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The story of the OneOak timber being used by Carpenter Oak & Woodland in preparing a frame for a new house was told in a previous post: OneOak timber framing the future.

Earlier this week, OneOak project manager Gabriel Hemery, visited the site of the new house build in Gloucestershire. The timber frame of the stunning curved design, in which the OneOak braces form an integral part, was nearing completion. Workers from Carpenter Oak & Woodland were putting the final touches to the frame in readiness to hand it over to the builders to complete.

This week one of the boards from the OneOak tree was delivered to Carpenter Oak & Woodland for use in an innovative new house build. Project manager Gabriel Hemery went along to witness at first hand the creation of two timber braces and their installation in the oak frame.

OneOak timber arrives at Carpenter Oak & Woodland Ltd

The OneOak timber arrives at Carpenter Oak & Woodland Ltd

The Board

From the 22 boards milled from the OneOak tree at Deep in Wood sawmill 18 months ago, board 2.2 was selected for the timber framing project.  This was a board 4350mm long× 670mm wide × 105mm thick, cut from the second length (4.5m to 9.0m up the tree stem).

See more about this board and the others in our interactive online Sawn Timber Catalogue.

The build project

The OneOak board will be used in a large new build house in Gloucestershire.  It consists of 13 mono-pitched cross frames set out on a curved grid.  It is a complex, unusual and innovative architectural design.  All the timber, other that our OneOak board, consists of oak imported from France: a total of 19 tonnes of oak.  The timber frame is scheduled to be erected in late October.

The frame

The OneOak board was destined to be used to create two timber braces about 1700mm and 1500mm long.  Most of the frame had been constructed by the time our OneOak board was delivered.  Assistant Team Leader at Carpenter Oak & Woodland, Matt Collins, first cut the two rough lengths to 175mm wide using a skill saw, squared them and planed them smooth with an electric planer.  The two braces donated from the OneOak tree were only 18 months air-dried; normally the braces are dried for a minimum of five years. In this case however, the drying conditions at the sawmill produced timber that was sufficiently dry.

Set among the beams and working tools, the working drawing for the new build shows the curved grid design of the new build

Set among the beams and working tools, the working drawing shows the curved grid design of the new build

Carpenter Matt Collins marks out the two timber braces against the main frame after they have been sawn and planed.

Carpenter Matt Collins marks out the two timber braces against the main frame after they have been sawn to size and planed

The angled tenons are cut in the braces

The angled tenons are cut in the braces

The two braces complete and ready to test for fitting into the newly created mortices in the main frame.  Carpenter Matt Collins has been timber framing for five years.

The two braces complete and ready to test for fitting into the newly created mortices in the main frame.

The two braces complete and ready to test for fitting into the newly created mortices in the main frame.  Carpenter Matt Collins has been timber framing for five years.

The completed cross section with the two OneOak braces in place. Carpenter Matt Collins has been timber framing for five years.

The frame will be disassembled ready for transportation to the site of the new house build sometime in October. Typically the erection of a timber frame will take about one week on site.  We look forward to witnessing the frame being erected and to posting more about it here in the future.

Carpenter Oak and Woodland

Our thanks to all the team at Carpenter Oak & Woodland.

A unique project following the full life story of a single oak tree reaches a finale this week, with the first of a series of manor exhibitions at Art in Action, where all the items made from the tree are being brought together for the first time. The products range from the waste sawdust used by legendary chef Raymond Blanc to smoke salmon, to a throne chair worth £6000, and dozens of other items including charcoal, wood block prints, tables, benches, door, house, boat, and woodchip for bioenergy.

  • The OneOak project is an environmental project of the Sylva Foundation, following the full life story of one oak tree.
  • The aim of the project is to bring people closer to the importance of our woodlands and of wood in modern society.
  • The 222 year old OneOak tree was felled on the Blenheim Estate in January 2010, witnessed by 250 school children. It had been grown in a plantation for its timber, having been planted in 1788; the same year that The Times was first published and when the French Revolution was just beginning to stir.
  • The OneOak tree is now the most studied oak tree in Britain: it has been weighed, measured with lasers to create a 3D model, studied by a dendrochronologist, and had its carbon content estimated.
  • It has been featured by dozens of artists, sculptors and photographers.
  • Many of Britain’s leading designer-makers have made items using the wood of the OneOak tree. These total over 40 different products, and counting.
  • The 250 children who witnessed the felling each planted a young oak tree in January 2011, one year after the tree was felled, to fulfil the cycle in sustainable forest management.
  • The first exhibition is at Art in Action, followed by six weeks at Blenheim Palace, then six weeks at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.


Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation and project co-ordinator Dr Gabriel Hemery said “this has been an amazing project that has inspired both the public and those who make a living working with wood and caring for our woodlands. Everyone has given their time to the project in so many different ways because they have been inspired by the concept:- the realisation that trees and wood are still vital to life even in modern society.”

Dr Hemery continued “after three years of hard work it is immensely exciting to be bringing together all the various elements of the OneOak project for our exhibitions during the Summer and Autumn. We will be able to show the public the stunning artwork, spell-binding films, earth-shattering science, and the myriad of truly amazing wood-based products. The only products that we won’t be able include in real life in the exhibitions will be the house and the boat!”

The OneOak exhibition at Art in Action is replacing the usual ‘Woodworking’ section; the marquee will be filled uniquely with all the products of the OneOak tree. Artists, musicians, sculptors and designer-makers will be on-hand to talk and demonstrate about their work in the OneOak project. Some 25,000 people are expected to attend over the four days, and where special measures have been put in place to cope with the soggy ground.  See note from Art in Action

The following have been made to date: firewood, woodchip (to heat a house for 6 weeks), sawdust for smoking food by Raymond Blanc, charcoal, bracing beams for a house, transom beam in a boat rowed in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flotilla, door and frame, chest, pedestal table, coffee table, throne chair, clock, lantern, moebius sculpture, jewellery, acorn oakbot sculpture from waste slabwood, memorial sculpture, carved bowls, carved spoons, turned bowls, carvings, automata, commemorative garden bench by disabled workers, five benches for primary schools including the spider bench, contemplation bench, MakeIT! bench national school design competition, nesting tables, fine furniture competition winners pieces, small craft items, deer, viola chin rest, printing blocks, relief carving, sounding bowl.

Details of the OneOak products along with the stories of their making can be found here:

The project website is

Exhibition dates:

Art in Action, Waterperry                             19th – 22nd July 2012                      Art in Action

Blenheim Palace                                               25th July – 4th October                  OneOak at Blenheim Palace

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh               12th October – 2nd December    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

More information

download the full News Release

download the full News Release

Download the full News Release


end of News Release

OneOak website

OneOak website

Over the last two and a half years, ever since the OneOak tree was felled in January 2010, we have been endeavoring to make as many and as varied items as possible from the tree to demonstrate how important trees and wood are to us in modern life.

Now that the first of our finale exhibitions is about to open (Art in Action July 19-22), we can list for the first time the number and variety of items made from the OneOak tree.

Here is a list of items made so far that exceeds 30 in number, while for some items there have been multiple versions (e.g. benches for five different schools) – the links point to stories on the OneOak blog over the last two and half years. See also our Products page on the OneOak website

  1. firewood from branchwood
  2. woodchip, from branchwood, for heating a house
  3. sawdust for smoking food, waste from processing other items
  4. charcoal
  5. bracing beams for a house
  6. transom beam in a boat, rowed in the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Flotilla
  7. door and frame
  8. chest
  9. pedestal table
  10. coffee table
  11. throne chair
  12. clock
  13. lantern
  14. moebius sculpture
  15. jewellery
  16. acorn oakbot sculpture, from waste slabwood
  17. memorial sculpture, from branchwood
  18. carved bowls
  19. carved spoons
  20. turned bowls
  21. carvings
  22. automata
  23. Commemorative garden bench
  24. five benches for primary schools, including the spider bench
  25. contemplation bench
  26. MakeIT! bench, national school design competition
  27. nesting tables, fine furniture competition winner
  28. small craft items
  29. deer
  30. viola chin rest
  31. printing blocks
  32. relief carving
  33. sounding bowl

We will update this list in the future and include information on some of the items that so far have not been featured in the OneOak blog.

We hope to see at one of our exhibitions during 2012



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