a new synth

I’ve made my own synthesizer! I bought it as a kit from Mutable Instruments. I soldered all the electronic components onto the circuit boards, and instead of buying the ready made enclosure, I decided to make my own from ripple ash.Shruthi topIt was tricky to cut all the holes in the correct places, even with a template.Shruthi backI was able to add a power switch to my design.Shruthi sideAnd here it is with the rest of my current rig. Even though it’s just a simple wooden case, it makes using the synth a more tactile experience, so I feel more inspired to use it. I’m looking forward to building another soon!rigwww.danieltomlinson.co.uk



kitchen chests of drawers

Some photos of the completed chests of drawers…
petalsI was asked to make an extra piece with open shelves to house a microwave oven.

open shelvesThere’s oodles of storage space, especially with the inner drawers. All the drawers spring open by pushing on the drawer front.


I’m very happy with the way these substantial pieces sit in the finished kitchen. They complement the other solid items, such as the Aga, whilst the geometric patterns prevent everything looking too bulky.kitchenwww.danieltomlinson.co.uk

hexagonal memorial bench

I was asked to make a memorial bench for Christ College in Brecon, UK. memorial benchIt was to match an existing hexagonal bench alongside it. When the school saw my version, the ground staff were asked to give the finish of the original a “refresh”.

bench closerI chose to make it from sweet chestnut, which is stable and durable for outdoor use. I left the wood without any finish, so it will turn a beautiful silver/grey over the years. The carving on the back rails reads “you’ll never walk alone”, in memory of a pupil who was a Liverpool FC fan. The tree in the middle is a red-leaf acer, to reflect the famous Liverpool kit. The letters were hand cut by expert letter carver Rupert King. Here he is in his workshop.

Rupert King


chests of drawers

I’m making 3 chests of drawers for a kitchen, with the following 2 designs…chest of drawers 2

chest of drawers 1I’ve selected the species of wood. The pale ones are ripple ash and aspen. The darker ones are plum and cherry.

Both designs are based on the same grid, so I stared by drawing this out full size.grid and compasses

I then had to decide on the direction of the grain for each piece by doing a rough sketch.

grain directionThere are many ways to cut veneer. The curves on both designs all have the same radius, so I bought a gouge with a curve that is near to what I need and roll it around the curve to get it as close as possible.cutting veneerI gradually piece the pattern together with veneer tape to form a patchwork.veneer tape This is how it looks underneath…taking shapewww.danieltomlinson.co.uk

moon screen

I’ve made some screens to cover a bedroom alcove in a new house.moon screenThe house is by the sea, near Ramsey on the Isle of Man. I took some photos while I was there earlier this year and based the screen colours on a photo I took of a local beach. Dhoon BayI used 3 veneers to create the design. The dark wood is fumed oak. Fumed oak is made by exposing regular oak to amonia fumes until it turns to a dark shade. The light coloured veneer is poplar burr, and the the grey is a re-constituted veneer made by Alpi.raw materials


cabinet making course results

My cabinet making for beginners course has finished. We just about managed to complete the shelf pieces we were working on.planingHere’s Chris showing some excellent planing technique –  keeping the plane centred on the edge of the board with his front hand, whilst keeping the sole of the plane in good contact all the way along its length with his rear hand.finished shelfHere’s Francis with the finished shelf. He gave it a sparing coat of linseed oil. This really brought out the beautiful, natural lustre of the cherry.shelf fixed to wallHere’s the one that I made in place. It was a pleasure to have Chris and Francis as my first students. I hope they’ll be the first of many. Go to the Arts Alive Wales website for details of future courses.


double woodwork

I’m running a cabinet making course at Arts Alive Wales in Crickhowell. Here’s a photo of the beautiful space that we’re working in. As you can see, there’s plenty of space for more participants in the future.Arts Alive Wales spaceI’ve made 4 double workbenches out of plywood and MDF. They are substantial and sturdy, but can be taken apart after each class. I’ve provided a basic set of hand tools: pencil, engineers square, marking knife, chisels, tenon saw, mallet.

basic woodwork toolsHere are Francis and Chris cutting housing joints in pieces of scrap. The finished item will be a simple shelf piece in cherry.