We now stock a selection of these beautifully finished, polished wood boxes
The wood comes from the roots of the Thuya tree, a shrubby conifer indigenous to southern Morocco. The root has no other uses and would usually be burned when the tree was felledDown To The Wood
- Round box with spherical lid as shown above (flat base) £12
- Square box shown below £9
- Egg £5
- Mushroom box £12
I’m Ray, also known as ‘Driftwood’ Ray. My early history is unknown, but I was found washed up on a North Devon beach a number of years ago. As a driftwood log, time and tide hadn’t been kind to me, I was fairly battered and starting to fall apart. I was rescued and carried home, then put somewhere out of the elements, to give me time to dry off. Nothing happened for five or so years, in truth I thought I’d been forgotten, but I lived on as a vague memory of a never-finished thought. Then one day, a photo of a Stingray jogged that memory and finished that thought. I was taken down, dusted off, and after half a decade of inaction I was thrown into a couple of weeks of frenetic activity and my true-self emerged. I may have grown on land, but the sea made me.
First, we sort through the coppiced timber looking for potential wands.
Anything with honeysuckle curled around it is a possibility
Next, we cut them to length on site. I use a saw called a Silky Gomboy (catchy name). It is a Japanese saw and like many Japanese saws it cuts on the pull, not the push.
The wand is then clamped in a shave-horse, you push with your feet and it clamps the piece, leaving both hands free to use the draw-knife to shape the business-end of the wand.
A final bit of whittling to finish the ends
The shave-horse is a versatile clamping device. Usually it grips the piece whilst you work on it; but this works for me.
The wands are aga-dried. That’s the same as kiln-dried, except for the obvious. They are left for about 24 hours at 100°C, this dries off the moisture so the surface can be sanded smooth. It also kills off any woodworm or bugs that may be in the wood.
The dreaded sanding, we use four different grades to get a super-smooth finish
Here we leap-frog from centuries-old techniques straight to the 21st.
This is a laser-engraver made from the stepper motors and the laser from a computers CD writer
The juxtaposition of the the natural twisting bark and the highly polished blade shows off the true beauty of the hazel and creates a very satisfying wandDown To The Wood
Down at Pondhead enclosure, the Bluebells are coming on thick and fast.
Click on the box on the right to go full screen, then use the arrows on the left to see what it looked like when we cut it in January.
More can be found about Pondhead and the work of the volunteers here: http://www.pondheadconservation.org.uk/
We’ve never stoked cork products, it wasn’t so much the argument whether it’s wood or not, more the simple fact that while wood is textured, grained and infinity variable, cork is just a little bit plain; too homogeneous to have the character of a hardwood.
But you can’t help feeling a little sorry for an environmentally friendly industry that has been usurped by composite corks and metal lids, so we’ve had another look, and look what we found:
Necessity is the mother of inventionproverb
Featured above is our medium pot stand, cork fishes strung together on a hemp cord, but the cork has an infinite wave, this is not printed on, but is a natural consequence of not processing the cork so much and the result: well we love it! (we also have large pot stands)
Below are place mats and coasters using the same technique
And if you think cork is just for kitchens, have a gander at this:
So, we’re now stocking cork, and proud.
We have different sets of Quadrilla marble runs. Build and play with these clip-together sets.
More accessories can be purchased to expand your sets
A reliable method for non-wizarding folk to store memories. It’s all very well for those high-wizards to store and share memories with their fancy pensieves, but here’s a work-around for the rest of us.
It is also sometimes called a memory stick, because it stores your memories and it was made from a stick!a quote form the owner of Down To The Wood
We have it it walnut and soon in Maple, they’re all 16Mb
There is a lot of work preparing these wooden boards, then about 3 hours under the laser, but you still don’t really know what you’ve got until the oil goes on.Perry Bond
Just watch this Golden retriever board
Each board is a one-off, and they sell quite quickly, so we’re keeping a record of our boards over at Pinterest
If there’s an image you would like to see on a board, just leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can do. We do not do commissions as it’s too stressful (my pile of boards that have gone wrong and need re-sanding, is bigger than my finished pile!). But if there is something you would like, let us know and we’ll give it a try. If you like it you can buy it, if not, no worries, it will just go into our stock.
The standard price for these boards is £35, but there are variations, both up and down.
We’re often asked what is the best oil for serving boards. The simple answer is whatever you have in your kitchen cupboard, any oil is fine. Walnut oil gives one of the best finishes, but then you have to worry about anyone with a nut allergy. It is often said don’t use olive oil as it can go rancid. Well, the open sign for our shop was repeatedly oiled with olive oil, still is OK 10 years later. We use a food grade mineral oil because it is light, soaks in well and we can buy it 10l at a time.
If you’ve had fish or garlic or something that makes you board smell, let some lemon juice soak in, it will also boost the boards natural antiseptic qualities.Down To The Wood