Category Archives: Mutterings from the sawdust

Sawdust followed sawdust – 2016 workshop review

A year since I put anything up from the workshop.  One could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps I was so busy doing the studio, that nothing else was achieved… Surprisingly enough, there was plenty of sawdust created this year.  I was able to create some work which I was very happy with.

And here we are 4 months later… and this still hasn’t hit the web… best I press the publish button!

Elm Table

First from the piles of sawdust was a small table.  The customer had a large 1800 mm round table that simply didn’t fit in their new apartment style home.  We looked at cutting the table round table down, but that simply didnt work as the stand for the table was too large.  So a new table was required.  After some discussion we made a small table that could be put against a buffet, and when required was expanded with a drop in insert.  The expansion of the table was controlled by this runner set from Lee Valley.


Outdoor Table and Benches

I was fortunate to have a customer who wanted an outdoor table and benches.  It was quite a large table, 2500mm long and 900mm wide.  Made from Lusitanica it was designed to live under some trees during summer and then by stored in winter.  Fabulous way to treat your outdoor furniture.  Finished in Sikkens HLSe the table and benches looked absolutely fabulous.

Pull Apart Box

I have made a few of these ‘pull apart boxes’.  They are the results of a guild wood challenge a few years ago, and I have continued to make them  Recently I was offered some wood, and thought I would make one of these for the person who donated the wood.  But instead of a single wood, I would use two different timbers.  One wrapped around the other.

JointWorks Wardrobe Installed

Wardrobe – Rimu Standalone

Over the last few months, I have not been writing much here, or seemingly doing much at all.  Actually life has been quite hectic, and out of the clouds of sawdust has emerged this wardrobe.  This was a commissioned piece by a very patient customer, who wanted to have something unique and interesting, which would be a family heirloom as well.  Hence the interesting design of the wardrobe.

Wardrobe Timber

The timber used in this piece has its own story.  The carcass of the wardrobe is made from customer supplied Rimu timber, that was recycled from a garage renovation.  The darker coloured timber is also Rimu, but this was milled from a log that had washed up against a road bridge, from Te Waikoropupū Springs . the darker look is caused by soaking in the river for a good many years.  The front tongue in groove was recovered from homes around Nelson.  The poplar back panels, were also off cuts from some ones home panelling.

The wardrobe doors have a curved centre mullion, which caused considerable headaches as I went to fit it.  On the outside of the carcass the integral legs, reflect the buttress of a tree with their gentle outward slope.  The curves are taken a little further with the top architrave having a subtle curve as well.  The observant amongst you will notice that the handle changed from the original small version to a far more organic one once installed.  This recycled handle was offered as a choice and chosen as it simply looked a better fit for the wardrobe.

Inside is the brass rail for the clothes hangers.  This is held up but holders in the shape of leaves.  These leaves are made of both dark and light rimu, and look superb against the brass rail.  The back of the wardrobe is panelled in poplar.  The white of the poplar will help make the inside of the wardrobe feel brighter and lighter.

The piece was delivered today, and had looks simply fantastic in place.  The customer was very happy as well, which is the ultimate goal.


WHR Bench

WHR Exhibition

Over the last year I have ben privileged to have been part of the Whole House Reuse Project (WHR project).  this project was started a few years ago as a result of the Christchurch Earthquakes, and the subsequent demolition of 1000s of home, often with little or no recycling.  The Whole House Reuse Project concept was to demolish a families home, but keep all parts from the demolition.  Then all the parts were given to artists around New Zealand to create something from.

The project is coming to a close, and has an exhibition at the Canterbury museum, from 5 June 2015 to 23 August 2015.

There has been a good amount of media coverage including this clip on Stuff.  The New Zealand Herald had this article which shows some of the materials.


With the Whole House Reuse project, all the materials are recycled. Read about the materials in this post

Bench Seat

The bench seat was the first project I had in mind, when considering the materials.  There were a number of lengths of weatherboard, mostly quite short that needed an interesting new life.  I enjoy making benches, so wanted to use these for the bench.  But instead of having the weatherboard running the length of the seat, I decided to run them across the width.

See the process of making the seat here

Bench Seat Result

Shown here is the Bench seat when completed.

Please support the project by getting along and seeing the exhibition.