Beginner Sourcing Greenwood

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Beginner Sourcing Greenwood

Postby TomN » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:58 pm

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and green woodworking. I'm mainly a hobby blacksmith that would like to get some experiece in green wood working, as it will come in handy for making handles for tools etc.
The only experience I have is helping an aquantance do a bit of forging work on some pole lathe tools.

I'm a big lover of crafts that take a lot of skills and knowhow, hence the blacksmithing. Would like to move that on into wood working as well.
Making all my own tools for it will be a useful experience for my smithing. Once i've made them, I might as well use them!
I have some old farriers rasps, which is good tool steel, so will be making some bits out of them. A froe, draw knife and a general whittling knife are on the 'to do list'.

Its going to be a few months before I get a chance to start with the hobby, as i''ve got some big commitments coming up.
I'd like to build up a load of knowledge in this couple of months.
If anyone has any links to good articles, like how to make a shave horse, wood identification etc.

I've watched a load of video's from Ben Orford. Found his video's very helpful and well thought out.

One main concern is how to get hold of some greenwood.
I've been walking around a local forest (Wychwood forest) and come across bits of sectioned logs.
I presume someone would be coming back for them and using them for something sensible.
I have also come across trees that have been felled and just left. I'm guessing that these will be out of bounds, as whoever cut it down will be back to do something with it.
So where can I get hold of some greenwood? Legally and without pissing off local forresters, who work hard.

And if anyone has any ideas on good ways of getting a bit of experience, that would be great. I think there is a group very local to me. Not sure when they have stuff on though, and i've got a load of charity events coming up, to raise money for my chairty thing i'm doing.
If anyone has any tips on how to get into forrestry work, then that would be cool. I am 'out of work' at the moment, just doing agencies jobs and things and wouldn't mind having a go at forrestry work. Maybe moving on to become an arborist....

Sorry this is so long.
Cheers. Tom!
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Re: Beginner Sourcing Greenwood

Postby goldsmithexile2013 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:42 am

Welcome onto the forum!
For one thing, its a definate no no to take wood from a forest or woodland without permission. For the sake of saving a few £££'s you could get into embarrassing trouble. It antagonises the lannd possessing types and increases hostility to those who like to work with green wood etc....Not only that but quite often branches that have sat for any length of time (even just a few weeks in some cases) will havve started to rot, especuially species like ash and birch which arent very weather resistant
Get to know your local tree surgeons or landscape gardeners. In my experience they are only too willing to let you have stuff usually for free or for a token spot of beer money. In the last week I have obtained around 2 tons of beech and copper beech crookks for spoons, plus the guy phoned later and said I got some huge laurel branchhes do you want themm? I often get willow/alder/ash/sycamore etc for next to nothing. Yesterday I cased a mountain of hawthorn that will likely be burned soon unless I get in there quick...Not sure about the laurel (poisonous??) any way I digress :)
For tool handles ash is best, birch is good too.. Check out the old video from finland of the old boy making an axe handle
good luck with your projects.
cheers Jonathan
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Re: Beginner Sourcing Greenwood

Postby gavin » Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:05 pm

Find anyone local to you running greenwood courses. Volunteer as tea boy. You'll learn heaps. Also contact Dave Knight who lives in Oxford - I'll pm you his details.
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- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
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Re: Beginner Sourcing Greenwood

Postby TomN » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks for your help guys!
I thought as much, with regards to finding timber in the woods. I will have a look out for tree surgeons about the area.

Might get in contact with a local group. There is one about 15 miles away, which is handy.
Just got to get some free time now.

goldsmithexile2013 - I watched that video and was very impressed with the guys skill. Particularly with the knife. He seemed to have so much control. It was even more impressive when I realised he was doing it 'freehand' and not to any template, or lines.
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