Monday, December 03, 2007

Dresser finishes Kitchen

This Dresser style unit matches the other cabinets in this kitchen. It provides extra counter space for baking etc.; but at the same time doesn't make the kitchen seem cramped. The drawers below house things like table linen, food processor and bulky items like lunch boxes etc. The long doors on each side are pull out larder units. The client was very happy with the dresser remarking that it was exactly what she had wanted. Since this photo was taken I've added a plate rail at the back of the counter to display the clients collection of large decorative plates.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking featured in West Cork People

I have been profiled in this months West Cork People, which is a newspaper obviously enough for and about the people and places of West Cork. I'm going to post the full text in a separate post which you can find under the Press label on the right.

Profile of Tiernan Roe in the West Cork People

Tiernan Roe comes from three generations of professional woodworkers, a tradition he continually draws on and hopes to continue. He started woodworking with his father building and repairing wooden dinghies in his spare time. Since graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Tiernan has spent some time as a special effects model maker and sculptor both here in Ireland and in Berlin, Germany. It was in Berlin that Tiernan learnt the importance and application of precision. Having started out building boats and being a keen sailor, (he finds it hard to stay in the workshop during good sailing weather), Tiernan decided to move to Ballydehob, West Cork in 1999, where he now operates from his custom-built workshop.
It was while working on the restoration of Kilcoe Castle that Tiernan began to make bespoke furniture full time. Every large piece of furniture or the castle had to be built on site and assembled in each room. This presented many technical challenges regarding firstly how pieces could be made to pass along narrow passages and then be assembled in extremely confined spaces. Furthermore, the castle was still under reconstruction and as much of the wood was freshly felled or “green”, it was liable to some and on occasion spectacular warping which had to be minimised. The most impressive piece of this time would have to be the 14-foot elm and oak banqueting table and benches that had 96 feet of hand carved moulding and traditional drawn peg mortices.
Tiernan is one of the few professional woodworkers using a blog as his web presence “I started using the blog primarily because I could update it easily myself and it also allowed me to explain the design and manufacture process in a more informal way than a traditional web-site would” Tiernan explains “ another thing that I was attracted to with a blog is that viewers are able to post comments on what they see, unfortunately I have been slow to promote this aspect of the blog but I’m hoping it will take off soon. So i f any readers would like to comment on my work I would be more than happy to recieve feedback”
Another way that Tiernan wants to exploit his blog is by creating private blogs for clients where they can be kept up to date on the progress of their project on line from anywhere in the world. “My practice is practically paperless. All drawings are completed in 3D on the computer and usually sent by e-mail or disc to clients. The ability to change the drawings easily allows me and the client the freedom to try a number of different designs and to view them from all angles. As well as that, many of my projects are site specific and it makes it much easier for me to explain and the client to understand how a piece will look in a space using the 3D rendering.” Although Tiernan spent five years making medieval and traditional furniture, he is also at his ease designing and creating modern furniture. “Essentially my furniture is design-led. For example, one of my clients came to me looking for shaker style furniture but when we were going through the concept stage we began breaking down their reasons for liking shaker furniture. What we found was surprising to us all; they didn’t really like shaker furniture but admired it for its functionality and lightness. This led through various concepts to the creation of the Ogham chair”. While you’ve been reading this Tiernan has probably being agonising over which way to orient the grain and figure in a particular board so that it will match the tone of the boards around or sharpening up his chisels to finish that last bit of carving on a piece. If you would like to check up on what Tiernan has been up to go to

Monday, April 02, 2007

Design Process Step by Step: Part 2

Well I finally finished that table I was designing before Christmas. I steamed the oak legs to produce the curves and then the parts were joined quite simply with half joints.

It took a bit of fitting and a couple of try outs to get the legs in the right position and then level the table top. But it all came together in the end. I added the extra mahogany webbing pieces, as the arched oak legs were a bit too springy on their own. The next time I make a table like this, I will laminate the legs, which will make them stiffer. I would probably also make them a bit bigger, if I were to do it again.
All in all, I think the table was a success from a functional perspective, in that the legs don't interfere with a person sitting at the table or with moving chairs in under the table. From a design viewpoint, it is a fine showcase piece to have in any kitchen, guaranteed to be the room's "wow" feature for many years to come.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bespoke Kitchen from Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking

I did this kitchen during the summer; but only got the pictures recently. The counter tops are maple and the doors are painted red deal. I cut a stopped chamfer on the frames to lighten the appearance and to highlight the hand made aspect of the work. The larder unit between the two doors fits into an alcove that had previously housed a forced air heating unit. The drawers feature full extension drawer runners and the handles are brushed stainless steel. The previous post featured the living room of this house.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Contemporary Built-in Shelves

Here's a built-in unit I did before I started the blog. The client wanted deep shelves that were irregular and appeared to be part of the wall. I made up the shelf boxes first and attached them to the wall; plumbed up all the faces and then laid sheets of MDF on top. I cut out the openings afterwards. The unit was then painted the same colour as the walls to blend it in. The drawers underneath have storage for approximately 150 CDs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cherry Storage Cabinets and T.V. stand by Tiernan Roe Fine Woodworking

I just finished these cabinets on Friday. They're made from cherry and feature handmade handles. The two large cabinets were designed for alcoves either side of a chimney breast. One was to hold files and glassware, the other bottles and in the drawers underneath CDs.

The door panels are made from some highly figured pieces that I have resawn and bookmatched to produce a simulation of classic crotch grained veneer. The drawers are on wooden slides and have southern yellow pine carcases. The small unit is to take a DVD player and LCD screen.

I made the handles for these cabinets because I was unable to source wooden D handles that suited. Those that were available were all too large. The front piece is made from steam bent cherry which is glued to some maple blocks.
The pieces were finished with a hand rubbed Danish oil finish which gives good protection with a deep satin finish.