The London Hardwood Club
The London Hardwood Club

15th May 2018

Tuesday 15th May 2018



An interested and engaged audience came to hear Nigel Braden from Inwood introduce his company and walk us through some exciting and innovative projects that have been involved with. The accompanying slides from his presentation are attached and make fascinating viewing – be sure to have a browse!


Nigel, an architect by training, started Inwood in 1999. Initially their focus was on taking Chestnut coppice – an underutilised resource in the South East of England – and producing a high value finger jointed cladding. With the ability to produce up to 12m fingerjointed lengths (before having to open the door a little wider!) Inwood’s chestnut cladding was used on the Tower of London Café – the first re-modelling in timber carried out here for a few hundred years. Another amazing project was 9m high vertical cladding on Emmanuel College in Cambridge – again sweet chestnut that will weather to a nice silver-grey colour over time.


In addition to finger-jointing, Inwood do a lot of laminating and this often includes creating shapes using male/female formers in their press with 3 tons of pressure. Fingerjointed, laminated, shaped and then further profiled hardwood sections were supplied for the handrail component of the tree-top walkway at Kew Gardens. Similar projects of huge softwood glue laminated beams were also shown.


Nigel then gave us a more in depth presentation on 3 projects:


  1. The Fishing Hut at Alresford, Hants. Forget ‘hut’ and think more ‘royal lodge’, this turn key project is built in a very challenging site on one of the most exclusive stretches of trout fishing river in England. The Inwood team worked with the lead architect to produce everything from laminated European Oak structural components to automatic opening shutters and interior joinery. The result is a stunning fishing paradise and a great demonstration of timber in building.


  1. Nazrin Shah Building, Worcester College, Oxford. This new lecture theatre and dance studio has a laminated Oak latticework ceiling, that late on in the project needed to have around a million holes drilled into it to aid acoustic properties! Inwood also produced turned fingerjoint laminated columns and much more on this project.


  1. Auckland Castle Observation Tower, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham. This 29m high wooden tower was originally suggested to be built in Ekki by Nigel, but the client’s budgetary constraints led to a Sioo treated Larch construction. Some of the laminated components on this project were up to 16m long and had to be specially manufactured and CNC profiled in Holland. Working on a site right in the middle of this small town was extremely challenging and in full public glare! Working this high off the ground from cherry-pickers with large pre-fabricated components was not for the faint-hearted, but is now complete.


The future looks bright…robotic and yet still wooden! Nigel then showed us some photos of the newest and most expensive ‘toy’ at Inwood the ‘Hundegger Robot Drive’. This incredible 7 axis CNC machine is able to manufacture the same in 20 minutes as an experienced joiner can do in a day. It also doesn’t go off sick, but when it breaks needs a PHD scientist and an internet connection to reprogram it!


Nigel also mentioned the use of Baubuche in a recent project at Wells in Somerset where 60x4000x16000mm single panels were part of an incredible roof structure. Accoya and Thermotreated hardwoods were also one to watch in this fast expanding part of the timber industry.


A busy Q&A session followed with Members and Guests clearly gripped and awed by Nigel’s presentation. The meeting was closed and many continued the discussions over some further refreshment at Finch’s.


The LHC would like to thank Nigel for a fascinating and thought provoking presentation to its members. After a number of necessary but regulation intensive meetings today was a good reminder about the use of our amazing natural hardwood resource. Nigel has to do this all over again on Saturday at his daughter’s wedding – we wish him good luck and thank him for sparing us his time in a very busy week!


The club aims to be presenting further relevant and engaging speakers to its members and guests at each of these bi-monthly lunch meetings.


Companies Present


Attwell Associates
DW Mouldings
English Woodlands
James Latham
Robinson Lumber
TFT Woodexperts
Palmer Timber
Powell Forestry 
Robbins Timber 
Thorogood Timber
Timber Dimension


London Hardwood Club Inwood Timber Build[...]
Microsoft Power Point presentation [83.2 MB]

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