Tools & Techniques

Buckinghamshire Bespoke Hand Made Furniture Maker UK

I work in my own purpose built studio using mostly hand tools – all sawing, planing, sanding (where necessary), finishing and some jointing is done using hand tools only – I don’t own powered planers, machine sanders etc., and have no wish to.  The only time I might use a hand held powered tool is to do some jointing – although I can do it all by hand too – hand cut joints just cost more.

It takes me from a machine operator into a skilled craftsman working with care on your purchase.

With skill and the right time management, when working on one offs, it doesn’t haveIMG_5918-001 to take longer to do it by hand compared to setting up a machine and doing it there.  It is quieter too, and more enjoyable, and you might get a better piece of furniture at the end of it.

Machines can make things quicker on larger work or when producing larger volumes of the same thing, but, for me, just now, I’m happy with my minimum machine input.

Below are pages with the actual tools I use.  I don’t have a band saw or planer hidden away and not photographed here – these are the tools that I use day in, day out.

Hand Planes

Hand Planes

Hand Planes are one of my critically important tools, and ones I use every day. I use a variety - from a 'scrub' plane to remove larger amounts of wood in one go, through to finely tuned long try planes to ensure all work is flat and square, and well...
Saws

Saws

Most of my saws are hand saws, from 1m long 4.5 tpi rip saws, down to fine jewellers saws.  I also use Japanese saws from time to time, when the need arises. All saws that can be sharpened I do myself, by hand, eye and experience. I own a small ...
Wood Turning

Wood Turning

All wood turning is done by myself on a foot operated traditional 'Pole Lathe' - the kind that was used by local woodsmen in the Chilterns to product chair parts.  They were unfairly called 'Bodgers' - neither they nor I 'bodge' work, but work accurately ...
Jointing

Jointing

Joints are produced in a variety of ways; some are hand done, and some are done using hand held machines. The photo above shows my biscuit machine, which I use when it is suitable (and it isn't suitable for everything).  I also use a router to produce ...
Marking and Measuring

Marking and Measuring

To create accurate work, one needs to use accurate marking and measuring tools - any old square will not do - in the case of squares I use good quality accurate metal working squares.  I don't like the wooden ones as I just don't find them accurate e...
Sanding

Sanding

All sanding is done by hand, using Mirka Abranet sanding blocks, with dust extraction.  The sanding block does not rotate, it is static, and moved around by hand by myself - I attach it to a dust extractor to suck out the dust whilst I am working - and ...
Finishing

Finishing

All finishing is applied by hand, by myself, without spray etc. guns, using traditional methods. My waxes are all hand applied and hand polished using the correct cloths. I can also french polish, but I use slightly more modern foam brushes to ...
Computing

Computing

Whilst I work by hand a lot of the time, without machines when making things, computers are a necessary part of my job and life. It keeps me connected with people - and allows me to give customers good communication about the status of projects. This...