About My Furniture
My furniture is constructed as near as possible to full size practice, and my aim is to make it look as realistic as possible. Most of it is copied from full size furniture or from photographs and details supplied by customers. Many of the chairs are copied from those on display at the High Wycombe Chair Museum, where with their kind permission I have been able to take detailed photographs and measurements.
I use various woods for my furniture and I try to choose woods with the grain in scale. Full size furniture uses woods such as oak, mahogany, elm, walnut etc. All of these, unless very carefully selected, tend to have a coarse and open grain which looks completely out of scale in miniature. I prefer to use close grained woods such as cherry, apple, and pear. For example to imitate oak I use cherry with an oak stain, and for the seats of my chairs which in full size would have been elm, I use the same cherry but with a mahogany stain. For mahogany I've been recently experimenting with steamed pear stained a mahogany colour. Most of the turning is yew, again stained, but I've also been trying out apple and pear.
After staining I apply several thin coats of shellac based polish, rubbed down lightly between coats with fine steel wool. It is then waxed and buffed to give a natural well used sheen.
All the turning is done on a Unimat 3 model making lathe, (Now the Unimat 4), and I have various other bits of machinery to help me out as well. Where parts need bending they are boiled in a saucepan for about half an hour, clamped in a mould cut to the required shape, and then left to dry in a warm place.
The Lath and Baluster Armchair and the Lath Back Armchair won joint gold medal at the 1993 National Woodworker Show. The elaborately pierced splat of the Lath and Baluster Chair is cut out using a piercing saw with a very fine blade. It is then cleaned up using various miniature files and stained to match the rest of the chair.