Tom Phillips Woodworks
~ Ashland, Oregon ~
My small shop is dedicated to providing quality-built custom furniture for homes and offices, designing pieces that match existing decor, solve particular spatial situations, and create a special relationship between beautiful woods, daily functions, and people. Every project is an opportunity to evaluate your style preferences, site requirements, and budget to select the appropriate combination of techniques and materials.
I opened my shop in 1978 with little training in the use of stationary machinery, and had to learn from experience, books, and friends. During the summer of 1980, I attended a month-long seminar in Mendocino, California, presented by the Mendocino Woodworkers Association and taught by master craftsman James Krenov, who had apprenticed in the European tradition in Sweden. This solidified my skills with hand and power tools, as each student built their own hand-planes and a small coopered (curved) door cabinet. My design eye was encouraged to use patterns in boards to enhance and unify the whole piece.
Returning to my own shop in Ashland, Oregon, challenged me to incorporate Krenov's refined approach into work in my shop. Also, as I enjoy working with the natural shapes of slab-cut boards, it has been exciting to create ways of presenting organic forms in a fine furniture setting. During these thirty years I have built many one-of-a-kind products, including tables, beds, dressers, desks, shelving, chairs, benches, staircases, and cabinets. My wood-shed is stacked with Black Walnut, White and Black Oak, Bigleaf Maple, Myrtle, Madrone, and other woods waiting for the right project.
The examples of my work shown here represent my tendency to work with solid, full-dimension woods, using traditional joinery methods and hand tooled details when appropriate. Rough lumber is milled to even dimensions, then panels and thick veneers can be resawn for matching grain patterns. When all other parts have had their joinery cut, they are shaped to the style chosen. Final work with home-made hand-planes, spoke-shaves, chisels, and scrapers create definition to surfaces and prepare parts to be sanded carefully before finish is applied in several coats. I use air-dried woods for their subtle colors and workability, when available, and oil finishes that are mixed to provide durability and a smooth low luster surface. This process is adjusted for each job; for example, I can use more plywood to reduce material handling and joinery requirements, or build with hand-cut dovetails in full-width boards to continue the tradition of hand-made furnishings.
Please note that the final cost of any project will be determined by:
- time to design and construct the work to your specifications,
- requested materials and supplies, such as wood and hardware,
- any additional fees for crating, shipping, and insurance to deliver the work safely from Southern Oregon.
I hope that you find my work interesting. If you have any questions or requests, please contact me:
60 Fifth St., Ashland Oregon
by appointment only
Blanket Chest. Madrone, with hand-cut dovetails
Natural Edge Coffee Table. Western Birds-Eye Maple top, Eastern Black Walnut structure
Queen Bed-Frame. Oak posts & rails, Black Walnut slabs
Free-Form Writing Desk
Redwood Burl Table
Black Walnut Table with Birch Stretcher