As a seventy year old grandfather of eight mischievous energetic grandchildren and being a retired City and Guilds qualified wood machinist, furniture and clock case maker, my services for new wood projects, repairs and restoration of anything connected to a tree seems to be still in constant demand.
On reflection timber has played a big part in my life from planting woodlands through to cutting down and converting timbers for use in the carpentry and furniture making industries. For over forty years wood and woodworking has been one of my main sources of income one way or another. I have always turned to woodworking for that extra income we had needed when bringing up three healthy growing boys and it has never let me down.
I have made money from making wooden fire sounds, tables, cabinets and even turned clock cases, bowls and pens to sell at craft fairs, using recycled old timbers like floor boards and roof joists salvaged from the buildings I demolished in my demolition business.
The skills and techniques I have acquired over the years from working with old chippies and cabinet makers whilst working in a number of jobs such as a joiner making prefabricated MacDonald buildings, working nights in a workshop in Yorkshire manufacturing tables and chairs, wardrobes and beds for a company that sold Scottish Pine furniture into Japan, has been priceless.
My passion for woodworking really peaked in the nineties when I went to college and qualified as a furniture maker. This really opened the doors to understanding wood and the best ways to work with it. Its different cell structure, figure, densities and stresses, showing me the best and correct ways to cut, joint and finish, in fact all the knowledge I needed to start a successful antique reproduction and restoration furniture business.
My passion for working with wood and the obsession for making fine furniture led me to specialise in making grandfather clocks in the old style. With their beautiful curved mouldings and fret work on the hoods and crafted veneers and inlays to trunk and door.
These majestic pieces of furniture made from oak and mahogany superbly finish with shellac inspired my interest in horology and took me on to study and qualify with the British Horological Institute as a clock maker, but that’s another story for another day.
Working with wood has given me so much pleasure and financial support over the years and I am still acquiring more knowledge on all things wood related. I decided to create “Woodwork Mate” a place for others like me to find solutions to the many problems we run up against when developing and practising our crafts whether they be in the context of a hobby or profession, a place where you can get the answers to your questions in a clear none tech down to earth simple manner.
“Woodwork Mate” is just what it says on the tin, your mate, your right hand man, a hand stretched out to any woodworker wanting help, from beginner to advanced levels.
I’ll provide interesting woodworking projects; produce online content related to Woodwork in all crafts from cabinet making, turning, fretwork and joinery, with articles and report from expert craftsmen to help increase your technical knowledge and knowhow with all the tips and tricks.
(When you stop learning you stop earning)
My mission is to help as many people as possible to experience the pleasure and satisfaction I have had from working with wood over the last forty years, and answering where I can questions on anything relating to wood or making money from your hobby or starting your own business.
I will be searching the internet for new and appropriate information to keep you up to date on new techniques and technology and publishing reports and reviews.
I will make recommendations when I find products like power and hand tools, finishes, abrasives and fixings that I love and find really useful. Sometimes I will make commission from these recommendations which help to keep the site financed. But I don’t recommend products I don’t believe in or would not use myself.
We’d love to hear from our readers and welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Use our Contact Us page if you need any help or would like to tell us what we’re doing right or what we can improve on.