David Gunton supplies Beech in boards in several qualities from many
sources, but, most especially, wide long boards. By clicking on most
pictures on this site you can see a larger version.
At 160mm wide and 3 metres long these 1st. quality European Beech
boards have been laid in a regular pattern to carry forward the subdued
formal design of this lightly modern entrance and the reception rooms
beyond. The client wanted to achieve a subtle balance between demonstrating
fine design without ostentation.
The floor is co-ordinated with the staircase. There is underfloor
heating beneath this floor.This is a lovely illustration of a little
imagination at work.
There is underfloor heating beneath this floor. The boards were
hand picked and especially prepared for the purpose. They have been
fitted for several years without any problems whatsoever. Yet, Beech
is regarded as a troublesome timber which 'moves' a lot due to seasonal
changes in moisture content.
The staircase is clad in beech. Careful examination of the photos
will betray the last traces of 'stick' or 'sticker' marks in the timber
- darker blushes at regular spacings across the timber. They were
quite frequent and obvious when we first fitted this staircase. These
occur because after the log is sawn the boards are stacked one on
top of another with 25mm x 25mm spacers set at about 400mm centres
between each board to allow air to pass between them during the air
drying process. Beech is a tannin rich timber, as are oak and pear
and a number of other timbers. The sticks used (often oak), leach
tannin or cause tannin to be drawn to and trapped beneath the sticks,
resulting in the stripes across the timber. This inconvenient stripe
gradually diminishes and disappears once the timber is machined and
exposed to ultra violet light. However, (after
of customer complaints) sawmillers are addressing the problem. They
have begun to use plastic spacers of triangular shape so that there
is a minimal contact area and no tannin in the spacer. It seems to
work. Little beech is now produced with 'sticker' marks.
These are the beech winders which turn the staircase through 90 degrees.
There is no reason to show them to you other than that they look jolly
nice - don't they?
* OK. You can laugh at my html coding and the great big space
- don't you know, it's called a 'dramatic pause' - but sawmillers,
bless them all, are probably the most traditional and hidebound
tradesmen still living in medieval times! It has taken them so long
to get to grips with problems like sticker marking. For instance,
in Europe and America sawmillers kiln dry timbers to 8% moisture
content as a matter of course and policy. In the UK many major sawmillers
still take a sharp intake of breath and say, 'We can't do that.
It'll ruin the timber!" They have to be bullied into doing what
everyone else does just as part of a day's work.