Caucasian Elm cabinet

I was called by a chap with the unusual name of Tofer… “I am head gardner at this house just outside London” he said, “would you like to have part of an unusual elm tree that has just come down in the gales”.

“Maybe” I said, knowing that there are elm trees and there are elm trees.

“This one is unusual because it probably went in during the planting done here by Capability Brown in the 1700s”.

So I got my skates on and went up to see it. What happened was that about a third of the tree was on the ground. It was a odd tree as it grew like Yew, with several stems.
“Caucasian Elm is like Cherrywood but with the working characteristics of rosewood.”


Caucasian Elm is used by the Japanese for temples I later learned. A bit like Cherrywood but with the working characteristics of rosewood. None of this I knew but we took a punt and spent £2000 on moving the tree very carefully so as not to damage the lawn. A company more used to moving sculptures than trees did the job. Then cutting and stacking cost another grand. We did use odd bits of it over the years but i wanted to make something really special.
“would you like some furniture? I have some cracking timber that was grown in your grounds ”

This particular house is famous for the collection of the works of one of my great heroes Robert Adam. I wanted to make a piece to add to that collection. So I called the owner “would you like some furniture? I have some cracking timber that was grown in your grounds.”,

“Certainly,” came the response, “we are committed for the next couple of years, but do get back to me.”.


So here we are. I made this lovely little cabinet to show what we can do with this lovely timber. Watch this space


David established Rowden Atelier in 1995, a now world renowned fine woodworking school. Discover Rowden, the woodworking courses, and the work that students go on to do.

Looking for our woodworking courses? is the new home of Rowden Atelier Fine Woodworking School.

It is where you will now find all the information about our renowned fine woodworking courses, our ethos, and why our students go on to do so many great things. This site remains dedicated to the designs and work, of Rowden’s Founder; David Savage. If you are looking for our woodworking courses, please click here.