My Introduction, Swhitey

Forum: Woodworking

Well, my story is as follows, originally from the North East of England, we moved down to South West France five and a half years ago where we have been renovating a 300 year old French farmhouse. We’ve been on a very tight budget, as you must appreciate, these kinda projects are a money pit so we have had to make do a great deal with what we have. My father was a carpenter/joiner back in the UK and his father before him, so we kinda got wood grain running through us. I do have to confess that I strayed into Dry Wall for twenty years chasing the money.
It looks like the people on this site have managed to make some great pieces
As we’re, dare I say it, nearing the end of our project here in France, I’ve been hoping to slowly wean off the heavy construction and follow my heart and heritage and get back into some proper carpentry, I’m hoping to create a few pieces to decorate our nearly finished home with.
Whilst looking for different plans and designs for inspiration on-line, which is how I can across the WoodworkingWeb.

I haven’t quite managed to make a start on any new projects as of yet, but I’m always looking for plans and design, which need to be great and full of every detail needed, which is what a restarter like me really needs.

Take care
Steve

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14 Replies

Jack ...

Welcome Steve, sure glad you found us. Would love to see some photos of that farmhouse featuring some of your renovations.

Whitacrebespoke ...

Welcome, let’s see some of the work you have done on the house.

lightweightladylefty ...

Steve,

We’ll all enjoy seeing how you’ve renovated your home. Welcome!

L/W

a1jim ...

Glad to have you join the fun, Welcome!!!

Wes Louwagie ...

Welcome, I also would enjoy seeing some pics of the farmhouse. I’ve worked on a lot of old houses but nothing that old…

Swhitey ...

Hi Guys,

sorry for late response.

Like I was saying in my introduction, we’ve been here for 6 years this July and we’re still not finished. I’ve been trying to collate some before and after pictures of the progress we’ve made to date. My wife has them all on a hard drive. I lost quite a selection of the pictures I’d taken due to a problem with my old computer. I’ve pulled together a small collection of some of the things I’ve made out of wood along the way.
Most of the things have been put together from salvaged or reclaimed wood, not all mind, some materiels I have had to put my hand in my pocket and actually buy.
The pictures I’ve provided are of doors I’ve made for the whole of the upstairs, 7 room doors and 16 wardrobe doors, all made from scratch. The only downside was that the wood wasn’t kiln dried so some of the doors have suffered a little shrinkage, they were all glued, nailed and clamped. The upstairs of the house was just basically a line of four large rooms with a smaller room in the middle where the stairs come up. So I have partitioned all the rooms to form wardrobe space and bathrooms and hallway access to the furthest rooms from the stairs.
So the pictures attached are ;

The farmhouse, front view, you can see how long it is as I’ve struggled to get it all in shot.

A couple of pictures of the wardrobes I’ve formed and the doors I’ve made.

Then a picture of a small run of stairs leading from the main landing down to my two girls bedrooms, which originally was just two large square rooms leading on to each other. I formed the frame for the stairs out of some 3″ × 2″, floored the treads and risers. I did cheat a little when I had a mate machine the nosings for me.

Not really sure if I’ve uploaded these pictures correctly………….

Hope you enjoy, any tips are more the welcome and gratefully accepted.

Stephen.

Ps, more pictures to follow when I get time.

a1jim ...

Looking good.

lightweightladylefty ...

Thanks for sharing the photos.

L/W

Swhitey ...

Yeah, it’s certainly took some knocking into shape.

When we bought the property the agent told us it had been on the market for a year, since we bought it and have become friendly with the neighbours, they’ve informed us it was actually on the market for 5 years with lots of interest shown but nobody would commit as it was too big a project.
We bought it for a pretty good price, but now knowing how long it was actually on the market for you would have hoped I could have achieved an even better price, should have known, you just can’t trust property agents. (Hope none are reading this) ;-)

Jack ...

I just knew it was going to be amazing but it is AMAZING. Great work.

Swhitey ...

Thanks Jack, many trials and tribulations along the way but we normally get there in the end.

I took a look at your website, it looks really great, you’ve certainly made some pretty amazing pieces over the years. I love the selection of tools you have.

It’s a shame we don’t live a little closer and I may have participated is some of your classes, the only trouble is the 5297 miles between Portland Oregon and Perigueux France.

Couple more pics from our humble abode;
Door from Master Bed to unfinished en-suit

Five bar gates made from rough sawn 3″×4″ and 4" x1" made five of these when I fenced off the garden to form the

paddocks for the goats

The before and after pictures of the hall leading to the girls bedrooms. We were also re-roofing that half of the house at the same time. The before picture is before we knocked the door through to my eldest daughters new bedroom.

Wes Louwagie ...

cool pics. I like that light a couple pics up. pulls down right?

Swhitey ...

Well spotted Wes, We were hoping to sell the light as an antique and get some money to put back into the renovation……………….
I don’t know if you’ve been to France at all but virtually every town has a Brocante (means flea) which pretty much is a second hand shop. They do house clearances then sell the proceeds in their shop. You can find all sorts in them, a lot of rubbish but it you look through the rubbish you can find some great pieces.
Thinking of maybe selling the said light to a broconte and making my fortune…………….. yeah and maybe not. Think it’s probably been taken to the tip or if not it will certainly be on the way.

Swhitey ...

The above picture is the after shot of the picture with the light and the roof off………