Feb 16

Shape Dominos

domino box edited cropped
My nephew and godson is now two years old. He's at that amazing age where the appreciation for a gift  is inversely proportional to the amount of time that goes into making it. That's not a gripe - I love making these things and he has the attention span of a small fish. The joke about kids prefering the wrapping to the actual present - in Seb's case, it was the clasp that holds the lid shut. 


This was a colloaborative effort between my mother, my girlfriend and myself. It's made entirely from oak, and the shapes were all cut on the table saw and were so tiny my mother could barely watch. Each had to be given three coats of enamel paint, which took my girlfriend three days. The box corners are all made using finger joints and the catch and hinges have been oil blackened so that they are more in keeping. Each of the dominoes is 2"x4" and the box is about a 6" cube. 


As Seb gets older, chances are he'll appreciate more that he has toys that are a little bit special. I love making things like this - the time taken makes them pretty much impossible to sell for a reasonable price, but fun nonetheless.

Nov 16

13 simple steps to making an 8ft oak table with drawers

Step 1: Design the table on paper, draw up on CAD and print off all your dimensions.
Step 2: Pop over to your local timber merchant and grab yourself about a dozen 10ft slabs of kiln dried oak. They'll weigh around 40 - 50 kg each so if you have a friend with a van and a spare couple of hours now would be the time to tell him what a great mate he is.

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Sep 22

Log boxes

pallet racking   arrow   prepared wood   arrow   log boxes 2


It's beginning to feel a bit like autumn - the mornings have that crisp chill in the air, and we've started thinking about lighting a fire of an evening.

Traditionally we've kept our firewood in an Ikea bag by the back door. Every day we trip over the straps on our way out, marvel at how hard it is to carry and wait patiently for a bright blue bag to look like it belongs there. It never does.

So for this season we've upgraded to some handmade log boxes... designed to fit inside the back door and by the fire, the same width as our logs, stackable, carryable, tough and rather lovely.  We have a stack of these by the back door full of logs and one by the fireside. That way no one has to go out into pouring rain at night to fill up the log basket. There's also a shallow one for kindling. I made them from reclaimed pallet racking from an aircraft hangar in Hullavington, Wiltshire.

Come next summer, they'll make fantastic saw horses, step stools, tool boxes, bench seats - generally useful boxes until autumn comes round again.


Aug 27

Brownies by post

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I have a brother who is fond (i.e. addicted) to chocolate, and a girlfriend who loves to bake. So we thought we'd send Dan some chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies by post. Whilst Heidi was busy baking, I made up a traditional crate-style box to put them in, then we filled it to the top and screwed the lid down in case the postman got peckish.  It's made from reclaimed timber with leather hinges and has his address stamped on the top, military-style.

I'm sure I'll end up making more of these Brownies Boxes or Cookie Crates - they'd be great for sending a birthday cake too, or a present for someone special.  I mean, who wouldn't want one of these turning up on their doorstep?

Aug 18

Old wooden boxes

special edition  MG 9065

I recently made 24 bespoke wooden boxes for Bath based photographer Jon Tonks. His book 'Empire' is an amazing photographic tour of the remaining British territories in the South Atlantic, with a special edition available wrapped in a union flag and tucked inside a beautiful wooden box. 

The boxes are made from reclaimed wood, so have a naturally worn and beaten look to them, but how I came to make them is a lovely bit of happenstance.   Where do you go for custom wooden boxes that look like they've been passed down three generations? Jon was in a shop in Bath asking if they knew where he might get some custom boxes made, and perhaps unsurprisingly they didn't know. However the lady stood behind him overheard, and knew the answer. I'd just made Amelia's family this table, so she knew me and my work style pretty well.

Jon came over to my workshop, and after a few samples and a lot of coffee we'd designed the box Jon was after. These boxes are now being shipped to customers all over the world; it was a fun project to work on, and I love the thought of these boxes sat on book shelves, desks and coffee tables thousands of miles away.