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March 9, 2023

Quarter-sawn AA Oak for Gaze Burvill Benches

Can you remember the impressive AA logs we featured on our blog last year?

Amazing Oak Logs

After seeing the pictures of these ‘Absolutely Amazing’ logs in our newsletter, Simon Burvill, the founder of luxury garden furniture makers Gaze Burvill, put in an order.

He recently returned to the sawmill, with some of his production team, to see these spectacular logs being cut. It’s always a treat to be the first to see the unique textures and patterns inside each one. 

AA Oak Logs

Simon, who also serves as the Chair of Woodland Heritage, is a real advocate for using more locally-sourced timber. He and Vastern Timber MD, Tom, agree on the importance of revitalising our woodlands and re-establishing a woodland culture. 

Amity Seat

What furniture do Gaze Burvill design?

The Gaze Burvill team designs a wide range of luxury garden furniture, from seating to outdoor kitchens and dining. They recently designed a bench named the Amity seat, which uses a grade of oak that is achievable in England, featuring small, tight knots and clusters. 

We love this kind of thoughtful design, which considers the natural characteristics of our local timber. And when you look at the final products Gaze Burvill are making, you can see how special they are. 

The big reveal

Simon chose six of the ‘AA’ logs from Sussex’s West Dean and Yattendon Estate near Newbury. All of which were sizable, clean, and straight.

Quarter Sawn AA Oak

To achieve the most stable oak, Simon and his team requested that the oak be quarter-sawn. This meant that the growth rings would be closer to vertical and the medullary rays would be horizontal, creating a beautiful shimmering pattern. We have to say, it worked a treat.

Sawn AA Oak Logs

The only complaint of the day was that the logs were almost too good. They exceeded the Amity bench’s quality, which was designed to include a few small knots. 

To be honest, we were all blown away by the quality of the wood. You never know for sure if a log will turn out as good on the inside as it looks on the outside. But these did not disappoint.

What next?

We cut 18 M3 of logs into 33mm, 37mm, and 41mm thick boards and placed them into stick for drying over the summer. After that, these boards will be lightly kiln-dried and delivered to the Gaze Burvill team.

We’re following the progress of this timber with great interest and recently visited the Gaze Burvill workshop, as part of an Action Oak event. 


Sharing the back story

At Gaze Burvill Simon shared some of the story behind the timber they work with. 

Simon Burvill

He explained that sometimes the woodworker can see the impact of the forester’s work. In this example there are prune marks in the timber. 

We’re looking forward to seeing how the Gaze Burvill team crafts the AA English Oak into outdoor furniture. And we’ll hopefully share the finished pieces with you later this year. 

Got your eye on some ‘AA’ timber?

If you’re feeling inspired by this beautiful wood, we’ve got some good news. You can still get your order in.

We’ll be putting the rest of this ‘’AA’ timber from West Dean on our website over the coming months. So, if you have specific projects and requirements in mind, please get in touch asap to secure your share.


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