The Process

Into The Forest

Into The Forest

Stormblown Oak

Stormblown Oak

Halve It With Wedges

Halve It With Wedges

Back To The Workshop

Back To The Workshop

Quarter The Log

Quarter The Log

Dress With A Sideaxe

Dress With A Sideaxe

Dress With Handplanes

Dress With Handplanes

Rails And Panels Planed

Rails And Panels Planed

Carving With V-Gouge

Carving With V-Gouge

Layout With Compasses

Layout With Compasses

Carved And Painted Panel

Carved And Painted Panel

Painting In Progress

Painting In Progress

Painted And Glazed

Painted And Glazed

Trial Fit

Trial Fit

Pegs For The Drawboring

Pegs For The Drawboring

Drawboring

Drawboring

Joined Chest

Joined Chest

I love making riven oak joined furniture. I love going to the woods on stormy winter days. I love fetching back the tree. I love the fact that I am converting the raw material myself. I love the silence, the lack of power tools. I love the smell of green oak. Its elemental. And I am in my element. I love that I am making from green oak, a material that cuts under a sharp tool, like butter, but soon to be hard as the iron in my handtools. No sawmills, no middlemen. Just the oak, the weather, the tools and me.

 

The process, and it is a Process. It takes several months to make a piece of furniture. Fetching the green trunk, riving it down, dressing with a sideaxe and plane.  Cutting the mortice and tenons so they can start to harden. Leaving for a few weeks so the surface is dry enough, so that when it is carved it does not bruise. Then shaving bone dry pins, assembling the parts and then drawboring with the pins to create a joint stronger than modern glue. It doesn't stop there, the furniture will keep on changing, responding to atmospheric conditions, not static, perhaps for hundreds of years to come.

 

Making riven oak joined furniture can be done almost in silence, without the noise and dust of a modern joinery workshop. That's why I love it so.