Whilst essentially a specialist supplier of timber to commercial and trade customers, we are always very pleased to welcome customers from other backgrounds. It is therefore important to recognise that a trade supplier such as Moss & Co can only offer its stock ‘as seen’. It is very much a case of caveat emptor. We are a responsible timber company with a high regard for our customers and their requirements and we will do all that we can to assist customers. However it is important that the following points are carefully noted. No recommendation or warranty is made, intended or implied and customers should satisfy themselves of the suitability of the material offered before making any purchase. The company and its staff may offer without prejudice opinions, observations and suggestions to help customers make their own judgment but the final responsibility for choice, suitability and performance, must remain with the customer.
Colour and Appearance
Timber, as a naturally occurring material growing under a wide variety of physical and climatic conditions, is prone to variation of colour, shade, grain pattern, texture and density. Most of these features are intangible and we can only offer our subjective opinion, so customers are urged to exercise their own judgement, based on their chosen criteria. We are very happy for customers to make their own selection from our stock and we encourage the use of a plane or chisel to allow a clearer appreciation of underlying colour and texture. When asked to make a selection on a customer’s behalf, it must be accepted that although we aim for the best appearance with least contrast, all judgement is subjective and the timber will be, at worst, ‘as rising’. The paler, temperate hardwoods such as Maple, Sycamore and Beech have a, as yet not fully understood, propensity to react chemically with drying laths during the kilning process. This, unfortunately, sometimes results in a grey sticker shadow across each board, at about 600 mm intervals. Until recently, this was of little concern since timber of these species was usually painted, stained or placed out of sight. We do our best to minimise this feature and must stress that these timbers are offered with sticker shadow as an allowable defect. We have heard that customers frequently alleviate the impact of this mark by bleaching (which is not always effective) or masking with an equalizing stain.
Moisture and Movement
Wood, as a natural product of the plant kingdom, contains water within its cellular structure, as a necessary and important element of its physical integrity. An important part of the timber supply process is to dry the wood to an equilibrium moisture content appropriate to trade storage, pending final sale. Taking wood into an enclosed and warm environment such as a house, office or shop will usually provide conditions under which there will be a further migration of moisture from the timber. There are also likely to be changes between the seasons, with moisture being taken up from the air through the summer months and lost again in the winter. The effect of these adjustments to match atmospheric humidity may be observed in dimensional changes to width and to a lesser extent, thickness. This expansion and contraction may be even or uneven and can lead to unpredictable distortion such as cupping, bow, cast and twist.We obviously hope that distortion will not occur and on most occasions there is none. If present it is usually slight and of no practicable consequence. However, one should not be surprised if it does arise since nature will always exert its inexorable and unpredictable influence. In being aware of timbers need to move it is wise to plan for this to be accommodated within your design.
This is especially important with wide timber jointed surfaces such as kitchen worktops, tables and door panels when any movement is accentuated by the great overall width of the article.The main points to be considered are the possibility of the back edge of a worktop contracting away from an abutting wall leaving a gap and the need to fix the surface with a flexible system; if free movement is denied, it is likely that the top will pull against the fixings resulting in serious and spectacular splitting. One should also be wary of a heat source such as a cooker hob or built-under oven, refrigerator or radiator causing local and uneven moisture movement, shrinkage and splitting. When finishing timber in general and jointed surfaces in particular, it is generally considered a good idea to apply the finish at an early stage, to all sides and not just to the visible areas. This allows a more even and controlled migration of moisture. Much of the above discussion also applies to flooring.
Customers are very welcome to visit our premises to place orders in person and this is desirable if special selection is required. For most straight forward orders we invite instruction by telephone, fax or email. We like to agree prices before starting work and estimates and quotations are freely given. Regular customers may apply for account facilities, subject to the usual enquiries.
When enquiring for an estimate it is important to specify if your timber is to be planed or left rough sawn and if planed, whether the size stated is the nominal size before planing or the finished size after planing. If a shaped moulding is required, a sketch, or better still a full size drawing, is invaluable. When planning a layout diagram to describe the cutting of sheet materials, remember to allow about 4 mm for each saw cut. Note that with most plywood and veneered boards, the timber grain runs along the 2440 mm length of the board, except for birch plywood which is ‘short grain’.
When ordering timber we like to be presented with a detailed cutting list since this frequently allows us to select planks more economically than if all the piece lengths are added together. Please list together all the lengths of each particular cross section size, so as to ensure an economic and correct yield from the stock selected. Please note that we do not then cut each piece to length: if cross cutting is desired, either roughly for ease of transport or exactly to final length, then a specific request must be made. Timber worktops supplied as standard are over length, square edged, rough production sanded one side and without any applied finish.