Steve Wright 8 November 2012

I have known Steve ever since he joined our club a few years ago and I knew he owned a sawmill, but that is all I really knew about him. So I was looking forward to hearing his talk about just what his job involves and I was clearly not alone in wanting to hear more about him, as we had a record attendance for his presentation.

He started by explaining that he only deals with English hard woods, which he buys after the trees have been felled and sells on to wood carvers, woodturners and violin/cello makers once he has cut it into suitable pieces. He told us how he gets his wood – usually from big estates where the arborists know how to treat wood properly and how to ensure he will get the best out of it. He said he prefers not to buy timber from trees that have come from people’s gardens as, generally speaking, it is not of a suitable shape or quality for his requirements

He went on to explain how he chooses a tree when it is lying on the ground and how he grades the wood once he has it back at the sawmill. He said that he buys different woods for different purposes. For example, violin makers want rippled sycamore which is of a high quality with a good, uniform ripple running through it.

His presentation was punctuated with slides (some of which are below) illustrating what he does from the point where he selects the tree lying on the ground, to transporting it back to his mill, cutting it to shape and how he stores it. He had also brought along a number of items that he had found buried deep in some of the trees he has handled – he has to be extremely careful when cutting timber that none of these ‘hidden extras’ damage his saw. This, in turn, brought him round to telling us about the machinery he uses and telling us all about the trials and tribulations of owning an industrial band saw.

Steve is well known to our members for his witty banter and good sense of humour which was evident throughout his presentation, with many of our members singled out for a bit of a leg pull. We were expecting an interesting evening with Steve and I don’t think anyone was disappointed; it was an excellent evening. Thank you Steve for a very informative and educational presentation.

Lorrie Flannery

SWC club member

A selection of the slides shown by Steve