A selection of local woods from the National trusts estate, Cothele. – DevonPens

Another selection of local woods from the National trusts estate, Cothele.

Cothele wood

Cotehele is a medieval house with Tudor additions, situated in the parish of Calstock in the east of Cornwall, England, and now belonging to the National Trust. It is a rambling granite and slate-stone manor house on the banks of the River Tamar that has been little changed over five centuries.

I have a selection of timber which is currently drying in my workshop. I am hoping to at least have some Oak ready to turn in the next couple of weeks and then a number of other species of wood as it seasons over the next few months.


The Oak can be seen in the first Photograph, it is well on its way to being seasoned enough to use. I was able to cut this into squares as it is dry enough not to twist and split. 

The mix of logs in the second photograph are mostly a lot wetter still, so leaving them with the bark on with the ends waxed helps to slow things down and avoid splitting. They are cut down the middle to remove the pith from the centre as splits will most always run from the pith out. You can clearly see some of the wood in the bottom layer has some great spalting in it , this will make for some good looking pens.

You may see some figures written on some pieces of the wood. This is the weight of the wood when cut. I tend to weigh the wood at regular intervals and when it stops loosing weight it is then as dry as my workshop will allow it to be. This is normally less than 10% moisture, any wetter and it has a tendency to split as the wood on a pen is quite thin once turned.