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 LTP Newsletter April 2008 - Issue No.15

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Welcome to the 15th Edition of this Newsletter for the Lisnavagh Timber Project

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In this Newsletter

Last year we drew up a Business Plan for the ongoing development of the Timber Project (Phase Three) and we have been very busy putting our plans into action since then.

More people to help you

Dena NolanIn order to handle the increased sales that we are aiming for, and indeed the marketing needed to achieve those sales, Dena Nolan joined the team last October to help with the management of the Timber Project.

Dena has had previous experience in procuring and selling timber and bespoke timber products on both sides of the Atlantic. That said, The Lisnavagh Timber Project is a pretty unique business and Dena did well to get to grips with our quirky ways!
Dena will be leaving us at the end of June, having done a marvellous job in attracting new business for the Timber Project.

Bradley Richards

Last summer, Bradley Richards started to help us occasionally in the workshop. We were so impressed with his skills and knowledge of timber that we took him on full time as our Chief Joiner from January this year. The depth of his understanding of wood (and especially Irish hardwoods) has proved very useful both in the workshop and in the sawmilling yard.


New Buildings

In December 2007 we purchased about 70 tonnes of salvaged steel frame. This will be used to build our new 6,300 sq ft Dry Room and Workshop area on the site of an existing building during the coming months. This new building will give us greater and more efficient storage capacity for kiln dried timber, some air drying capacity and a bigger workshop.

In due course, we also plan to create new offices and a showroom in the existing Stone Barn nearby.


Additional Kiln

A new kiln has also been purchased which will greatly assist us with our timber drying and turnaround time. The kiln will be operational in the new Timber Project building in the autumn.


February sawmilling

In February we cut 1,000 cubic feet of sawn timber which we believe is the highest quality we have produced to date.


Timberpedia

The Timberpedia is finished, well almost! Our timberpedia has been compiled from a variety of sources and had been in the making for the past year. It should assist anyone who would like to know more about a particular tree and its uses. We have over 70 varieties detailed, including the native trees of Ireland.

Over the next few weeks the Timberpedia will be uploaded to the Timber Project website. If you find any discrepancies or have additional information or pictures you think would benefit, we would be happy to hear from you.


Guaranteed Irish

Lisnavagh is now registered a Guaranteed Irish company, and we provide this guarantee along with our Irish hardwoods traceability report, which assures the end user of the timber that we only offer genuine sustainable and traceable Irish hardwoods in this era of dubious "made in Ireland" products, which are often just finished here.


Stock Lists & Stock News


As always, our up-to-date stock lists and price list can be found at www.irishwoods.com/stockroom on our website. We have revised the format of these stock lists so that they are more comprehensive, they download rapidly ( in seconds) and so they are an even better guide to what we have in stock at any given moment.

Currently there is about 435 cu ft of kiln dried timber, 621 cu ft of air dried timber, 1157 cu ft of air drying timber (not for sale until dry) and a number of beams, stakes, PAOs and a few square turning blanks.


Bespoke Products


There has been an increasing number of requests for bespoke furniture and products such as bookcases, kitchen countertops, tables, mantlepieces and stair threads and as we now have a full time joiner, we welcome all commission enquiries, alongside the sale of our timber.


Turning Blanks

We have started to sell wood turning blanks for wood turners. (See the list here). We have square, round and rough sawn blanks in several types of timber and these are available as green (fresh/wet), airdried and kiln dried.

 


Web Site News

According to Alexa, the world renowned web information site, our website is the 10th most popular site in Ireland's Business & Economy section! (29/2/08)

The hits are still coming fast and furious and the web site (www.irishwoods.com) is certainly the most usual way for our customers to find us.

We have added a new survey to our web site, to assist us with our customers needs and we very much appreciate the people who have taken the time to fill out the survey, you too can view the results! Click here if you wish to complete the survey


Irish Wood Forum

If you haven't already seen it, try the forum. (www.irishwoods.com/forum). Because of the number of attempts by spammers to leave messages on the forum we have had to ask people to register before they can use it. However, it is a simple process to register and a useful source of information for users. We are working hard to keep the forum free of spam and useful to you (unlike a few other forums!), so please do use it!


Finally...

Thank you for reading this Newsletter and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best wishes,

The Lisnavagh Timber Project

 
What is Spalted Wood?

By Dena Nolan

Spalting is a product of the rotting process, the first stage in decay, caused by certain white-rot decay fungi, growing in wood. The fungi favour woods with high moisture content of at least 25 percent and moist warm temperatures.

Primarily, lighter coloured woods offer the finest examples of nature's handiwork, and gorgeous displays of spalting can be seen in hardwoods such as maple, birch, and beech.

The unusual colourations of black, pink, gray, and multicoloured streaks displayed on the wood result from reactions between it and the colonising fungi and insect deposits, these are called 'ink' or 'zone' lines where the colonies of fungi meet.

(Two major kinds of decay fungi are: brown rot and white rot. Brown-rot fungi extensively remove only cellulose from the wood, which takes on a browner colour and can crack across the grain, shrink, collapse, and be crushed into powder.
White-rot fungi remove both lignin and cellulose from the wood, which may lose colour and appear "whiter" than normal. (Lignin is the glue that holds wood together and is what is removed from wood when paper is made.) The wood does not crack across the grain, and until severely degraded, it retains its outward dimensions, does not shrink or collapse, and often feels light and spongy. Brown-rot fungi commonly colonise softwoods (conifers), and white-rot fungi commonly occur in hardwoods (broad-leaved trees), but occasionally, both brown and white rot fungi colonise both types of wood.)

Inducing spalting in wood has been successful, though not always and if these decay fungi are allowed to grow for too long, the strength of the wood is diminished beyond use.
Table by Bradley RichardsThe key to stimulating spalting is providing the fungi with a moist, warm environment in which to thrive.
Because fungal spores are airborne, adding fungi to the wood is not necessary as the spores are already present. However, further exposing the wood to decaying vegetation would be advantageous to the process and in fact feeding fungi to increase growth can be done and sugar is an ideal food, but there is a risk that very high levels can be toxic as it is encouraging the wrong type of fungal growth.

An original article, written by Ron Hampton, which was originally published in Woodturning magazine (Issue No. 73). Revealed some stories on spalting; -

A live tree is cut into rounds that are 5 to 6 inches longer than the diameter. The rounds are stood on end in a fungus-strewn area in the shade; the wood is wet and is covered with wood shavings. Within a year or so, spalting occurs.

Todd has created many beautiful spalted pieces by burying rough-turned green wood in moist sawdust for about 6 months. (In humid climates, the burial time would be much shorter.) The sawdust often stains the wood in a desirable way, while the fungus is creating other decorative marks. In addition, mushrooms and roots grow and leave root trails and irregularities in the wood.

Rob makes a spalting sauce, by mixing a can of beer, 1-1/2 tablespoons of ammonia, 1 cup of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer (mixed double strength), and oak leaves mixed with grass clippings. He chops the ingredients in a food processor to create a paste like mixture, then covers the surface of a rough-turned vessel with the mixture. He places the turning in a plastic bag, and leaves the bag in a warm place for several weeks. When he is satisfied with the spalting, he finishes turning the vessel.

Spalted wood is highly sought after for the decorative and interesting patterns that it creates on wood, which goes to show, fungi - is in the eye of the beholder!!


References:
Producing Spalted Wood
www.fpl.fs.fed.us

Contact information

William McClintock Bunbury
The Lisnavagh Timber Project
The Farmhouse, Lisnavagh, Rathvilly, Co Carlow, Ireland

Tel:             (059) 9161784       Int'l: +353 59 91 61784
Fax:             (059) 9161475       Int'l  +353 59 91 61475

E-mail:        info@irishwoods.com
Web site:     www.irishwoods.com

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