All shall be well …

All shall be well and all shall be well … all manner of thing shall be well. That’s the inscription on the spalted beech bowl shown below. The quotation is from a piece by Julian of Norwich who was writing in 1395. I think it’s the earliest writing by a woman in English.




I bought the bowl, it was a very poorly carved thing and I did quite a lot of work to it. The spangly glitter is just to pimp it up a bit, the wood is a little porous in places.

It’s a quotation that I’ve enjoyed and I’ve wanted to carve it on something for a while now.

I’ve been cutting up birch by the log full for a while now… I’m aiming to do my 3rd table, but the wood has to dry. It’s all stacked in my airing cupboard for the winter. I’ll probably make a start around Christmas time.

Weather’s great … hugs to all







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That ol’ chestnut

I have just finished my latest project, a box from a very old chestnut tree which fell on one of my clients properties.

chestnut box

I made the hinges myself out of some sheet brass I bought online. The box itself is quite wonky so I didn’t want to use machine-made hinges. The hinges are riveted onto holly which is a denser wood than the chestnut.


The banded woods are holly (light) and mahogany (I think …. it’s reused from an old wardrobe door).


My next project is on the bench already. I have some silver birch which was cut a couple of years ago which I’m planning on making into another small table with inlays.


It’ll be a long time till that’s finished, but I have some smaller projects on the go that I’ll show when they’re done.



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Finally got in….

I got messed about, trying to log on to my site. Google made me sorornishi584 or something similar. I couldn’t remember which email address I used many moons ago…

Anyway… all good now, I think.

So… I’ve made a few things since I last blogged…

This is a knife I made for my other grandson… the handle is holly and ebony.

Then I made a table out of the root section of a yew tree… the wood was very difficult to work because the grain went every-which-way. … but that’s why I picked it.

That’s a resin insert in the centre of the table top..

That took quite a while as you can imagine…

The last big piece I’ve finished was a stool for my workshop. The seat is cherry and the legs were a rather boring maple so I silver-leafed them. My first attempt at leafing and it’s a bit of a mess if you look up close.
but from a distance it’s exactly the effect I wanted.


The arm/ back rest is made from a very droopy branch which I split and shaped.

There is a silver emblem on the back and the foot step is thick copper with silver nails.

I’m currently working on a box made from a 200+ year old chestnut that fell on one of my clients estates. The wood is quite special, slightly rotten and slightly ‘quilted’ …. you don’t find quilted chestnut really although quilted maple is popular in the States.

Photos to follow now that I have access again…

…and the time.

Big hugs





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Back and forth are just as far

Well I’ve moved my blog from because, in spite of the adverts [or because of…] WordPress is free and I don’t post often enough to justify the cost of paying for a server…. it’s up for another month…

So, I’m back here again, it’s now 10 years+, still going, though not as strongly as I was.

I am finding that my non-virtual life is a good deal busier than it was 10 years ago and the bling of my virtual existence has fallen away somewhat. So most of my posts for the forseeable future will be about stuff I make in my workshop…. as you may have guessed already.

Anyway… thanks for visiting…





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New box built.

My latest piece of woodwork, a box with hidden compartments.

It’s mainly American white oak with English yew bands and a bit of Sumach decoration. The pins are all walnut. It’s loosely based on a Japanese toolbox and old ammo boxes.

It’s made for Birk my grandson [who took the photo].


The varnish has specks of luminescent stuff that show up after dark.

The Yew was photoed in my last post and will make up the bulk of my next side table which I have started on, I just have to finish a new knife for my other grandson and then I’ll be free to concentrate on some proper furniture making.

Too hot to stay in the workshop this week, but hopefully I’ll get something done before Wimbledon….

We’ll see…

More later



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Side table in oak with holly and ebony inlay

I have been working on this table for quite a while now and finally, after ages getting the legs “just right”, I got around the doing the inlay I had been planning over the Christmas period.


Because it’s all done by hand the inlay was quite thick. I had cut up a very ugly African mask I bought at a boot-fair into strips about 5-7 mm thick. The holly was from a tree I cut down locally. (The holly stains quite quickly so you have to dry it fast) …


Anyway it all turned out quite well, the only slight problem being the ebony which tended to colour the glue I used on the holly making the glue look brown. The joints are all pretty good though so it’s not very noticeable.

I’ve just got hold of a couple of old logs of Yew for my next project and I’ve made a start on them too…

All good here though, apart from the cold…



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A difficult thing…

Making geometrical objects by hand is always difficult. The eye is a very accurate organ and we can always detect when things are a little “wonky”. All handmade objects are a little wonky and that’s what makes them pleasing to the eye.

Well, my mirror takes wonkiness to a new level, but I’ve come to terms with it and realise I would have had to use some machines (e.g. router) to make it more geometrically perfect (or more skill and time).

I started off with some sweet cherry from a tree I had felled in a clients garden…

I needed 8 pieces of wood and they had to be very well joined and pegged as a very thin structure would have to support a heavy old mirror. The mirror was given to me, it came from the door of a wardrobe and it had “excelsior 12 10 1903” marked on the back. It has a few “shades’ internally, like old mirrors do, but not bad at all.

I painted it with a pearlescent paint over a pale turquoise base and varnished it with a burnt umber glaze.

I used two vertical aluminium strips, 3 x 12 mm, to link the top and bottom rail at the back so the weight would be distributed evenly (otherwise I would have had to hang it vertically).

So, it’s gone into the spare room which is the darkest room in the house and I’m fairly happy with it.

I’m currently working on an inlaid side table (end table) in oak with walnut or ebony inlay …. I haven’t quite decided yet. Both the walnut and ebony are reclaimed, the oak is from the big tree that has supplied all my previous oak pieces.

More later…



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A simple thing

A small tray/ plate, just about a foot across, carved from a piece of tiger oak.

I saw a few online that were made by a a japanese guy for sushi and I liked the look of them, very basic. His were slightly more regular in shape.



…back to my oval mirror frame…





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New folding knife

I have just finished making a folding knife, my first.

I didn’t make all the bits, I ordered some off the web and put it all together with a bit of enamelling and some woodwork with a thought to selling it…. maybe others too. It was basically a trial run.

Well, it worked out OK I think for a $50 or $60 price tag. Whether or not it would be worth doing more …. I’m not sure.

The wood is from a local oak, a burr [burl], the steel is medium quality and the brass has a few little impurities…. I’ve already got new scales (the wooden bits) for my next one.

…and I’m well into my next project, a little side table … after I’ve finished my oval mirror frame, which is proving to be a very difficult thing to make.

This is for my oak side table… I have got some recycled ebony to inlay into it….This is the design for the top.

trefoil table design 2

Anyway, will post more when the mirror frame is finished..




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Tallboy in oak, finished

Finally finished my corner unit tallboy.

This is it finished, at last..

I did a bit of carving as I said last post and decided to paint it…

The top is inlaid with some plum wood and walnut and the drawers are half made in spalted beech and half in oak. The bases are painted plywood.

I had trouble with the handles, I wanted to make them in metal and I guess I should have done so but I wanted to finish it so I made them from wood. The first set I hated and so I had to remove them and make a new set.. that all took time but I’m fairly happy with the new ones although…. I should probably have gone for metal.

It takes a lot of time to get the drawers sliding in and out smoothly but I got there in the end.

This has been a 5 month project … my next one should be shorter, I’m carving an oval frame for a mirror in cherry.

More later…


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