Choice Of Timber

The choice of timber, irrespective of species, needs careful consideration for this design to be successful. Straight grained, preferably quarter-sawn material is best, for its dimensional stability and resistance to shrinkage, see fig 3.

This is good from an aesthetic angle too, since, because of its emphasis on vertical lines; a wild boisterous grain would fight with the faceting of the doors and look restless.

Client's choice

In this case the client had asked for wych elm (ulmus glabra), selected from my own stocks which were bought as round logs from the local authority, quarter sawn at a local mill and seasoned on our premises in the early 1980's.

Whilst common elm (ulmus procera), which is quite rare now thanks to Dutch elm disease, had a bad reputation for warping, wych elm is much more predictable, is stable, and with its attractively flecked grain and occasional green streaks, is a most acceptable cabinet timber.

It goes almost without saying that whatever one's choice of wood, kiln dried or not, its moisture content must be around the 10% mark, or less, in order to stand up to the rigours of central heating.

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