Frequently asked questions

Surrey Wildlife Trust logoSurrey Wildlife Trust (SWT)

Are you connected to the Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT)?

Yes we are proud to be owned by Surrey Wildlife Trust and work very closely with them. SWT is a registered charity and part of the nationwide network of 47 Wildlife Trusts. Customers of NPWP are indirectly supporting SWT.

Where can I find out more about the Surrey Wildlife Trust?

Please visit the Surrey Wildlife Trust website for more information


Our outdoor products and ordering from us

Do you sell products to the general public?

Yes we certainly do. Our customers are many and varied; from large country parks and estates to private individuals seeking a high quality, beautifully hand crafted,  sustainably sourced and durable, made to order product. Please Contact Us with your enquiry and we would be delighted to help you.

Do you have products in stock, ready to purchase?

We make all of our products to order in our workshop, so we don’t hold products in stock. Occasionally we may have an item available. It is best to Contact Us with your enquiry if there is a particular product you are interested in. We do hold stock of certain types of green and air dried timber however, but not kiln dried wood. We also usually stock waney edge boards for cladding.

Is there a minimum order value?

We sell a range of products from £60 for a house sign and upwards. There is however a minimum charge for saw time if milling your own timber for you. Please Contact Us for more information.

Do you do bespoke projects?

Our craftsmen are enthusiastic and passionate about creating beautiful and functional items from local English timbers. We are often able to take a design and transform it into a beautiful piece of outdoor furniture. We do not however offer a design service ourselves and are unable to create design drawings to send to you. Do Contact us if you have any projects or ideas which we can help you with.

 

Benches

Can I personalise a bench?

One of the most popular methods of personalising a product is by inscribing a personal message or name.

This is done by either routing directly into the wood, or inscribing a plaque and then mounting it into a rebated area of the wood. We will be pleased to advise the most suitable fonts, type sizes and layout.

A range of typefaces and stock symbols are readily available. Alternatively we can create suitable routing templates from your logo or design ideas.

Routing directly into the wood is also an added deterrent as the bench is less likely to be stolen.

Please Contact Us for details and pricing.

What is routing?

Routing is how text is inscribed into a product such as a bench to personalise it for a customer. At NPWP we have a CNC machine which enables us to precisely route text into one of our products giving a great finish.

How long will my bench last/do you offer a guarantee?

All of our products are robustly designed and made with suitably selected timbers. Timber is a natural product and weathers depending on location and climate. We do not therefore offer a specific guarantee. Our large and diverse range of prestigious clients who return to us regularly, we believe, is testament to our quality.

How should I look after my kiln dried bench?

Our kiln-dried English oak benches are finished with Liberon Clear Garden Furniture Oil. We recommend that an annual cleaning, light sanding and re-treating will enhance and protect your bench. This treatment will delay, but not prevent, the oak changing colour over time from its original golden yellow to a silvery grey.

Do you sell products to help protect my kiln dried bench?

Yes we sell Liberon Clear Garden Furnoture Oil and Furniture Cleaner.

 500ml Liberon Clear Garden Furniture Oil £8.00 excl VAT, £9.60 incl VAT

1000ml Liberon Clear Garden Furniture Oil £14.17 excl VAT, £17.00 incl VAT

1000ml Liberon Garden Furniture Cleaner £14.00 excl VAT, £16.80 incl VAT

500ml Liberon Pure Tung Oil £10.50 excl VAT, £12.60 incl VAT

 

Timber types

What is green timber?

Freshly cut timber which has not been dried and typically has a moisture content of over 30% is referred to as “green”.

Should I treat my green timber product?

It is not necessary to treat your green oak products.

It is better to let it dry naturally; any coating will hinder this and may cause problems as it needs to be breathable.

What should I expect from my green timber product?

The timber may be subject to some shrinking, warping, twisting and splitting, particularly in the first year and during the summer months.

If you wish to reduce these natural effects, moving the product into a shady spot (if possible) and spraying with water, during any long periods of drought, will minimise them.

What is air dried wood?

Milled timber which has been air dried by exposure to natural atmospheric conditions.

Air drying is a slow process which takes many years depending on the thickness of timber. The resultant timber is more stable than green timber and has lower moisture content (circa 20%).

Air dried timber is often referred to as “semi-seasoned timber”. 

What is kiln dried wood?

Kiln drying is used to reduce the moisture content of timber in a controlled (heat, moisture, ventilation) environment.

At NPWP we air-dry English oak before further drying in our kiln. The kiln environment is carefully controlled and the timber monitored during the time it takes to gradually reduce the moisture content. The kiln-dried timber produced has a 10 - 12% moisture content which is best suited to the English outdoor climate (not suitable for centrally heated houses).

Will the timber products I buy from you stay the same colour as when I buy them?

As timber ages the freshly cut colour will change to a silvery grey over time. This is the case with all timber products. Even kiln dried wood will in time change. Oiling will slow down the silvering but not prevent it. 

Do you sell wood suitable for indoor projects?

Generally we do not sell timber for indoor usage, except for rustic beams and mantelpieces.  Timber to be used for indoor furniture or goods need to be dried to an appropriate moisture level to prevent it from warping or splitting. Green and air dried timber and even some kiln dried timber have too high a moisture content. As a guide, timber to be used indoors has around only an 8-10% moisture content.

What moisture content should logs for a wood burning stove have?

Around 20% moisture or less would make for a good fireburning log


Sawmill services

Do you stock wood for a customer to purchase?

We stock a limited selection of green and air-dried English timbers. We don’t generally have stock of kiln dried wood available. Please Contact Us with your cutting requirements

What wood do you stock?

We stock a variety of sustainably sourced English timbers "in the round" including English Oak, Western Red Cedar, Larch and Douglas Fir. 

Do you sell timber which you will cut to my required dimensions?

Yes. We mill timber to customers' specific dimensions, according to what we have in stock. Please Contact Us with your cutting list.

We can also plane all, or part, of your timber order.

Do you purchase wood from the general public?

We do not generally purchase wood from the general public. Transportations costs usually outweigh the value of timber for single trees. We are happy to mill your timber for you however.

Can you cut lumber across the grain?

It is not advisable to do so as the wood is likely to split.

What are weather tops?

Weather tops are where the top of a post is cut at an angle to make it more weather resistant. These can be one, two or four way.

Can I come and look round your sawmill?

We regret this is not possible. The sawmill and workshop are in use constantly making our products. There is a range of machinery used by our skilled craftsmen which could potentially be dangerous. We do occasionally hold Open Days which is an opportunity to see us in action


Installation

Do you have instructions for installing products such as posts into the ground?

We will be pleased to give installation advice depending on the product(s) you have purchased. In order to do this we need to know the site it will be located on, and where on the site it will be located. Also what is the condition of the soil where the product(s) will be situated – for example if the ground where it will be situated is damp or boggy.