This presentation describes some of the wide range of activities carried on by Richard Elderton at the Home Farm Workshop, see also Portfolio
Cabinetmaking Original furniture designs
Furniture and other kinds of woodwork projects made to commission. The primary construction materials are selected hardwoods; softwoods and manmade materials are used where they can offer particular advantages.
I use shellac-based finishing materials in preference to synthetic lacquers. Shellac (French polish) is capable of producing a wide range of different effects, and varieties having enhanced heat and alcohol resistance are obtainable. Oil or wax finishes are attractive but they require careful maintenance and offer only minimal protection. Synthetic lacquers offer the most effective protection during their useful life but are more difficult to repair when they eventually fail. Shellac, wax, and oil finishes on the other hand may be repaired on a 'spot' basis very effectively. Wooden domestic utensils, e.g. salad bowls and spoons, are best treated with walnut oil (sold for human consumption) or olive oil.
Furniture restoration Structural and surface repairs to solid and veneered wooden furniture
Structural repairs to furniture often require the use of specialised techniques and equipment. Disassembly of undamaged parts is often required for facilitating repairs to broken parts and this should be done causing the minimum of extra damage. New parts should be made from carefully chosen materials. Most regluing is done using water soluble 'scotch' glue in preference to synthetic resin adhesives so that any future restoration work is made easier. Colour matching is normally done using aniline stains and solid pigments. Degraded natural finishes are renewed by abrasion, solvents and the application of new materials. The principal finishes used in this type of work are French polish (shellac), and The Dressing Wax which I prepare myself.
Simple upholstery work undertaken, including recaning. Note that re-upholstery work is often undertaken by people who ignore the condition of the underlying wooden framework, or make only crude repairs which are guaranteed to fail before the new upholstery has reached the end of its useful life. I offer to do such repairs in a sound and reliable way, but this can add considerably to the final cost. See example of bad repair.
Wood turning Design & manufacture of furniture & joinery components, domestic utensils, game pieces etc.
This work is done using traditional hand turning techniques. Workpieces may be up to 1905 mm (75 in) long or 660 mm (26 in) diameter.
Letter cutting Plaques, signs and inscriptions
Roman Trajan style lettering cut into wood surfaces. Layouts of the lettering, printed to whatever scale is required, are produced in a font designed using FastCad. The letters are traced onto the workpiece using carbon paper and the carving done using hand carving tools.
Mechanical and electrical work Manufacture or repair of metal fittings, tools and jigs, and electrical equipment
The workshop is well equipped with basic engineering facilities including a drilling /milling machine, hand fitting tools and heating, welding and forging equipment. I also have some limited expertise and facilities for the repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic systems.
Design Furniture, joinery, wood turnery and metalwork
I produce closely specified designs using a computer aided draughting system (FastCad) or hand draughting techniques. CAD systems have the advantage of enabling compact, versatile and accurate drawing files to be made. Drawings at any convenient scale may be printed on a variety of media types e.g. plain drawing paper, tracing paper, acetate film, or transmitted electronically. I revert to hand draughting techniques for designing items which are better dealt with at full scale, e.g. chairs.
Low volume or one-off production
Most of the timber preparation is done using machines, but I do most of the construction work and all of the wood finishing work using hand tools. Hand woodworking techniques offer greater versatility and often yield better results than those used in mechanized production. Greater effort costs more but hand work may sometimes achieve greater efficiency and be competitively priced.
If you would like to discuss the possible commissioning of a project, or would like to visit the workshop please see Contact Information.