Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sliding Doors by Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking 16/12/2006

Here's some photos of a set of sliding doors I did a few months ago. They are made of cedar to keep the weight down and slide on a brass rail on the floor. I fitted some bearings on the bottom to make them easier to slide but not so easy that they coud pick up momentum and smash into the stops. The glass is really quite heavy as it was only available as 6mm laminated which is required for building regulations.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking featured on

At last the public get to see inside Tiernan Roe's workshop. I've been featured on a panorama photography site. Unfortunately I should have tidied a bit more before the photo was taken rest assured that I've done so since. You can check out the photo at The crisscrossed pieces to my left are the legs for the table that was in the design stage in a recent post; I'll have photos of the finished piece soon. Our dog Bainne is in there as well.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mahogany Display Shelves

Here's a picture of a set of shelves I finished recently. They're made of mahogany and are 200cm x 140cm x 40cm, so they're pretty big, they just about squeezed into the van. I made them for clients who needed somewhere to display some ceramic craft pieces they had collected and that's why they are double the depth of normal shelves. I was lucky to be able to get the mahogany in 40cm wide planks which look better than glued up panels. The shelves are jointed to the posts with sliding dovetails and there is bracing at the back to stop the shelves racking. The posts were made up as box sections to try and cut down on the weight. The unit was finished with Danish oil.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Design Process Step by Step

I thought it might be interesting to show how I bring my projects from concept to reality. Below is a page from my sketchbook.
I find that by sketching quickly and not getting hung up on details I generate more and hopefully better concepts. Sometimes even a mistake or scribble can inspire another concept. These sketches were for the table shown below.

Normally the client doesn't see my sketches, they are usually presented with a maquette or 3D rendering of the piece. The 3D rendering below is for the office suite featured in a previous post. The rendering made it possible for the client to see how the suite of furniture would look in situ.

I use the maquettes to model up pieces that are visually or technically quite complex. As you can see the maquette shown is a fairly quickly made model but it really helps in visualising and fine tuning the design. This design will more than likely not get to the full mock up stage. What will probably happen is that the design for the table will evolve during construction. This can be a little risky, as any problems encountered e.g. in the jointing of the legs will have to be resolved carefully and quickly.
This project will be going ahead in the coming days and weeks and I will be posting images and comments on the production process in part two of the series. The legs are going to be steam bent white oak and the top is chestnut and elm. I'm off now to build a steamer.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Japanese Style Shoji Wardrobe

Wow I didn't realise that it has been so long since I last updated. The main reason for this is not only that is was the summer; but that recently I have been busy with a number of projects, all at various stages. Anyway here is a photo of a built-in wardrobe I made recently. It's made from Southern Yellow Pine and the screens are basic curtain lining material. This was chosen because the traditional rice paper wouldn't have been strong enough. The drawers in the centre go all the way up to the turn of the eaves to maximise the amount of storage. Cut-outs were used as handles for the drawers because surface mounted handles would have got in the way of the doors. All of the half joints in the screens were cut by hand in the traditional way and the mortice and tenon joints in the frame are pegged for extra strength.

It has also been brought to my atteniton tht their are a lot of typos in my blog so I'll be more careful in future and I will be correcting previous errors.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Stairs by Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking

It's been awhile since I updated but unlike before where I was too busy working to post anything, I'm now spending as much of my free time as possible out sailing. The weather has been especially good lately and when I can see the sea from my workshop it's very hard to resist the temptation to knock off early and go sailing.
Enough excuses and I'll give you a run down of the stairs illustrated below. The strings are made from 9" by 2" Ash and each step was cut out and the "waste" piece was glued and screwed to the step below to extend the string to an effective width of 12". The treads are 10" by 2" Honduras Pitch Pine to match the flooring.

The handrail is Ash again and came from a site clearance. The bark was stripped off with a drawknife and the hand rail was then mortised into the newel posts. I used 10mm stainless steel bar for the spindles to make the appearance as light as possible and still maintain strength. The spindles had to be individually plumbed up from the tread to the bottom of the hand rail so they wouldn't look crooked, which was a very time consuming operation. Next time I'll use a laser plumb bob.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Custom Kitchen by Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking 22-06-06

Hi there it's been a while since the last post but I've been very busy lately trying to finish off building my own house. But here's a picture of the kitchen I recently finished. The counter tops are native Irish Elm and the doors and drawer fronts are painted red deal. The under counter spaces were filled with drawers as cupboards that are 600mm deep can make it very frustrating trying to find anything. I used full extension soft close drawer runners to maximise the amount of useful space in the drawers and reduce the slamming that could occur with such large drawers. The refuse bins are in a drawer under the sink; this had to be custom made to fit around the the plumbing that was there e.g. water filter.

The overhead cupboards were brought all the way to ceiling to try and maximise storage space and eliminate the inevitable clutter and dust that can gather on top of normal kitchen cupboards. A ladder chair will be used to access these high cupboards where infrequently used items such as christmas cake tins are stored. The table in the foreground is a work in progress the top is made from chestnut and Elm. Hopefully I will get round to finishing it soon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chairs from Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking 23/05/2006

Here are a few photos of some chairs that I designed and made recently. The client wanted a chair that was comfortable, simple, light, robust and unique to them. Everything that a chair should be really. They came to me first looking for some shaker inspired chairs but after a lengthy design process I came up with these chairs. The strong vertical elements in the back were something that the clients liked. All of their current chairs had this element. We choose to make the chairs from cherry as they wanted a light coloured wood that had some figure but wasn't over powering. Also each chair has the name of one member of the family carved on it. I used an ancient irish script called "ogham" which consists of horizontal lines on a vertical line. Apparently this script was based on the names of trees e.g oak in irish is daoire and represents D.

In the photo to the right it shows that although the back is made from two flat pieces that are sawn to a curve when joined at an angle they create an almost perfect curve for a chair back. To enhance the comfort of the chair the seat slopes back at a 3º angle. The triangular shape of the seat gives ample support to the buttocks as the body is supported on only two points of the pelvis that are remarkably close together. In fact there is a traditional type of chair in Ireland known as a Sligo chair that has a triangular seat which provided some of the inspiration for these chairs.

You can see in this photo that the back legs of the chair are joined to the seat using relatively massive through mortise and tenon joints that are fastened with wedges. This jointing arrangement was used as this joint on the chair experiences quite amount of racking and as they were designed for a family with four young children it is inevitable that at some time some one will tip them back onto their two back legs. All the other joints are pegged with hand made Holly pegs. The finish is hand rubbed Danish oil.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bespoke office furniture made by Tiernan Roe 9-05-2006

Here are some photos of an bespoke executive office suite that I completed at the end of last month. Only just got round to downloading the photos this evening. The client wanted his office to be comfortable, functional, look greatand to last. All of the furniture is hand crafted from American White Oak and has an natural hand rubbed Danish oil finish. I even fitted a secret drawer but of course I won't be telling you where it is. There was a lot of work in this project as the drawers feature dovetailed joinery and all of the frame and panel sections are morticed and tenoned with solid oak panels. I used Southern Yellow Pine for the drawers boxes for stability and to provide a contrast with the oak.

The file cabinet above is the heaviest of the three pieces of furniture and we were just able to squeeze it up the stairs. The drawers are all on full extension runners so no problems getting at stuff at the back. The file cabinet is low and narrow but can still hold a lot of files.

The desk is V shaped to allow the user have a computer on their left and writing space on the right. The V shape also created an overhang which the customer wanted, so that clients could use the desk as well, to sign or review documents. Here is another view.

Finally the client needed somewhere for a printer and stationary supplies which are housed in this dresser unit. (They're called hutches in America) The cabling for the computer equipment in the desk runs underneath this unit to the power point and internet access.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Traditional wooden furniture

Just got back from a Trad music festival in Louisburgh Co. Mayo, beautiful place and great weekend was had by all. I was at probably one of the best traditional irish music concerts this year an all American ensemble of Billy McComiskey, Brendan Dolan, Joannie Madden and Brian Conway were amazing. Anyway here some more pictures of fine furniture I did a few years ago for a luxury restoration project here in West Cork.

This plate rack was made to store a 60 piece hand crafted dinner set so it had to be quite strong. The wood used was ash with pine dowels. The rails are all through tenoned and wedged for the upmost in strength. The whole piece when finished, then had to be cut to fit in against the undulating wall. The plate rack was then finished with hand rubbed danish oil.

The dresser to the left is a multi purpose piece in that not only does it provide storage it incorporates a table and settle; but also with the use of the two stools and some bracing it can become a temporary bed. It was also made for a luxury medieval restoration project and had to assemble din the room beacause the access points to the room were too small. When finished it was painted to look old by two fine art decorative painters.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Furniture from Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking 25/04/2006

Here are a few more pictures of pieces of fine furniture that I have made over the last five or six years. This coffee table was made from an end of an native Irish oak plank that couldn't be used because of the hole and the legs are Hawthorn that I got from a site clearance. The legs were shaped with an axe and were tenoned to the top. The finish is hand rubbed boiled linseed oil.

This box is made from oak and features hand cut dovetails and a celtic knotwork carved lid. It was just a small project to practice both dovetail cutting and celtic knot work carving. It worked out fairly well but I still don't know what to put in it. Perhaps in the future I will pad the inside and make some ring holders for it to be used as a jewellery box. More recent work will be posted soon but I still have to get photos ready for publication.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking Starts Blog 24/04/2006

This blog is to inform customers and new and old of how current projects are progressing. If your looking for someone to design and make fine wooden furniture then look no further. Woodworking has been a family tradition for over three generations. In the last year I have started my own business making and designing fine art furniture for clients both here in West Cork and through out Ireland. Hopefully I will be updating this blog regularly as the idea of using a Blog instead of a website was that pictures of furniture are all well and good but I hope to be able to impart some of the experiences and processes involved in producing a fine piece of furniture. Also, for the first while I will be including previous projects. So to kick off I'm posting some images of work that I did in Berlin 10 years ago this month. I know its a long time ago but it's pretty cool, a 9 metre (30 foot) high Statue of Liberty on top of the watchtower at the famous Checkpoint Charlie. Yes I did have to go right up the head 25 metres ( 80 feet) up to put on the crown after the statue was craned into place. Ahh reckless youth.