We start by finding beautiful pieces of wood and then concentrate on making the most of their natural characteristics.
When making table tops it’s not always possible to make one top with one bit of wood. When we need to use two bits of wood, we make our joints along a natural line in the wood to join the pieces of the tree together in harmony
Usually we celebrate holes but we understand they are not always practical. When they need to be filled in, if the hole is where a knot is then it will be filled with wood that has a knot in it. When we add a piece of wood into a hole, they're carefully measured and tapered for a perfect fit. Sometimes when people are asked to work out which piece is a repair, they can't tell and instead they trace a natural line in the wood where the colour looks like a crack or join.
People often ask how it is done. The following images show the repair process, starting with measuring the hole in the wood with a laser (Picture 1). Then we find a chunk of wood that's a suitable size and matches the colour and grain as much as possible (Picture 2). The outline around the chosen bit of wood is then cut to the depth required. The hole in the table is also trimmed ready for the plug (Picture 3). The plug is removed (Picture 4), put into the hole (Picture 5) and finished off (Picture 6).
Wood boring bugs are everywhere. Every piece of wood that comes into the workshop is treated to make sure that any bugs still hiding in there are dead.
Sometimes, the marks that bugs leave are delightful and we have the opportunity to make a feature of them, as we have done recently with an Ash table.
Bark bugs simply take the easiest option, optimising food supply by taking advantage of the softness of the substrate. Living accomodation for bark bugs is under the bark.
Eggs are typically laid in a line, in the area between the bark and the sapwood. When the eggs hatch the tiny grubs eat their way along the cambian layer. Growing quickly, they bore increasingly wide channels until its time to escape to their next stage of life. At this point they bore their way out through the bark and live onwards as flying bugs. They return after mating and lay more eggs for the next generation of grubs.