Creating bespoke, handmade timber pieces that are unique to you and your home.
Touchwood Craft creates bespoke, handmade timber pieces that are unique to you and your home. Our portfolio includes signage, bird tables, toy skips, wall plaques, wine butlers, gin racks and much, much more. One of our pieces can really transform your home and update a room, making it personal to you. Our business, which has a workshop in Staintondale, started with the creation of a single mud kitchen. We combined our expertise and knowledge to create a mud kitchen that would last, be completely safe and cost effective.
From there, friends and family asked us to create things for them and Touchwood Craft arrived!
Who Are We?
We are a partnership in life and work. Touchwood Craft is our creative business here in Yorkshire. Keith is from Scotland where he learnt to work with wood.
Chloe comes from Scarborough and provides the creative aspect to Touchwood Craft. We have two daughters who are our joy and inspiration.
What’s In A Name?
Touchwood Craft has a unique, poignant story behind its name.
When Chloe was 20 weeks pregnant, she was rushed to hospital and given the devastating news that she could lose her baby. Chloe said: “I was kept in hospital for seven weeks with full bed rest even though there was an 80% chance that we’d lose our daughter.
“Every night, we would say: ‘Touchwood, see you tomorrow’ as every day counted and was a day nearer to baby arriving safely into the world. “Thankfully, baby made it, she’s healthy and she also has a younger sister.
“Our business name came from our lucky phrase and the love we have for Touchwood Crafts is captured in everything we create.”
How Did Touchwood Craft Begin?
We decided to use pallet wood in the beginning. However, we soon discovered the quality of the timber wasn’t good enough and some pallet woods can even become toxic. We then decided to work with fresh timber which is either freshly pressed or cut.
We specialise in cabinetry, bespoke racks, dart boards, pet beds, games and seasonal items. In the beginning, the painting was completed on our kitchen table!
We use a high-quality varnish to preserve the timber. The brand we use is also child and pet friendly. We don’t use lasers or CNC machines: everything we create is made by hand for that completely unique finish.
We always welcome commissions, new ideas and we really love a challenge!
We use dressed red pine, oak, ash, mahogany, tulip and beech.
Each wood has its own grain and texture and we love working with these differences and creating something truly special.
For example, red pine has a straight grain with an even texture. Oak is a deciduous tree and has a medium coarse grain. Mahogany has a reddish-brown colour and is a hardwood. We sometimes use live woods, which still have the original bark on them.
Each piece is carefully selected and continues to be enjoyed and used as another unique wooden creation.
We also welcome orders for larger furniture items such as tabletops. For this we use special joints called bread board joints and use dowels to hold them together.
If we use hardwood planks and find running cracks along them, then we use a bowtie or a zip to hold the timber together and prevent the crack from getting wider. These look amazing and add to the quality of the overall finish.
Traditional Joinery Techniques
Joinery is a time-honoured skill that is still apprenticed today. Good joiners enjoy working with wood and understand its characteristics.
Here at Touchwood Craft, we try not to use screws or nails as timber usually lends itself to careful joints which are more sympathetic to the overall look.
Making different joints can be skilled process and include: half laps, shiplap, mortise-and-tenon, half housing, dovetails, miter and wedge dowel, biscuit, gusset and others ensure close joints are created without any gaps.
These joints types are learned over time and require a high level of skill.
Tools for Timberwork
The best tool for joinery work are usually operated by the human hand and we use these tools as much as possible. This shows a joiner’s pride in his or her work. We have invested in our business by purchasing specialist Japanese handsaws and chisels. These make for a much better finish and are more accurate than other cutting techniques.
We don’t have any fancy machinery such as CNC or lasers. While these types of equipment have their place, we believe each piece of wood is totally unique. We cut every shape with a jigsaw and then use a small hand-held router so we can create profiles on individual items.
If names are needed, we draw them on and the use the hand router – a steady hand is required! Other tools we use include a small trend router table if mouldings are required. These usually go around edges of items to present a smoother, soft finish and avoid pointy right angles.