Update – After the fire…

//Update – After the fire…

Update – After the fire…

2019-10-02T11:48:38+01:00August 9th, 2019|0 Comments

Update after the fire, its a while since we have posted, here is an update.


Regular comments were that our old website had a lot of information but looked old fashioned. Well, here is the new one wlwest.co.uk designed by Strawberry Soup, we hope you will find it enjoyable and informative.


Well…… here’s the update after the fire. We are very much still here.

Some of you may not know that we suffered a severe fire in early November 2018. We were on scene shortly after the Petworth Fire Appliance, who was first to attend, quickly followed by the Midhurst appliance and 4 others.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue crews worked very hard and quickly to douse the flames and prevent further spread.

Steel and flint in timber can often cause problems and this is what we think happened. The result was a spark travelling through the dust extraction system, which started smouldering and got slowly worse during the evening until it spread to the main sawmill when the alarms went off.


Our whole extraction plant was lost, resulting in us not being able to operate our workshop machines for 3 weeks, as was the control gear for our 70’s vintage log sawmill.

Its great to have good suppliers, and we have in the Woodwork Dust Control Company Ltd (WDCC) based in Brill, who were on site the day after the fire and helped us to start a recovery plan.

The first move was to install temporary extraction in the workshop and sawmill, eleven bag units were installed, three on one machine alone! This got us back up and running, if a little dusty.

WDCC then designed two complete new systems one for the workshop, where the majority of machines are located, and one for the sawmill. As you can imagine this is a big system, and it was finally commissioned in March 2019.

Part of the building was badly damaged, and this is still under repair. Once this is complete, we will be able to install phase two of the extraction.

New Sawmill

Repair of the Stenner log sawmill was not possible due to its age, so in April we flew to Ljubliana in Slovenia to visit Mebor.

Mebor gave us a great reception, and the visit resulted in us placing an order for a new sawmill.

We selected their biggest horizontal mill – the HTZ 1400 Extreme 20 to meet our requirements.

With an 8m bed and the ability to cut up to 1.9m in diameter, it is a big machine and we are looking forward to it being installed. Hopefully we will see that in December or January 2020.

Felder CNC & Spray Facility

August 2018 saw a new 5 Axis CNC, Edgebander and heated press, all from as Austrian company – Felder being installed.

Test work had begun when the fire hit, this slowed down that process.

CNC facility allows us to machine complex shapes in timber. If you have something you need machined, give our team a call, they will be able to help you.

Another new facility is our spray workshop, which has been installed to finish products. This is a great facility and we are getting some excellent results.

Thats the update after the fire, whatever your requirement in timber, machining, manufacture, historic moulding replication, call us there’s not too much we are not able to do.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales Team on 01798 861611 or email: [email protected]

About the Author:

As part of the West family I grew up with the timber industry around me. Leaving school I decided to get a communication engineering qualification, and joined Post Office Telephones latterly becoming BT. After 26 great years in the communications industry, I joined the family business in 2000 as General Manager. My knowledge of timber quickly grew, and I am now Joint MD of the company, with varied responsibilities. One of my favourite being purchasing round timber both in the UK and Europe.