John, the joiner

We follow his cue–when he takes tea, so do we.

When he puts his cup down, we trail him back to work.


His name is John.

He’s been a joiner at the Miles and Company Yard for 17 years now.


I caught up with John after a busy weekend in Bristol. The quiet efficiency of his shop was in stark contrast to city street parties and pub football.

But as much as I wanted to chat longer with him, I didn’t want to interrupt his day. He was very cordial while the awestruck American snapped a few photos.

This morning, he was working on a set of library doors for a flat in London. The doors are made of English oak. The grain is perfect all through the stiles, rails and panels.


Panels feature the characteristic “cat’s paw” so common in English oak. John book-matches the knot patterns to great effect.

We see cat’s paws daily in our hewing as well:


…and festooning oak trunks on our walk in the wood the other day–


Steady and sure, his work is of the highest quality.


Richard putting a light finish on one of John’s doors.

If Central Casting needed a traditional English joiner for one film or another, they would need to follow John around for a few days.

They would have to be prompt about their morning and afternoon teas, however.


I should be retired now…I’m 69 years. But I DO love my job. 



Tagged ,

5 thoughts on “John, the joiner

  1. graemeu says:

    Foresters take note: Fuzz is good

  2. Jason says:

    Great stuff Rick!

  3. Richard Law says:

    It looks really cosy and clean working indoors, I’d never hack it. [You mean sweeping up would just be too much effort? -Ed]

  4. justin says:

    Give me one more post before i am forced to leave this place. I swear i’ve got one more week in me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: