I’ve just returned from a brilliant training day provided by the Property Care Association entitled “Wood Identification for the Infestation Surveyor”.
Gervais Sawyer was outstanding. He knows the subject matter inside out and is sincerely passionate. Not only that, he was able to simplify the content so that everyone could keep up and he gave each of us sharpened chisels and eye glasses!
What’s the benefit? Well firstly I’m genuinely interested and its a fascinating subject. My first degree was in Materials Science and I love wood (my Christmas list now contains various items relating to timber identification; including a microscope). Secondly, my every day job leads to encounters with timber which is at risk of decay. The better I can understand the species and the cellular structure of the timber in question the better I can understand the situation and specify repairs.
My hope is that this detailed identification of timber will be of use in scenarios with Listed Buildings where conservation officers often require like-for-like materials to be used in repairs. I’ve previously sent samples off to Gervais for identification when working on an iconic building (Cardington Hangars) and as a result the same timber species was used for replacement of decayed timber. Here’s a sample of one side: