For the benefit of our members (and possibly a wider audience), here are a few details on where to source timber from. These are primarily aimed at turners in the West Midlands.
Timber for turning can be obtained from numerous sources, and the best choice depends on a number of factors, namely whether you are short on time or money (or both), where you live and whether you can travel.
For local hardwoods, you can either source them cheaply (and then need some time and space) or rapidly (in which case you’ll have to spend more money).
The cheap route is by making contact with a number of tree surgeons or garden service companies. They generally shred the smaller stuff, and cut the bigger stuff into firewood. Generally speaking, the firewood stuff is not good for anything, it’s too small for bowls, and even for most spindle work. However, most of these people would be happy to cut some bigger sections of the trunk for you, since this means less work for them. From there you can then cut these into whatever blanks you want (best done with a chainsaw or a really meaty bandsaw). You may have to phone half a dozen of these companies to find one willing to work with you.
The fast route is a local carpentry shop or a local sawmill.
For larger quantities, North Shropshire Timber is a good supplier. They have kiln dried timber for oak, ash, yew and other local woods. No website, and a bit of a rough and ready place, but good quality wood at excellent prices. Do not expect to get served for less than £50.
Exotic hardwoods can be sourced from The Toolpost or Ockenden Timber (google these for contact details), but both of them are supplied by Exotic Hardwoods UK, so that’s really the place to go to.
Another potential source of wood blanks is Wigley DIY, Barracks Rd, Sandy Lane Ind Est, Stourport-On-Severn, Worcestershire, DY13 9QB.
The club has recently acquired a fair amount of timber from the sale of workshop items after a turner has passed away. Most of this wood is with Mick Smith for use as raffle prizes, however, talk to him and he may be able to find something suitable for you and offer it in exchange for a suitable donation to the club funds.
Club member Wolfgang has a comparatively large amount of wood in varying stages of drying, and in numerous species. Some of this is held for the club, but he will always be open to a chat if you need something specific.