When we think of
tsunami we usually think of the Far East but 5300 years ago, if
the stories are to be believed, a huge tsunami swept across a
tropical North Sea and hit the east coast of England.
What is now Norfolk was decimated and a huge forest of English
oaks were flattened in a blink of an eye. The trees thus felled
were instantly buried below the bog and starved of oxygen and so
did not decay as other plant life would.
Five millennia later, irate Fenland farmers caught their ploughs
in these mighty oaks exposed by centuries of farming. Initially,
they burnt the offending obstructions by the ton until the
immense value of this wood was realized and they were harvested
for the gorgeous timber it yielded.
Using the historical data from dendrochronology, annular ring
patterns dated these samples to over 3000 years before Christ.
I happened to discover this amazing and rare wood at my local
exotic timber supplier and have been saving these little blanks
for a very special occasion.
Well today, such an occasion arose and so the blanks were shaped
and whittled into two pieces to form a box for a tool which will
soon be leaving the shores where those ancient trees first grew.
All will be revealed soon but I thought I might share the
fascinating story of the unique wood that is Norfolk Bog Oak.
Bog oak has the most amazing characteristics far different to
working any other species alive today. My first task was to
establish first exactly true edge.
With very sharp edges near silk finish can be obtained.
Planing of this wood is very smooth but still the grain
direction needs to be observed.