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Welcome

Our Wootton Bassett showroom is open and you can book a visit to browse and select timber for your projects. We have covid-safety measures in place, and ask all visitors to wear masks indoors and outdoors on our premises.

We are still taking orders for cladding, beams, planks and flooring by phone and email. Please contact us to book your visit or continue to browse our site.

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Oak Beams

Structural oak cut and graded at our sawmill in Wiltshire

Buying Oak Beams

If you are looking for a flexible and reliable British supplier of structural oak, we can help. For over forty years, we have sawn oak logs at our Wiltshire sawmills. We produce a wide range of fresh sawn oak and seasoned oak beams as well as curved braces and shaped oak posts.
We produce all beams in house, unlike many suppliers who purchase pre-cut beams from overseas mills. We have full control over the manufacturing process, ensuring consistent quality and accuracy as well as a quick turnaround when needed.

“I’ve been using Vastern for years, they are consistently better than other timber merchants I use, the staff are always helpful and the timber is always good quality. I think whoever buys the logs has a good eye for quality timber.”

Google Review 2020
With decades of experience, our team has a thorough knowledge of selecting, sawing and grading oak beams for structural uses. We supply specifications for entire oak frames as well as individual oak beams for smaller projects and restoration.

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Performance

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.

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Grading of Oak Beams

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.

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        We can send up to three cladding samples to show characteristics and grade of the wood. We cannot supply specific cladding profiles.

        Please be aware that samples are only intended to give an approximate indication of how the cladding will look when delivered. All timber cladding will include natural variations in colour and quality.


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