Welcome to the Oak sanctuary
I rescue unloved, unwanted, broken and forgotten pieces of old (mostly oak) furniture, and re-purpose the lovely old wood to create wonderful new pieces of furniture and other interesting things.
I am not a restorer; I don't restore furniture to its original state. Neither do I [shudder] *upcycle* it by painting it chalky blue and distressing it with sandpaper.
What I do, is to dismantle and strip it back to the original pieces of timber, and use that to create original, new items of furniture and other things. You can skip straight to What I do if you like, or view some of the Things I've Made, or take a look at my Current Projects page.
This website has pictures and stories showing a large number of things I've made, and how I went about it. I also have a YouTube channel where you can see videos of me making some of these items, with a spoken commentary and in a lot of cases with a background of birdsong, as I do a lot of work outside or half outside in open sided sheds - Orphaned Oak Videos
First though, if you have time and interest, you might like to read the 'back story' below.
Let me tell you a story:
Once upon a time, there was a table. It was a very nice table, in shiny dark brown, all polished and lovely, with smart curly legs and two drop leaves of which Mrs Biggins was very proud. It was a wedding present to her and Mr Biggins, from her great aunt Beatrice, who in turn had inherited it from a yet older and more distant relative, when she was first married, back in Nineteen-Hundred-and-not-very-much.
Mrs Biggins loved her table, and as her children grew up they ate at it, played on it, did their homework on it, and wrote off letters for their first job interviews on it. As time went on, one by one the children left the nest to start their own families. The Biggins' still kept their old table, though it was relegated to the 'front room' and they had a newer, more modern table to eat at everyday. The old oak table was pressed into service at Christmas and Easter, side by side with its newer replacement, to host the family gathering.
Sadly Mr Biggins passed away and after that, widow Biggins lived alone for a surprising number of years surrounded by the accumulation of 50 years, until she too finally departed this earth.
What of the houseful of treasured memories now? All those knick-nacks, pictures, ornaments, all those little things that Mrs Biggins gathered around her as she went through life, and when meant so much to her.. who now will value them? And all her old fashioned, out-of-date furniture and pictures - who wants them?
All the Biggins children have their own houses now, each one filling up with its own collection of memories and the clutter of everyday life. Is there room anywhere for an old, ring-stained, scratched, slightly wonky dining table? It provides its final service to the Biggins family, as a buffet table for the wake. And then - does anyone give it a second thought, as the house-clearance man loads it onto his van?
Finally reaching the end of the road, this sturdy old table
which has served so many generations of Bigginses faithfully,
has nowhere left to go. Nobody wants an old table any more.
Destined to sit in a dusty auction room, or a charity shop,
or worse still a rubbish tip. The table's story has
come to an end.
THE END . . .
. . . or is it THE BEGINNING?
By various routes, some of these poor unwanted unloved (often decrepit) old tables, bookcases, wardrobes and cupboards, find their way to me.
Take a look around the site to see what I do with them: