30/09/2017 - 5 Comments

Home of wood

Posted by Paul @ Home of wood
Customers often wonder how we get our wood blanks and how the process works. More and more people are taking wood turning up either to try and earn a living selling items or as a hobby. This has also lead to more people trying to process blanks and sell on the Internet and social media.

Sourcing wood to mill has also become a huge headache these days. Due to bio mass plants being introduced more and more timber is going into bio mass this has made sourcing timber much harder.

Here at Home of wood we source loads of timber in 25 tonne loads at the best price we can buy it for, we have this delivered into a big field that we have we then use our Lucas mill , this is a huge chain saw type mill , we can mill up to 5 foot wide and up to 15 meters long so we can mill big logs, We are actually fortunate that a lot of people do not want big logs this size as their mills can not process such huge diameters.

We mill the boards into different thickness , these are normally 2 inch, 3 inch and 4 inch thick. We do not mill much over 4 inch thick due to the time it takes to dry, also anything cut thicker than 4 inch will dry on the outside of the slab much quicker than the inside of the slabs, this leads to hair line type cracks on the surface of the slab making it not usable. 

Air drying boards is a process that takes time. Most boards require 1 year for every inch to dry , so if you have a 2 inch thick board this will take 2 years to dry , 3 inch board will take 3 years and so on.

All our boards are put into stick in the shed to dry , Stick means that small sticks are placed between each board to allow air to flow through them. 

When the time comes to process the boards we get them down from the stacks and cut the boards into about 2-3 foot lengths so we can move them easy. As we make a fresh cut with the chainsaw we test the moisture to see what it is. 

The process of the blanks.

Templates are used to make the markings onto the slabs of wood, we use templates mainly from 2 inch to 12 inch round. We also will cut out a big blank if we can get one, We always have blanks over 14 inch diameter in stock. Marking the template of the blanks takes time as you also have to look on both sides of the slabs to make your rounds fit around any cracks etc.

Once we have all our circles drawn on the slabs we then cut them on the band saw, there is also a lot of waste from cutting the blanks out, all the waste goes into sacks and gets sold off as fire wood.

Once the blanks have been cut out we then PVA and seal the edges , this stops any cracking on the edges. Some suppliers will use wax but this is more expensive and more time consuming so we find using PVA is great , it does a great job and keeps the costs down. (after all we keep costs down to enable great prices)

The Process of getting Air dried turning blanks is a long process and takes time and effort. Home of wood has been supplying turning blanks for the last 15 years and we believe we have got it down to a fine art and we believe this shows by the feedback we get from our customers. We first started supplying Axminsters all those years ago and now sell direct to you the turner as well as major outlets. 

We try and keep our costs down to help fellow turners turn more at affordable prices. We are also seeing a huge amount of buyers from Europe which can only mean we are doing some thing right.

As you can see it does take time and effort to get your turning blanks, if you see another supplier pop up on Ebay , social media selling blanks just take a few moments and think about what you are buying.

I have had several customers the past few weeks saying they have tried another supplier and have been very disappointed thinking they where saving a few pounds. Ebay seems to be the worse place for buying blanks at the moment.

The costs of producing your blanks is going up but we will keep supplying them to you at our great prices.

Happy turning 


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Ray Argrave - 02/10/2017

Hi Paul. Well done for taking the time to explain the process which I found very informarive. As a relatively new woodturner this simple explanation is so much better than reading the long boring books writen by people who forgot that they new nothing to start with. I have made mistakes with some blanks in my first year but I have learned quickly after selling in excess of 150 bowls since Easter.Keep up the good work.

Nick - 01/10/2017

Hi Paul Very interesting, never really thought about how it works before or how long it takes. Maybe If we are around your way it would be good to pop in :-) Nick

admin - 01/10/2017

Cheers Nick. Please do pop in and see us, always ring or text first to make sure we are about :)

Steve Jones - 02/10/2017

Very interesting article on how you produce your blanks Have bought them in the past, and will certainly be buying more. I find they are excellent value for the money, and very good quality timbers. Keep up the good work.

Sean Maloney - 01/10/2017

Hi Paul So now I know the whole story and I promise not to get it wrong again! I appreciate all the work and knowledge that goes into producing a blank and Home of Wood are defiantly the best around and you are the most helpful person fronting the business and dealing with stupid turners like me... thanks Paul your efforts and patience is most appreciated. Hope you liked the pictures I sent was going to send more today but it was... a bad day in the shed which is one of those days when nothing goes right I m sure you know what I mean Speak soon Sean

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