Furniture making Student

This is Kathy Mc Connell I met her when we ran a national competition for a “deserving” young woodworker. Thats a difficult word, deserving. We had a huge response, which is not surprising the prize was a tool chest made by Chris Schwarz and shed load of really good tools.

What made Kathy stick out was the way she grafted. Thats an old north country word, but it means a lot to us at Rowden Grafters are the good ones, they are the ones that work till they drop . Kathy had two jobs and then worked any spare moments in her bosses workshop. She had been badly let down by a college that promised her a degrees an illustrator but then could not teach the craft of illustration. Their idea was conceptual. Mother, please, give me rest from this gormeless nonsense.


So Kathy won the prize but we are soft as butter here. We thought what can we do to help this young woman? A three month course would do the trick but she hasn’t a penny to pay for it. So I put out an appeal . To those of you who sent a few quid I extend my hand in gratitude. To Mike Hancock at Classic Handtools I say Thank You for your very generous donation!

This is what Kathy did living cheap in a tent and work all hours for the past three months. We had Duncan Roberts with her pretty much riding shot gun all the way and we knew this would be a difficult deadline.


The first four weeks were taken with basic tool and techniques. Nobody gets past that at Rowden not even Kathy. That left her eight weeks to make this baby. If you are looking at this and thinking OOOOh I could do that in two months,  think again . Maybe you could make a cabinet of some sort but not as clean well polished with beautiful fit lines and well jointed drawers. This is made to Rowden standards, both Kathy and Duncan knew what that meant. And its in a blonde wood that shows all glue lines.

Kathy made her own problems she did the drawing, my brief was that it just had to have cabinet making classic problems drawers, closing stile, catches latches all the fun of the biz.



Its been fun having you Kathy and we already miss your cheerful happy presence. Any workshop that need a good improver get in touch I might know someone.

my very best to all of you who supported Kathy



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