Bespoke Furniture Makers : Autumn Diary
The laziness of summer in France may finally left us but we are far from idle in the Makers Bespoke Furniture workshop. Each Autumn, we always seem to experience just one weekend where our usual steady stream of enquiries turns into…. ‘THE CHRISTMAS RUSH’.
This wave of enquiries for handmade dining tables seems as guaranteed as Autumn coming. And we never know quite when it will hit. It can be as late as the end of October, and we end up doing 12 weeks work in 6 weeks. Or it can be just at the right time in September, like it was this year, giving us plenty of time to organise the workload, but still on be full speed. It has to be said, we thrive on deadlines!
A Furniture Makers To Do List
For a bespoke furniture maker, the list of jobs is varied and Ezra tends to concentrate on one table at a time before moving on to the next. All the tables we have on order now are bespoke and completely different sizes. So there is no batch making going on – everything needs cutting individually. Although we tend to get dining tables ready in threes, then deliver and come back and start the whole process over again.
Drawings & Cutting Lists
The first job for each table is always to make up a cutting list for the oak required and send it to our wood yard. If the project is for a piece of furniture we have not made before, then we will need to produce a scale drawing for client approval before ordering the wood.
Bespoke Furniture Makers : Back in the Workshop
Once we have the wood back in the workshop work then gets divided into three distinct stages; preparation, construction, and finishing.
Preparation : Cutting, Planing, Square edging, Sanding & Steaming
The prep stage will start with cutting the huge planks we bring back to size for each table top, leg or component part. Each one will need planing, then given a straight edge, cutting on the saw, then planing again. It is at this stage that we will also start the steam bending process for any dining chairs we are making. This takes place over the course of a few weeks, so we need to start that as early as possible in the furniture making process. We need to give the slats enough time to dry in their moulds after steaming before we can use them.
Construction : Glueing, Pegging & Clamping
All our table bases are put together using mortise and tenon joins. These will need glueing then pegging. Our table tops are glued with biscuit joins which will then need clamping to tighten the joins. Any chairs we are making will be glued and clamped at this stage too.
Finishing : Sanding, adding Finishes & Photo Taking
Every piece that goes into making any piece of furniture will have been sanded before they are put together. Much more, finer sanding will then be required once everything is together and before the finishing stage. This is where all dusty work must stop and we clear the workshop up ready for finishing. Our clients have a choice between matt lacquer, Danish oil or Osmo hardwax oil. We are also sometimes asked to add a stain. When the finishes are dry, we will try and make time for photos.
Deliveries, then Repeat
Ezra will often go on deliveries to the UK or within France himself – that way we can ensure our furniture will get delivered in the way we like. We also have one or to trusty couriers on hand that will deliver further afield for us.
Then back to the workshop to start over again!
MAKERS BESPOKE FURNITURE
P.S We are fully booked up until Christmas and we have begun taking orders for next year already. If you would like to have dining table handmade for you, then get in touch as early as you can – we will be delighted to chat over any ideas you may have. Quotations are free!