The process of making starts with the relationship that we have forged with our timber suppliers who understand our very exacting requirements. This will involve discussion at the time of processing a tree trunk (butt) as to how it should be planked (the angle of the cut) and of the various thicknesses that we may require. This conversation then leads to a 3-5 year wait for these planks to air dry, before eventually being kiln dried, prior to delivery to the workshop.
In acknowledgement of the preciousness of this resource, which may have been growing for over 150 years, we endeavour to keep wastage to an absolute minimum, and are always seeking ingenious way to use off-cuts not used in the main making process.
Both when making pieces for stock or to customer requirements, a lot of time will be spent sorting through our extensive timber stock to find the right timbers for the job in hand. Especially when working with burr timbers - for a table top for instance - we will spend many hours sorting and choosing planks that sit well with each other to achieve a good balance of burr. This will often involve choosing planks from several different butts in order to achieve our end goal of a beautifully balanced appearance.
Once we have chosen our timbers, which at this stage are still raw ‘waney’ edged planks, we then begin to fashion and shape according to the specification. Mass produced, (and a lot of hand made furniture) will be sanded by machine to a flat finish whereas we undertake a time consuming method of hand planing with many of our pieces to achieve a surface that is textured and appealing to the touch. Thicker top tables will be dry jointed i.e no glue will be used to hold the planks together. This method, which involves hidden tenons secured by wooden pegs, allows for the natural movement of the timber in response to changes in temperature and humidity.
Once a piece is completed in the woodworking stage it is then passed on to our skilled team of polishers whose job it is to bring out and enhance the beauty of the grain. Depending on the desired finish, this will involve painstaking hours working with oils, natural pigment umbers, stains and wax. This process guarantees that we make the most of the carefully selected timbers we work with, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.
Seeing is believing...
You are invited to see, touch and seek inspiration, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 11am - 5pm, when expert guidance will always be on hand. We are also available outside these hours by appointment. There is ample on site parking and a cup of tea, coffee, or something stronger is always on offer.