What is Green Wood?
Green Wood is freshly felled, still sappy wood. To work it requires a set of simple techniques based on an understanding of how wood reacts – both to the tools, and to the drying and shrinking processes. Because it is green, the wood is soft and easy to work with hand tools, and because of this, green woodwork creates little waste, and can utilise small trees and logs. It is therefore green in all senses of the word – especially as at Bore Place the trees are felled as part of ongoing woodland restoration and sustainable management. Our green wood courses and volunteer days are about learning woodcraft and helping with the conservation of Bore Place.
Pole lathe turning has traditionally also been known as “bodging”. Originally this was the term used for pole-lathe turners who turned out just the cylindrical parts of a Windsor chair (eg the legs). Originally located in woods at the edges of towns, their pole lathe construction was so simple and easy to move that it made more sense to take the tools to the woodland, rather than the wood to a workshop. The pole lathes that you can make during our course below follow a similar design, and are treddle lathes. They do also use some sawn wood however!
The term bodging can also be used to mean making something using only the tools and materials you have to hand, but still producing something serviceable. Not to be confused with “botching” which of course means something completely different!
All our materials are sourced in England – none of it is imported. Our willow is either grown and harvested organically by ourselves here at Bore Place or brought up from the withy beds in Somerset and Devon. Our hazel is also grown here at Bore Place and is harvested as part of an ancient coppice restoration project currently being run in conjunction with the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Grant Scheme. Any oak that is used is also grown here at Bore Place, and has been harvested as part of active woodland management. Where it is planked, this has been done using a local mobile saw mill, so the oak has literally travelled zero miles by the time we are using it in our workshop. Finally, where we use Sweet Chestnut, this has been harvested sustainably in Kent.
If you have any questions about green wood, or our green wood courses, then please do contact us.