Console Table: We have a winner

I have been really touched by the response to this auction for the first piece of Petrel Furniture. Your bids and words of encouragement have meant a great deal. 

Congratulations goes to Raymond McCabe for the winning bid posted before 7pm. Raymond please contact me to arrange delivery of this fine table. 

For those who were unlucky or fancy having a piece of furniture made please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Thanks again 


Console Table: hurry, bidding closes at 7pm tomorrow

Make sure you don't miss the chance to pick up the first piece from Petrel Furniture. You still have time to dig out that tape measure and size up a suitable spot. Bidding closes tomorrow at 7pm GMT, the highest last posted bid will win.

Here's a close up of some fine dovetails; oh look what you could be missing.


Console Table: It's Auction Time

After many hours of beavering away I am so proud to offer the first piece from Petrel Furniture up for auction.

This is your chance to own a fine, handcrafted table, please place your bids in the comment section at the bottom of the post. 


Up for grabs is a stunning English oak console table that would be perfectly at home in the hall or as a lamp table by the side of the sofa. It is influenced by the Biedermeier period (1815 - 1848) which was an influential period of design that promoted simplicity and clean lines.


The auction format couldn't be easier:

What are you bidding on? A solid English Oak console table with a drawer, elegant curved top and beautiful tapered legs. The top is inlayed with a fine line of American Black Walnut which is complemented with a matching hand-turned drawer pull.

The drawer has hand cut dovetails and is lined with Cedar of Lebanon which gives the most beautiful aroma. Oak ages most gracefully, the table will get richer and deeper in colour with age. 

How to Bid: If you are interested in having this fine table for your very own simply post your bid in the comment section below. I am offering this at a reserve price of £250 which is basically cost, please bid with minimum increments of £5. A table of this quality would normally have a price tag of at least £800. 

When you bid you will be asked to enter your email address and name this information will not be shared with any third party. 

Auction Deadline: The auction will run for one week ending at 7pm on Tuesday 11th March, the highest last posted bid at that point will win the table. 

How big is it? H 77cm, W 60cm, D 35cm. The drawer is large enough to hold A4 paper/mail/envelopes

Shipping costs: Are included in the reserve price for UK delivery, I will deliver direct to a greater London address in exchange for a cup of tea and a biscuit.




This is a great opportunity not only to bid on a wonderful piece of furniture that has been lovingly handmade but also support a young fledgling business. Petrel Furniture is dedicated to producing fine handmade furniture combining traditional skills and sensitive design. 

Thank you for your generous support and happy bidding. 


Console Table: Next stop the auction


Well a week of terrific progress means the first piece of Petrel Furniture is nearly ready to be auctioned off. 

Those who read the recent technique post on the Scratch Stock will know that I am planning to replace the line in-lay on the top of the table - notice in the image below how the line fades. 


All that is left to finish off is a the new in-lay, a final few rubs of wax and fitting the turned drawer pull. 

I will send auction details next week, keep an eye out and you could be the proud winner of this lovely table, for those poised to bid the dimensions are H77, W 60, D35 (cm) It will look perfectly at home in the hall or as a lamp table. 




Workshop Techniques: The Scratch Stock

As promised here's a technical view of a curious tool called a scratch stock, this tool has been around for centuries and is used to in-lay thin strips of contrasting wood or carve into surfaces. The tool is often used as a finishing touch to work, this is terrifying as after having spent weeks crafting a piece you then attack it with a homemade tool which is essentially a piece of carved wood with a razor sharp blade wedged into the middle.

So as a finishing touch to the console table I thought a fine line inserted into the top would highlight the curved form of the top and give some interest to the eye. 

The first step is to sharpen the cutter which is a ground jigsaw blade that has been filed to a fine 1mm edge and sharpened on water stones to a fine mirror finish - the key to success is the get this little cutter as sharp as possible. Notice the shape of the scratch stock, the curved surface allows you to 'rock' the cuter gently as you push the cutter along. The little metal point protruding the wooden stock is the knife edge used for scratching into the wood, I know, tiny but able to cause havoc. 


Next you need to mark out the cut surface and make sure the blade is lined up accurately to the pencil line, this little tool is a modified making gauge, a knife at one end and a pencil at the other. Notice the line drawn around the table top, the curve mirrors table edge. 



Now for the the scary bit, time to run the scratch stock over the line, gently starting to get a fine cut line and going deeper as the cut is establishing and confidence has improved. The joined points are finished off with a scalpel creating a crisp join line. 



Once the heart in mouth work is complete its time to insert a thin line of wood, I chose to use box wood as I wanted provide a subtle contrast to the English Oak. Notice the mitred corner, this gives a really elegant fine finish. 


So here we are, after a finishing process of cabinet scraping and a light sand we have the finished look. 



Although I was super careful with the cutting and in-lay giving a lovely finish I am not convinced that box wood was the right choice. It is perhaps a little too understated causing the line to disappear at certain parts of the table top, I am faced with the difficult task of re-scratching this out on Monday and inserting something with a little more contrast, perhaps some walnut or elm would work better.

After spending weeks making the best table these hands are (currently) able to make the correct finishing touches are important.