Hippisley-Cox, Charles (2015) Carpentry Traditions and Timber-Frame Buildings. Context, the journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (138). pp. 29-31. ISSN 0958-2746

Despite much of the forests being cleared in advance of agricultural expansion, areas of oak woodland have been managed as a valuable resource passed on from one generation to the next. The longevity of oak trees has required long term planning and an ability to forecast the demand of great grandchildren and beyond. Depending on circumstances, this management would have happened historically within family groups, or perhaps on a communal basis as part of the feudal system.
Prior to the 1840s and the introduction of rotating “circular” saws, saw mills exclusively used a vertical movement for converting the trees into timber. Saw mills were traditionally powered by water, with the rotary motion of the wheel being transferred via a crank shaft to a rip-saw blade mounted in a vertical wooden frame known as a sash. The introduction of steam power would have also contributed to the demise of water power for timber conversion in the UK.

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