Sep 13 2011

Hand made, curved oak benches

Using traditional technics, I turned a heap of bone oak (oak that’s died and seasoned on tree) and several green oak butts into a pair of bespoke garden benches to sit around a Kadai fire bowl. The timber, as always, was sourced locally and fashioned by hand with a maul, wedges, a side axe and drawknives.

a pile of bone oak that became a bench

smoothing oak rail using draw knife and inshave

oak butt ready for riving / cleaving / splitting


To create the curve, I steamed the oak rails in a specially constructed steam box made from MBP and bent them around bespoke steel jigs I had made up by davetheblacksmith in Derbyshire.

low tech steaming - using a 10 gallon steel churn and oak fire

steamed oak rail, bent onto steel jig to create curve


Now the 42 pieces of oak were ready to take to my workshop for assembling. The leg frames were relatively straight forward to build, however to connect the leg frames together was a whole other story.

mortice & tenon joint for bench leg frame





For this I had to built a jig that would hold the rails in position to mark where each of the 40 mortices should be, this was a lengthy process aligning each rail to flow into another and create the desired overall shape and character of each bench.


Finally the joints could be doweled and glued (using shipbuilders glue, perfect for outdoor furniture, waterproof and very strong). I was then able to start shaping the 42 seat slats, ready for fitting to both bench frames.

shaping seat slats by hand using an antique draw knife

Once the slats were finished and fixed to the bench frames using oak dowels and glue, they were treated with environmentally friendly water prooving agents and wood oils to maintain the colour and protect against weathering for roughly 3 to 5 years.
The customer was overjoyed at the finished items, here they are in their full glory, with a matching oak table top for the Kadai fire bowl!

Apr 18 2011

Welly hogs

However big your family, boots can take up so much indoor space. These welly hogs meanyou can store your boots tidily outside without the clutter. They are made from large fallen and weathered oak branches gathered in Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire and are bespoke to the household’s number of feet!

Apr 18 2011

Crow’s nest treehouse



Here is phase one of a nautically themed treehouse play area. It comprises a self-supporting octagonal deck and ballustrade from tannelised sawn timber. The crow’s nest has been created and crafted with the tree’s well-being in mind, allowing movement from the wind, without weakening its structural integrity. It has a climbing net on one side, and a rope ladder on the other.



Phase two of this exciting project will see the creation of a boat treehouse in an adjacent tree to the rear of the crow’s nest, with a rope bridge connecting the two. This will replace the existing structure seen in the top photograph.

Sep 25 2010

Gates – made to measure

This lovely pair span a 4 metre entrance. Traditional through mortice and tenon, z-braced frames carry 2 metre high, 150mm wide tanalised featherboards with arris rail capping.

All gates supplied with suitable galvanised hinges, drop bolts and catches.

Sep 25 2010

Somewhere for the logs?

With winter not too far around the corner, you might be wondering how you are going to keep those lovely seasoned logs of yours dry, so they are ready to burn and keep you warm during those dark, cold nights. This beauty has a reclaimed oak frame with a cedar shingle roof, and has a two bay storage area. The lower bay will take a corde of logs (1 cubic metre), the roof will fit around 3 sacks of kindling.

Reuse, recycle is always the mantra! This log store was made with weathered oak fenceposts retrieved from the customer’s own field. The timber was jet washed and sanded to bring out tiger style markings. The roof is made from left over oak floor boards, again customer’s own.


Sep 24 2010

Besp-oak 4 poster beds

                                                      This beautiful 4-poster is made from reclaimed oak beams sourced in Hertfordshire,

    Derbyshire and Bulgaria!  Using traditional carpentry and joinery technics there are

    no screws holding it together, only through mortice / tenons and half lap joints.

    The head board shelf is from a Holme oak, believed to have been planted by Louis             XVIII at Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire.



Again this 4 poster is made from reclaimed oak,

sourced in Hertfordshire, and was designed to fit

into the existing oak structure of the house.