bespoke carpentry

Bespoke joinery & carpentry from Colin Ford.

Fontigary Farm, 7 Reigate Rd, Surrey.

Carpentry, Joinery and Cabinet / Furniture Maker

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Contact Colin.

TEL: 07771538154
Contact me.

hand crafted wooden chair.

Elm chair

The tree was sold as part of the Chequers Public House in 1722. In the 1960s was home to a charitible tramp, who could live there becuase the tree was deemed to be on Common Land. Unfortunately the elm's life came to an end in February 2008,when it collapsed to the ground after probably a thousand years of life. (Sold in 2011. ) The chair has to be seen to be believed. It is vast in size, measuring around two metres wide and more than two metres tall. It is a truly majestic chair created from the remains of a tree with a fascinating and well-documented history.A brief history of the chap who lived in the tree: The original tree. Charlie Knowles was a colourful character in Horley during the 1960s, not only because of his white beard and his sporty grey top hat, but also where on numerous occasions he spent his nights. For almost two years he slept under the remaining elm tree in the car park of the then "Chequers Hotel", now the "Gatwick Thistle Hotel". One reason for doing so was said to be his belief that the tree was on Horley Common and he wanted to exercise his right to use the common. Hotel client's as well as the staff employed there became accustomed to his presence, the last mentioned often plied him with food and offered him shelter during bad weather. Charlie often walked many miles, mainly for charity and it was on one such walk at the age of 53 years he was knocked down and killed. He was taking part in a June London to Brighton charity walk when it happened at Hooley. Many who knew and respected him always called him Cheerful Charlie and willingly clubbed together to buy a wreath for his funeral. For years after many Horley residents and others from elsewhere enquired about the cheerful chappy who slept under tree.
beautiful wooden chairs.

White Sycamore Doorman’s chair

This chair, made from sycamore was ‘spalted’ by fungus – this gives an effect that makes the wood look rippled with chocolate, particularly beautiful in such a light coloured wood. Honey fungus begins to rot the wood, the dead layer is removed in the making process and when polished this wonderful marking is revealed. (SOLD) Totally unique hand carved chairs from Colin Ford.


Small Elm Chair

This elm chair, has intricate carving detail and is ideal for a smaller space. The elm grain is always a delight, but sadly shows us what we have lost to Dutch Elm Disease. It is wonderful to preserve a piece of this timber for future generations to appreciate. (SOLD)Totally unique hand carved chairs from Colin Ford
stately chair.

The making process

After roughly cutting the log with a chainsaw, the wood inside the hollow log is carefully cut away. The wood is then left to season, giving me time to consider the design of the chair. The shape is then carved using an arbortech saw; this is a disc cutter with a blade similar to that of a chainsaw. At this stage the shape of the chair can also be altered using steam bending. The final process is to sand, going down the grain sizes to eradicate scratches while maintaining the tactile nature of the original tree. The wood is then finished using either oil or wax. As you'd expect from an entirely natural, recyled material, there are often faults in the wood that manifest themselves during this process. The picture on the right shows one very elegant remedy - the use of custom-designed wrought iron braces to strengthen the chair.SOLD

Colin's work can often be seen at the many wood and country shows throughout the year.

A small selection of our carpentry / joinery.

Hand crafted at our Reigate workshop in Surrey.

Bespoke door

Custom door.

Wooden windows

In house design.

Gothic door

curved door.

interior design

Interior shelving

made to measure.

special gates

Hand made gates.

Exterior gates

Stylish stairs and cupboards.

Installation service available.

special gates


Custom bathroom parts

special gates

Hand made large windows.

Bespoke wooden windows.

curved dormer window.

Hand made dormer.

Bespoke dormer windows