Getting ready for Spring

As Spring is fast approaching now is the time to start building and installing your nesting boxes.  Whilst there are plenty of bird nesting boxes out there for sale many of them concentrate on the aesthetics and may not be suitable for the birds that you wish to attract.  The RSPB website is full of detailed palns for the perfect nesting boxes.

This week I have been busy filling customer orders for nesting boxes for Grey Tits, Blue Tits, open boxes and for the first time it I have made a sparrow terrace.  My research revealed that sparrows like to live and nest in groups as they are social creatures. So I have built a set of four nexting boxes in a single terrace type unit with four separate enterances.

All of the boxes have been built in accordance with the RSPB specifications and have been made from reclaimed hardwood timber so they shold lasst for many years to come. 

 Whilst many of these boxes have been made to fill customers orders I will also be taking a selection with me to my upcoming markets at Stroud and Cirencester over the next few weeks.  If you would like to place an order please drop me an email and I will make sure that your nesting boxes are fit for purpose and attractive too

Custom Keyboard Flight Case

 

 

One of the best things about being a carpenter is the ability to build custom items. This weeks customer is me! 

I recently joined Stroud based Dub Reggae band Frankly Skanky as they keyboard player, and after a few months with the band I decided to buy myself an early Christmas present…an upgrade my instrument. I managed to find a good quality used Roland VR-09-B V-Combo Keyboard.  As I want to protect it whilst transporting it to practice and gigs I thought I would buy a flight case but discovered that they cost almost as much as the keyboard so I decided to make my own.  I searched the internet and found the correct spring handle as set of 3 clip hinges, which will allow me to remove the lid, steel corner protectors and clip catches. Using 9mm birch marine ply I build the box and gave it several coats of varnish.  Once the varnish was dry I then got stuck into the interior of the case.  Using upholstery foam rubber and some lovely purple satin I designed the inserts so that the keyboard would be held in place and protected from all angles. 

I am extremely pleased the end result and although I had to invest some of my time the project definitely made in much cheaper than buying one and I know that nobody will have a flight case quite like mine

Old Fashioned Kitchen Shelves

I have always liked old fashioned styling and as I had just dismantled a solid pine wardrobe I had a good supply of wood with which to build something substantial.  So I decided to make a set of wall mounted kitchen shelves with hooks like the ones I had made for our kitchen several years ago. Once I had cut the wood to size I discovered that I had enough wood to make two sets.  So after a lot of sanding, some fancy jigsaw work to make the curvy sides and a bit of routing to put the grooves in the shelves I was ready for assembly.

As many of you know I don’t normally paint my furniture but I felt that to enhance the country farmhouse vibe I would paint them in muted pastel tones, one is a fresh sky blue whilst the other is a vintage French grey.  The addition of the hooks on the bottom of both units will allow for the hanging of cups, pans etc.  The shelves have been grooved to allow for plates to be stored upright just like the old Welsh dressers. They have been fitted with reclaimed brass wall mountings so that they can be secured to the wall.

I will be taking both sets with me to the market this weekend so if you are looking for a way to brighten up your kitchen pop down and pick up as set if old fashion country kitchen shelves

Good With Wood (Stroud) will be at Stroud farmers market on 11th and 25th of January. 

 

Operation Replenishment

In order to maintain stock levels after a couple of weekends worth of successful Christmas markets I have spent the last week hidden away in the workshop, like one of Santa’s elves, I have been super busy making a range of my most popular items.  During the year I am always making new items but amongst these are the staples…

Last weeks on

Monday ! made 18 Garden Trugs,

Tuesday 8 Beer Caddies and 4 Wine Caddies

Wednesday 6 rustic caddies and 8 plywood storage boxes

Thursday was dedicated to 4 extra Hall shelves with coat hooks

And Finally on Friday I finished off two sets of pigeon holes and a couple of spice racks

Luckily I had spent a couple of days the week before making 24 chopping boards of various shapes and sizes

This is possibly the busiest week in the workshop yet and whilst I thought it would keep me going for a while after the Stroud Good Will Evening on Friday night I now only have 5 trugs, 2 beer caddies, 2 wine caddies, 1 rustic caddy and no spice racks left so this week will probably be just as busy making stock for the markets coming up in the next couple of weeks

But I am very happy to have this kind of problem, it’s well worthwhile work and I love to think of all the people that will be receiving one of my items as a Christmas present.

 

Bespoke Sideboard

As you probably all know one of Good With Wood (Stroud) key services on offer is to make made to measure furniture for clients that fit in with their current décor and are designed specifically to fill a requirement.  This weeks client provided me with a list of items including a cutlery tray, hall shelf and hooks, a pair of bedside cabinets, a coffee table and my favourite item a large side board to go in the family living room for the television to sit on and to store electrical equipment, cds and dvds.

Like the vast majority of my clients the brief was to use reclaimed wood and to keep the design quite simple but stylist to match the rest of their furniture and fittings.  As I needed 4 pieces of solid wood for the top, bottom and two sides I elected to use a couple of pine table tops that I had stored away in the wood shed that I had collected over the last couple of months. After a fair bit of sanding and cutting to size the body was assembled and the back, a piece of 9mm shutter ply recovered from a building site was cut to size and fitted. The internal shelf is part of an old wardrobe door, this the doors.  As they are the most visible part of the cabinet it was paramount that they looked good and fitted well. I had a sheet of 12mm Birch Plywood left over from another project that was perfect for the job. So with a couple of coats of stain to bring the whole piece together I was happy to declare it ready for delivery.

All items were delivery to the clients who were very happy with their haul.

If you would like a piece of furniture designed and made specifically for you please send me a message or drop me an email and we can discuss your requirements

This weeks special projects

 

Thanks to recent markets I have been busy making special orders this week. Along with the normal items that I need to keep the stall going I am often asked if I can make a specific item for a customer to fit their homes and/or their limited spacces.

I enjoy these projects because I know that they will end up being loved by the clients and in constant use.

If you need something special made be sure to contact me and I am pretty certain I can make you something suitable

Busy, Busy, Busy

   

This week I have been busy making items for my up coming markets and filling orders for customers.  I have been busier making more garden trugs this time I have just completed 22 in total. A dozen were pre-ordered for a new garden centre in Dursley called Leaf and Ground which is due to open at the end of this month. I also made them half a dozen beer caddies and a couple of sets of pigeon holes. I still have a few more display items to make by the end of the week so Ill be busy in the workshop for the next few days.

I have also been busy making a big wall cupboard out of reclaimed wood for a lovely little cottage in Summer Street Stroud which I will be fitting later in the week ( you can just see it in the background)

And Finally I have upped my production of pizza platters, chopping boards, hall shelves, boxes and carry-alls

I will be at the Tewkesbury High Street Fine Food and Arts markets on Sunday 20th October, Stroud Farmers Market on Saturday 26th and Suffolks Sunday Markets on the 27th so if you are after some early Christmas presents or items for the home or garden pop on down and ssay hello

Scaffold Board Table and Benches

It always amazes me how wonderful scaffold boards are for building chunky rustic furniture.  I was recently asked if I could make a set of benches and a table to seat six for a great Asian fusion restaurant  Temple Mama Cirencester

They already have some wonderful old furniture including an old rectory table and a long oak bench so my brief was to try to match the style and if possible the colour so that the additional seating fitted in with the current décor. 

I started with four three metre lengths of scaffolding boards which are made from the highest quality slow grown spruce (Whitewood), so before any work began I had to dye the wood using an dark Jacobean wood stain.  Once everything had been built and sanded down I then finished the table and benches with a couple of coats of dark oak stain.

I will post further photos of them in situ once I have delivered them later today 

How Green Is My Valley

At the end of last week and for a couple of hours this morning I was lucky enough to be working at 1 Woodbine Cottage in the Slad Valley.  For those of you who are not from the Stroud district it is a beautiful part of the Cotswolds that has been immortalised by the words of the famous author Laurie Lee, whose classic novel ‘Cider with Rosie’ is known and loved all over the world. This green and tranquil, hidden valley can be found near the towns of Stroud and Painswick.  Many of the locations in the book are still recognisable today. The tiny village of Slad centres around the Woolpack Inn,  where you can see the seat where Lee used to sit and the church where Laurie Lee is now buried. A stained glass window commemorates this most famous author.

The original part of the cottage dates back around 300 years with an extension of sorts around 200 years ago and it has recently undergone some major renovations to bring it back to its original glory.  I can certainly confirm that it is absolutely beautiful inside and very authentic, a real slice of the cotswolds.

I was asked to make a new gate befitting of this wonderful cottage and to build a suitably large log store with a kindling shelf to ensure that it is kept nice and cosy through the winter.

Woodbine cottage is available as a holiday rental and if you would like more details please check out their website 1 Woodbine Cottage, Slad

If you would like to have a custom built gate or log store please drop me an email or message and I will be happy to discuss your requirements

 

Rustic Hall Stand

Many of my projects are led by customer requirements, this was definitely the case with the hall stand I have built this week.  My client has a large family and needed a storage solution for coat and scarfs but could not use the traditional method of fitting coat hooks and a shelf on the wall in the hallway.  They had previous bought a free standing hat/coat stand from a leading furniture outlet but it has proved to be to flimsy and unstable.  

The stand is designed with a larger base than its top so that it is much stronger and more stable.  The eight hooks will allow plenty of hanging space and the extension of the frame allows for storage of hats and scarfs. The middle and the lower shelf will also facilitate the storage or shoes, umbrellas etc.

Whilst this one has been made especially for a client if you would like to take a stand just like this or something similar please let me know via an email or message