Oak is strong, tough dependable, as it dries out and ages oak actually gets stronger

Working with Oak

Once a potential piece of oak has been chosen it is air dried or seasoned. Air Dried simply means that during the drying out process, a large percentage of the movement of the timber has taken place, so there is less splitting and movement than with green timber especially with oak. Oak will always have some movement its a natural wonder.

 

Once seasoning has commenced the timber is peeled from its bark, shaped and sanded over many hours with a course grit, medium grit and then finished with a fine grit at this point you can see its beauty starting to come alive.

Natural oils are applied to the seasoned sanded timber and polished off. I mainly use teak, Tung, Danish and boiled linseed oils I favour these because I find they really bring out the beautiful natural grain patterns.

Once I have the desired look and depth from oil applications the oak is cured and wrapped in sisal in certain areas for kitty to scratch upon. Sisal is a natural fibre extracted from the leaves of the Agave Sisalana, a succulent plant closely related to the plant which brings us tequila, it grows in dry desert climates such as the plains of Mexico and other parts of the New World. I usally use quality 10mm sisal, its extreamly strong.

Finally the pieces are mounted on a array of different bases such as Oak, Glass, Granite and Marble. The whole process can take 4-6 weeks.

Keeping it natural your cat with love the feel of our trees and you will have a beautiful piece of natural art to admire in your home or outdoors.

Unlike other cat scratching products these are built to last for years and with the right care a lifetime.

 

Hardwood Timber is a natural substance, we all know that. And, as it is organic, it is greatly influenced by it’s surroundings and more specifically it is trying to reach an equilibrium with it’s natural surroundings. This photo was taken 3 months before the next photo of the exact same price of oak.

3 Months Later

3 Months Later

You can really see the change from the previous photo taken 3 months earlier most of the splits have closed up. Both the heart and the pith are reaching an equilibrium. Clever stuff wood!

Hardwood Splits and Cracks with natural beauty

We are frequently asked about splits and cracks in hardwoods and why does it happen? And will it damage the structure? The simple answer is they are totally natural and nothing to worry about.

 

Equilibrium of the environment 

 

Wood wants to be the same as its environment both in moisture content and temperature. During summer months and soaring temperatures timber starts to exhibit cracks and splits where it further dries out from its original point of FSP (Fibre saturation point).

 

Hardwood also tries its hardest to match its environment which you may not know, it moves, swells, and shrinks this is normal timber behaviour and should be fully understood when buying any timber product.

It is by its nature trying to reach an equilibrium with its surrounding air moisture. During summer this moisture content in the air is going up and down all the time as is the temperature and the wood is trying to do the same thing. 

 

As hardwood dries out it shrinks across the grain and develops splits and cracks, sometimes also called ‘shakes’. As the grain runs along any one piece of timber the splits and cracks which open up as the fibres dry and separate this gives unique, natural character.  

Cracks and splits are all part of the ageing process you will have probably seen this in the oak beam structure in an old pub at some point, we add expansion joints to all our timber bases to allow for this natural movement.

 

Regardless of how well dried a piece of hardwood is it will always grow and shrink according to seasonal changes in relative humidity of the air.

 

Sometimes cracks can open up alarmingly large this is entirely normal and once the inner core has dried  the crack will close up.

Likewise as the moisture in the air increases so will the free water absorbed by capillary action in the wood and once again the cracks will close up.

 

Enjoy it and embrace it as it is part of its charm and warmth we all enjoy. Watch it and marvel at it’s behaviour, cracks and splits will disappear, open up, wander and move. 

 

Apple Wood

Apple wood grows in a twisted fashion, which makes its grains uneven and therefore very rich and pleasing to look at.  

It is most often found as ornate handles, cabinet doors, and dishware as it is a dense wood that resists wear.

The price of apple wood is also more expensive than other domestic wood varietals, making it a less popular choice for full-on construction jobs but more desirable for those looking for quality and class.

Apple trees were common sources of wood for the immigrants who colonized North America. Today, apple wood is typically harvested from trees that have outgrown their usefulness as fruit producers.

Because the majority of today’s apple trees are dwarf varieties (they produce the same amount of fruit on a much smaller, more manageable tree), apple wood is not available in massive quantities.