Sunday, 18 January 2015

Buying a log store

There are so many things to look for when buying a log store it can get very confusing. Different sizes, different types of wood, delivery options, can you choose a colour, will you have to build it yourself, and so many differing costs for what appears to be the same thing.


We believe it should be as easy as possible to get a Log Store to suit you and your home.

The first thing to establish is the size you want, and the size you need. The size you want will be based on what room you have and where. Some find a larger log store further from the house and a smaller one near the door works very well. The advantage is, the small one can be used in the summer for the BBQ charcoal and Chimnea wood.

Generally for a single open fire or log burner, about a cubic metre of wood will last you a fairly long time. It will last longer if the wood is 'hard wood', so if you can get hard wood or a 50/50 mixture of soft and hard wood that is ideal. For very large log burners, or multiple log burners, you might need 2 or more cubic metres. As an example, one of our customers with 2 large log burners, has 4 of our Long Log Stores, which he fills up in Spring to season over summer, and burns over winter, that is 4 cubic metres which he can buy when wood is at its cheapest and use when he needs it (yes the wood suppliers do put the price up in winter, because wood gets more scarce!).  Last winter was long and bitter, so he had to buy an extra cubic metre of logs.

Some Log Stores are manufactured in sections abroad and imported by UK companies ready to be sent out in a flat pack, some are manufactured in the UK using imported wood, these will usually be tanalised, or may come untreated and be tanalised or otherwise treated here. Tanalised means chemically pressure treated, often with a poison which can contain copper and arsenic. You should never burn tanalised wood, it is toxic. Extra care should be taken when handling tanalised wood, wear gloves. If sawing or working on it in any way take care and wear protection from inhalation.

Some, like our log stores at Woodstores will be treated by hand.  Some wood has a natural preservative which also protects from wood boring insects, even some pines have this, so when combined with regular treatment (painted yearly) will last a lifetime. Even wood with limited natural preservative will last for decades so long as they  by a yearly coat of preservative. If you grow fruit or veg, or have an organic garden, this is in my opinion the best type of wood treatment to use (if any).  Larch or Pine will last for about 10 years WITHOUT any treatment (so long as it is not in contact with the soil). With treatment done yearly (and it only takes an hour or two)  you can double or triple this life span.

When we say UK handmade we mean it. We are a small family firm, but we get our wood locally, we also mill wood ourselves, plane it, and measure and cut each piece by hand.  We do not mean we nail together already manufactured pieces, or flat pack for you to nail together.  Check with  your supplier how their stores are put together, ask if they have a rigid frame, make sure you are not getting a 4 piece structure nailed together, or cheap wood that won't look good.

Andrew uses 3 x 2 for the basic structure, 12 sectioned fitted together then screwed in place with 3 inch anti corrosion gold colour screws.  The sides and back are 3/4 inch, each piece nailed on with sheradised corrosion-resistant ringed nails, builders use it for where very strong joints are required. The rings keep that nail in place.  The roof is 1/2 inch overlapped board, has the angle set for maximum falloff of rain, and underneath (out of sight) a sheeting of protective membrane. Keeps the store visually nice without the need for an ugly roof covering because it is underneath.

Delivery, there is no way around it, delivery costs.  Petrol and time costs combine to make delivery seem expensive, but when you think the cost is going towards making sure a very large log store arrives safely, often hundreds of miles away, in one piece and ready to use, it doesn't seem so bad.

We use Hickmans because they are a local family firm, and we know they will treat our consignments as if they were their own. We have never been let down by them in all the time we have been in business.  We work with our customers, every order is important to us, so delivery is at your convenience not ours; to be able to offer this customer service we do need time to make each log store.

I've tried here to cover some of the things we have been asked by our customers, and I am sure there will be other things I think of later to add. If you have any questions feel free to ask, we are always happy to help. You can find contact details on the website. We are happy to talk about wood burning in general because we understand it is a new experience for some, and are happy to share our knowledge.

Sadie