Here comes Summer

Here Comes Summer!

Of course, everyone loves it when the days get longer and the air gets warmer. The six months or so during British summertime when the clocks go forward have to be the best time to make furniture. From a pragmatic standpoint, there is one important point to note. You want to be working in a workshop that is as close to the environment your finished piece will end up in as is possible. This means pretty dry, and somewhere between 18 and 22 degrees celsius.

It is way harder to keep a large, open workshop at these levels during the winter months than during the summer. Physically, a warm cabinetmaker is a happy cabinetmaker! What this means is warm muscles using warm tools will produce high quality results more easily than when either or both are cold. So far, the impact of a cold, damp environment can be mitigated with good heating and insulation. What you can’t do anything about, though, is the level of natural light that filters through your workshop over the course of the day. Between May and September, our workshop at Rowden is bathed in natural light (when it’s not too cloudy!) for at least 13 hours a day.

Natural Light

Natural light brings a whole series of benefits. Most importantly, it shows the surface of wood way better than artificial light. This means you can see all and any imperfections far more easily. Whether it is a scratch from an abrasive or an inconsistent final finish, light equals power. In our experience, it is much easier to work longer hours without suffering from eye strain or tiredness during the summer. Quite simply, this just makes making furniture far more enjoyable. And if you’re working more efficiently, you are more productive (and potentially more profitable!)

Until next time,



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.

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