Behind the scenes in the Dovetailors furniture workshop


Running a busy furniture workshop demands teamwork and we’re fortunate to have a committed and talented group of people here at Dovetailors to make that possible. Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes and an insight into how we guarantee quality and excellence for our private and commercial customers.

It starts with design


Our creative director David is never happier than when he’s working with a customer to bring their ideas to life. As well as being a highly experienced furniture designer, David has a PhD in engineering and understands the technical side as well as the aesthetics.

It doesn’t matter how vague an idea someone might have for a piece of furniture or a new kitchen. David has a knack for taking those random thoughts and creating a solid plan.

When it comes to working with commercial product designers, David becomes part of their design team, evolving concepts or using his technical and manufacturing expertise to help them find the most cost-effective way of producing products and components.

David can also work with businesses and product developers to manufacture specialist wood components and small batch manufacturing of components for capsule collections or trial products.


Finding solutions

Dovetailors - the bespoke wood designer - teamDavid’s engineering background means he approaches everything from a problem solving perspective. Thanks to advances in technology, the furniture making skills of our team need know very few boundaries.

Our ability to work creatively like this brings us a lot of work from innovative companies such as contemporary furniture retailers who are looking for a studio to help them make prototypes of new products. Sometimes they send the design for us to make, sometimes we do the CAD work too.

We look at innovations in material, shape and creating movement in the wood. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we are known for our expertise in curved furniture and wood components.

All hands on deck

Dovetailors Team - Charlotte Fitzpatrick - Trainee Furniture Maker

When the designs have been signed off by our customer, our team is ready to go into full production.

Sometimes that means creating a bespoke product to a customer’s exact specification such as a made to measure chest of drawers in a style that the customer just can’t find in the shops. We have made coffee tables, benches, blanket boxes, extending dining tables, curved pieces of furniture and shelving, to name just a few

dovetailors workshop

When it comes to manufacturing fitted furniture, David’s design work involves careful measurement and close liaison with the customer to make sure we have all the information we need to build everything in the workshop. Very little work is done at the customer’s home – we simply arrive with the completed furniture and put it in place.

This applies to fitted kitchens, fitted bedrooms, bespoke bathroom furniture, made to measure studies, cabin beds and attic room furniture. It means we can keep as much of the mess and disruption in the workshop and as little as possible in the customer’s home.


Church furniture and special projects


We have a strong reputation for our ecclesiastical work and the care and attention to detail that is required for this type of work means it suits us down to the ground.

We are always humbled by the prospect of designing and making something that will be used by communities in buildings that have been serving them for many generations. The historic setting and solemn purpose makes these projects particularly rewarding.



CNC work

We are Master Craftsmen and have a huge amount of experience in traditional woodworking techniques. We also love technology and use state-of-the-art computer assisted design facilities (CAD, CAM and CNC) to enable us to manufacture precise, reliable frames and components for our clients.

Our CNC technology allows us to work efficiently and it also means small batch jobs are not a problem. We can manufacture a few prototypes or hundreds of precision wood components depending on our customer’s need.

Agile processes

Thanks to Emmanuelle’s project management skills, our customer service extends to our admin capability as well as our product design and making.

When we are one part of a much bigger production line, our commercial clients need to be able to access the right information at the right time during the production process.

Our systems are designed to provide the information they need when they need it so that they don’t have to keep asking where things are or when they will be ready.

Emmanuelle always knows which production line a component is heading for once it leaves our workshop. Our project management is also extremely agile so that our systems can be adapted to match the style and demands of the customer’s systems.


So, as you can see, life in the Dovetailors workshop is always varied, challenging and exciting. We welcome visits from prospective customers, whether you’re looking for something special for your home, a commercial or ecclesiastical design and manufacturing partner or small batch production through our CNC machine. We’re also happy to share our knowledge and experience when it comes to developing the most cost-effective production processes.