English Woodlands have a heritage and reputation in timber and sawmilling that can be traced back to the 1950’s, however they are a dynamic company and have moved with the times. The business is driven forward by Tom Compton and Ian McNally, at their large site at Cocking in Sussex. In line with their expansion, and wanting to grow the online and ecommerce offering, they have invested heavily in the new showroom, sheds and machinery. They wanted a way to show the grain of their vast range of home grown hardwood boards, which are up to 1300mm wide that they produce. They wanted a way to add value to the product. Ian realised that if clients could see the beauty of the individual boards, they would be more likely to buy them and it would take a less experienced eye to appreciate each boards’ potential and beauty. They started by using hand sanders on the boards and the reaction was good, but it was far too labour intensive.
English Woodlands are a go ahead company and open to new ways, setting themselves apart from the traditional saw milling industry. In January 2018, Ian approached Peter Charnaud at Scott+Sargeant to ask for his advice on how to achieve what they wanted. They had looked at several options however Peter came up with the idea of a special DMC SD90 sander that would be fitted with a helical planer head in front of 2 belt sanding units. This ingenious solution allowed them to flatten and give a fine sanded finish of the boards at speeds that they couldn’t believe. It allows them to plane cupped boards and the spiral planer head gives a beautiful finish even on the wildest of grains, and after the sanding they have a beautiful product which shows natures’ beauty at its finest. Ian said ‘I am over the moon with the solution, the finish and the service.’
Whilst sharing the business Tom and Ian have realised a long time goal of recently launching a stand alone forestry business in English Woodlands Forestry which they can both be proud of. It sits alongside a traditional Sussex timber business with a long history of supporting productive woodland management and providing best quality home-grown timber for furniture, joinery & building works.
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