Cut from selected oak logs these fresh sawn or ‘green’ oak beams are cut to specification in a choice of grades.
We hold a large stock of seasoned oak beams dried for a year or more to reduce shrinkage and movement after installation.
We specialise in selecting and cutting curved and shaped oak for traditional oak framing.
Builders have constructed buildings from fresh sawn oak for centuries, and many of these original oak framed buildings are still standing.
Fresh sawn oak beams are cut directly from oak logs and are delivered wet or ‘green’. This literally means that there is a lot of water in the oak.
Fresh sawn beams will shrink as they dry. Most of the shrinkage will occur across the thickness and width. A general rule of thumb is to expect 10% shrinkage as the beam dries out. Wood does not tend to shrink too much in the length.
Fresh sawn oak will also split as it dries. This can be alarming but providing the grain is relatively straight, the splits will have no detrimental impact on the structural strength of the beam.
For renovation work it is sometimes necessary to limit the shrinkage potential of the oak. This is where seasoned oak becomes useful. These partially dried oak beams have done most of their shrinking in our yard and will be more stable once installed. Seasoned beams will arrive with drying cracks on the surface.
Grading starts with the tree. To produce oak beams of the right quality we need oak trees suited to the job. Our log buyer scours English woodlands and the oak forests of France to find oak logs that fit the bill. Once in the yard, we separate oak logs by size, length and quality, ready to be matched against customer orders.
After sawing, we grade oak beams to meet customer requirements. Our two qualified graders are capable of grading to the British standard 5756 or to the European grading rules . We also frequently grade oak beams to bespoke customer grades.
Talk to us if you are struggling to buy the grade of oak beams that you want. We may be able to help.