We are the Quarter Sawn Oak Company, a family run saw mill and workshop based in Edale in the heart of the Peak District supplying rough sawn (R/S) or Planed All Round (PAR) oak boards machined to your specification. We were originally set up and are still run by Austin Neves, a time served master cabinet maker, in order to supply his workshop with the highest quality oak.
Before beginning to mill our own timber Austin would regularly buy packs of timber from suppliers claiming to be able to consistently supply the top quality grade stock required for a furniture workshop. The first pack would usually be up to standard, next time around the timber would be passable, the third order a couple of boards would be returned due to a large amount of waste (faults/dead knots etc.) or not being the grade required. Several orders later and entire loads would have to be returned, leaving suppliers upset, the workshop short of timber and unnecessary stress all round.
So the idea was, what if we were able to focus on quality from the beginning and right through the process? The trees to begin with. Then the milling, where we specifically quartersaw, ripping the logs length ways first and sitting the quarters on the mill to get the best boards from each cut. Looking at the timber in front of us, we know exactly what we would be after from the end product; clean, straight boards with the best figuring. We then take a lot of time to stick and stack the boards, which is an art form in itself. In man hours a day’s milling is roughly a day’s stacking. The sticks have to be perfectly in line. The sticks aren’t just to form air gaps, they transfer the weight through to the floor. Boards at the bottom of stacks regularly have 3 or more tonnes of weight on top of them, so when left for 18 months that would have a serious effect on how straight the boards stay. A curved board seriously reduces the yield in the workshop. Milling our own timber also allows us to cut the thicknesses that are most useful (i.e. producing the least waste possible!), which is the reasoning behind cutting the 5/8″. So many components in furniture and joinery are 10-12mm or less and we used to cut this specifically for panelling jobs, be it full rooms or cupboard door panels, drawer components etc, this saves either machining down or trying to deep cut 1″.
The reason large mills don’t quartersaw is because they say it is too wasteful, which from their point of view is true. Their main priority is to get the largest quantity of timber they can from a log, so through and through is the obvious choice (they sell everything they cut so who can blame them!). This means less waste at the sawmill end but often more at the workshop, as there are cracks/shakes to cut from the centre of the boards. Sap wood can lean a long way into each board and being crown grain the cupping can mean a lot of planing required to get the board flat. More planing means more sawdust and less usable timber, and so as we are only cutting small scale with a view to getting the best quality timber, the waste factor at the workshop/customers’ end is usually much smaller.
We only buy in the best available British Oak trees. They really are the cream of the crop; they need to be straight, clear of knots/faults, and as big as we can get, ideally over 24″ diameter at the narrow end. These are particularly difficult to find, so we work very closely with our timber agent to get what we need and he’s not let us down yet!
Here at the Quartersawn Oak company we have NO minimum order.
Due to past experiences we don’t supply flooring or timber for flooring.
There are 3 ways to buy timber from us;
- Waney Edge- these are boards straight out of the stack with sapwood and waste still attached. Collection is preferred if you would like to select your own boards, otherwise we will happily select boards out to your requirements and organise delivery, please call or email to arrange this.
- Rough Sawn Cut To Size (R/S)- boards are square edged with the sap and waste removed ready to be planned and thicknessed.
- Planned All Round (PAR)- fully planned and thicknessed to your required specification.
We focus on milling 1″ (~25mm) and 5/8″ (~15mm) thick quarter sawn oak boards. We can also supply 2″ (~50mm) and greater thicknesses of plain sawn oak (often called ‘crown cut’ or ‘through and through’). We supply rough sawn oak and PAR machined from these thicknesses.
We supply our oak boards to a wide range of businesses and individuals where applications vary from:
- Architectural installations such as cladding or panelling.
- Restoration projects where traditional oak boards may be required.
- Interior designers.
- Boat makers.
All timber is machined to order. We welcome visitors to the workshop to chat about your project although we can often be out, please call on 01433 670213 or email if you would like to make an appointment.