Some of you may remember us sending the oak for our floorboards down to the local sawmill, Wests near Petworth, we are using them as it is the nearest wood drying kiln we can access. The floorboards need kiln drying to ensure they don’t warp and leave gaps between then when they dry out.
The oak logs were sawn into planks a few months ago and ever since have been stacked in the wood yard air drying.
Despite the rain we have had over the last couple of weeks they had a long period of time out in very dry conditions, this weather will have meant they air dred very effectively. This takes them down to a certain level of moisture content, but to ensure they are stable in the building the time has come to move them into the kiln for the final drying. Here you can see them being moved in with a forklift.
Throughout the process the planks are all kept in the order they were cut out of the log, this helps ensure they dry out evenly and minimises warping.
The next stage will be the thicknessing and milling of the boards into their final form, I am really looking forward to seeing them after they have been finished, I have high hopes for our floor, they were lovely pieces of wood and the floor should look pretty spectacular.
Meanwhile back at the building the membrane and some of the counter battens have gone on the roof.
The membrane will ensure the building stays nice and watertight and the counter battens are the strips of wood which hold it in place onto the rafters. The counter battens will also ensure there is an air gap underneath the shingles, which should keep them dry and prolong their life.
It also means that from now on whenever anyone is working inside the building they will be able to stay dry, with the way things have been here lately that is quite a blessing.
It defines the shape of the roof as well, and means you can really start to get a picture of what the internal spaces are going to be like.