My name is Andrew Humphreys. I had the pleasure of working with Steve for 13 years at Lancaster & Tomkinson. I would say that Steve is an old school cabinet maker with a wealth of knowledge and abilities. If you can learn half of what Steve knows you will become a well rounded craftsman.
I’m lucky enough to own a beautiful contemporary inlaid mantle clock handmade by Steve. He’s keen to share his time-served bespoke cabinet making skills with anyone who wants to learn and teach them craftsmanship to an exceptionally high standard.
Great workmanship, reliable, trustworthy and craftsmanship second to none - quality work !
Beginners/ Improver 4 day course.Having never had any formal woodworking education and never having worked with wood to produce anything where quality and appearance mattered, I found the 4 days of this course to be fascinating, I leaned a lot and it was fun. Steve did not assume any knowledge on my part and happily and clearly answered any questions however basic, and maybe obvious. Oak was the timber used for the table to be made but Steve also discussed other woods and gave the background to these and the properties that made them useful for certain roles. From here it was entirely hands-on, from how to sharpen the chisels and planes and use them correctly for accuracy ( not obvious), accurate marking, making the mortice and tenon joints to producing a professional finish and assembly. Working accurately was emphasised and was very satisfying when the joints fitted well ( though thank goodness rescue was possible when a joint was not so good — again a useful piece of knowledge). Learning the skills was a joy, not always easy but that is not the point. All the key stages were done by hand but where there was repetition machinery could be used to speed things along if needed after experience of carrying out the stage by hand. The pace was good, busy but with plenty of time for questions and discussion - Steve with his long experience has lots of advice and tips to help develop the skills. A very enjoyable and interesting 4 days - the table we made looks so good it seems unlikely, given my very limited experience with wood, that I had a part in its construction.
Beginner 2 day courseHad an amazing time with Steve at @dovetailwoodworking. He is an incredible woodworker with years of knowledge! For anyone that is looking to get a foot in the door with woodworking I couldn’t recommend Steve enough! He is truly amazing at his craft and is extremely good at teaching! Check him and his work out!
Taster DayThanks for a great day, it was informative, interesting, a great experience and your teaching style was just perfect for me - patient, friendly and relaxed. On top of all that I got to take home something I had made.
Improver/Advanced 2 day courseI recently attended a two-day woodworking course at Dovetail, Norbury Wharf. After an enjoyable drive through the beautiful Staffordshire countryside I arrived at the canal, down a narrow road which eventually delivered me to the thriving wharf. I was met by Steve and we headed for his workshop; artisan and woody! The workbenches were all hand-made and the tools traditional.I had enjoyed woodwork at school, but had done little since, so it was a joy to be re-acquainted with bench hooks, coping saws, rebating planes and so on. We had a chat about wood and its characteristics and I was amazed by Steve’s understanding of how different woods achieve the characteristics they do and how this influences how we can work them.We then set about making a box. Sounds simple, but this was a box that was dovetailed with a snug-fitting rebated lid and chamfered edge. It was quite challenging as my woodworking skills were very rusty indeed, but with Steve’s experienced advice and constant support it was an absolutely rewarding experience and resulted in (if I say so myself) a pretty decent outcome – which now sits proudly in the lounge. My artisanal efforts were interrupted by plenty of tea and biscuits and lunch in the tearoom/shop/chandlers a few yards up the wharf. It was a great couple of days and well worth it.
I have just spent two days with Steve making my very own work bench, what a great experience it was too. Steve is one of the nicest people you could meet, his knowledge and skill is second to none but more than that he wants to share that skill and knowledge with you.I am proud of what I achieved, under Steve’s excellent supervision and clear instructions I used tools and machinery I had never seen before let alone put my hands on, this gave me so much confidence and Steve’s calm, quiet instructions made me feel ten feet or 3.048m tall! (I don’t do metric) but this wasn’t a problem for Steve, he was happy to help me with this.I would say to anyone, if you are reading this then you probably have an interest or a dream to make something in wood that is your very own work. Grasp this opportunity to work with Steve of Dovetail Woodworking now, you won’t regret it.