controlled environment for 5-6 weeks.

You can see here above the the 4 plank log again

The Walnut boards stacked as cut from log

The boards are stacked in sequence from when they were cut from the log and labelled on the saw mill table.

Stacked Walnut boards

The label in the image below shows the 4 digit pack number (bottom right) and the 6 digit log number followed by the 2 digit board number. This is what makes it possible to rebuild the log as shown in the photos here, which is great for matching grain and colour through the making of the piece, and also for book matching the veneers.

Sourcing timber - plank pack, log and board number


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