Posted by: kathandroger | October 31, 2012


I love wood. There is something about the texture, the history and the variety of the stuff that excites me. In the UK, I messed about with the usual softwood we use for building and sometimes some old elm someone had given me, but when we came to France I was overwhelmed to find lots of old oak in the barns. Some was ancient beams and fencing, but we did have one huge trunk of oak in a barn which had been rough sawn and left leaning against a wall. It was all bent and had cracks all through, but over the past three years it had made our kitchen table, a big dresser, and lots of other odds and sods. But this week I have used the last bit! The lounge needed a shelf over the window radiator, and that’s where the remnant of my huge log resides. It was a bit sad working on the old plank! All those cracks and knots, whorls and holes. What stories that tree could have told.

Now I reckon it may have been about a meter in diameter in its prime. There are lots of ways of working out the age of trees, but with a bit of wishful thinking it could well have been a couple of hundred years old when felled. And it had been in the barn for about twenty years at least. So it may be that the little acorn which has provided our kitchen furniture may have been growing at the time of the French Revolution!! All the twists and turns in the grain, all the painful cracks, all the times of smooth growth, all life is there. Pity it didn’t have a camcorder attached!

After all that the rough old grain responded well to hours of sawing and sanding, and is now to be contemplated in our lounge.


  1. That is one nice bit of wood [and wood work]…. what have you filled the gaps with… some kind of resin? It works far better than wood coloured filler.

    • Yes Tim, I use car body filler! It does’t move and I don’t like wood coloured filler because it is usually not stable and I like to show any defects in the wood rather than trying to hide them. The finish is simple bees wax and elbow grease!

      • Nice, I must remember that… the thought of using resins gives me the idea of using loaded casting resins… viz, metal loaded for casting chess men, etc… or coal dust loaded, marble loaded… etc, etc… there are loads of types available.
        When I’ve got a workshop….

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