We frequently get asked very similar questions, so in the hope that you can find an answer to your question, check out the below:
It looks like you do big projects for public spaces – would you be interested in hearing from me if I wanted something designing for my house or garden?
Absolutely. We have enjoyed completing lots of private commissions. Just get in touch to discuss your ideas.
What timber do you use, where is it from?
For our outside structures we predominantly use UK FSC Oak and UK FSC Douglas fir. We buy this pre-cut from a number of specialist UK sawmills. Depending on the job this will be a mixture of fresh sawn and dried [kiln and/or air dried]. All the curvy shelters are all made from oak. The floor and seating from dried and the ribs from fresh sawn – because we steam and glue these into shape [see below]. For larger structures with big sections we mostly use Douglas fir. This is a great timber, grows well in the UK and is light, strong, relatively durable and easy to work.
Where are they made?
We make all our work ourselves at our workshop at Ecclessall Woods Sawmill, Sheffield. We then flat pack it and transport it for construction on site.
What finishes do you use?
For our outside curvy shelter structures, benches etc we use biofa outdoor furniture oil. [link] this is an amazing oil and full of goodness for the timber. However it doesn’t last forever. After a year it will have faded. The choice then is to just leave it and the timber will eventually turn to silver or reapply the oil. For larger section structures we don’t apply any oil. We use timber that is suitable for outside and will last on its own, main thing is get the detailing right – avoid the timber standing in water or it pooling around or on the structure, and taking care with joints so they don’t hold water.
How long will structures last?
We hope that our structures will last at least 50 years. Particularly when they are not planted in the ground – we generally use small concrete footings with steel base plates which holds the timber away from the ground. For posts planted direct in ground 10-20 years in more likely. We have been in business for 15 years so only have that much experience and we have revisited some early structures which are still doing fine. Oak eventually sets like iron so the structures could be here for many years to come.
How do you make the curvy ribs?
We use a process call steam bending and glue laminating to make the curvy ribs. We buy the timber in thin laths and it takes about six laths to make east rib. These are steamed for about 1 ½ hours in our specially made 5m long steam box. We then bend them as one in a jig [different shaped jigs for each rib shape] and clamp them into place. Half a day later we take them out, apply glue [moisture curing PU] and put them back in the jig with loads of clamps. An hour later its done and then needs finishing and cutting to size. – SEE link to video of this process here
How much do your structures cost?
We have a price list, available on request, for the more product end of what we do but as most of our work is bespoke please get in touch for more details.