The 1789 Oak

We've just taken delivery of a large Oak log from Drum Castle on Deeside. This is quite a special tree - it's about a metre in diameter at the base and it's around five metres to the first limb.

The tree came down in a gale in 2017 and has been lying there ever since. After a bit of negotiation, we agreed a price with the National Trust and got it transported to our workshop near Blackburn. The main trunk weighs around 3 ½ tons.

Once we had it safely in our yard, the first thing we did was to plane the end grain smooth so we could see the end grain. We love seeing the growth rings revealed - each one documenting the summers and the winters going back in time. An Oak like this grows steadily but slowly, adding just a few millimetres in girth every year. In an entire human lifetime, the tree increases radially by just seven inches.

The Drum Castle Oak has 228 growth rings (I think). This means it began its life in 1789 - the year of the French Revolution!

We’re not yet sure what we'll use this wood for. It's likely to be fairly straight grained so we will probably quarter saw it to reveal the beautiful medullary ray markings. We’d love to build a very special large table with this wood. We'd build it traditionally with solid mortice and tenon joinery. There's no built in obsolescence with our furniture - it would be good for another 228 years!

If you think you may have a project that would make good use of the Drum Castle Oak, feel free to call in past our workshop and we can start sketching out some design ideas.