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The Different Types of Timber We Use....

The most important part of our products is the raw material – the wood itself. Firstly, care is taken to source the wood, all of which comes under the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).  We only select the best grade wood at Sitting Spiritually, and our makers, as the ones handling the timbers,  are part of the quality selection process. 

When they receive a wood delivery, their first job is to carefully inspect the timber to ensure that we start with the best grade of material. This means they look over it for large knots, or any evidence of sapwood, splitting or shakes (shakes are a lengthwise separation along the grain, usually between the growth rings of the tree). Heartwood (the central, ‘dead’ inner part of the tree) is rejected, as again, this is more susceptible to splitting and imperfections. When the makers are completely happy with the wood, they can then start the process of creating the furniture.

Below are the three woods that we use at Sitting Spiritually. They each have unique properties and characteristics which make them suitable for various purposes, the makers have, over their many years with us, got to really know the wood and they have developed different ways of working that they find are the most harmonious with that particular timber.

Both Oak & Cedar will mature and mellow to a beautiful soft silver colour.

The Tranquillity  & Kyokusen Ranges in Oak

Most of the makers would say their favourite timber to work with is oak. The slow-growing Northern European oak we use means that this very dense hardwood, notorious for blunting drill-bits and being extremely hard, is counterbalanced by the exceptional longevity of this beautiful wood. There is a great thrill in finishing an oak piece of garden furniture.  This is because the overall look of oak looks so harmonious. We know that this creation, already having taken years to grow, is now going to enjoy a lifetime of enjoyment in its new form – as a beautiful piece of outdoor garden furniture. We use a kiln-dried oak for most of the products (apart from pergolas, which are made from green oak), which guarantees minimal movement of the timber when placed in its final position in a customer’s garden. All our rope swings are also made of oak.

The RHS Serenity Range in Cedar

Western Red Cedar is a fantastic material to work with, and our Serenity swing seat looks beautiful in this prestigious wood. Cedar fills the maker’s workshops with an incredible aroma. It is lightweight (also a softwood like pine) but incredibly strong, and this makes it enjoyable to work with. Of course Cedar is one of the most suited woods for outdoor-use as it is very durable, and it also naturally has some resistance to moths and other insects as well as fungal attack. A properly finished product looks exceptionally beautiful with the natural grain of the Cedar tree, and in the early days can have a beautiful soft pinkish tone to it.

The Harmony Range in Pine

We use Scandinavian preservative treated pine to make our painted swing seats. This softwood is a pleasure for the makers to work with because it is relatively lightweight and easy to sand. It is a joy to apply paint to pine, as it takes the paint well and a beautiful finish is achievable. When working with pine, there is a smell of the forest. Part of the process of creating the swing seats is to prepare the surface and to fill any knots or blemishes that may naturally occur in the wood. The wood chosen by Sitting Spiritually is a high quality pine; great news for the makers, as this means that there are fewer knots!

We're always happy to talk you through your choices, we are understandably passionate about wood, so please do ask us if there's anything you would like to know.

Painted Pine
Seasoned Oak Close Up

Posted by Siobhan on September 2nd 2020

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