Old Joinery books and woodworking plans

I love books and I love making all manner of things out of timber, so what could possibly be better than old joinery books?

I say old joinery books, as the newer ones, in my opinion, are ok and do the job, however, the older books cover a much broader range of woodwork than the current ones – take Ecclesiastical work or bridge building, for example, which I love reading about.

Things, however, move on and this is indeed mirrored in the joinery books I had for college, which at the basic level covered woodworking joints, tools etc; then First, Second and Final fix joinery; and then in the Advanced Craft Stage of my City and Guilds workshop joinery and machining.

I’m starting to build up a bit of a collection of the older books; it all started when my dad presented me with his series of carpentry and joinery books, from his time as an apprentice in the 1960s, when I first started at college in the early 1990s. He gave me them after flicking through my series of three books and not being very impressed, with what was covered by the lack of depth to the lacking content.

Some of my old joinery books

Ted Westie swotting up (sleeping!) with his joinery homework!

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My Oak has gone black! How do I remove the staining?

Ever since I wrote the guide to painting or staining gates and doors, I’ve been emailed or phoned hundreds of times about a problem a lot of people (not our customers, I must add) are having with their products, be it garage doors, front doors, gates and even garden furniture usually in Oak.

It usually something like: my Oak gates or garage doors have gone black and is this normal? Why have they gone black and is there anything I can do about it?

Black stained Oak

For example (the picture above accompanied this email):

Good evening,
I wonder if you wouldn’t mind giving me some advice.
I purchased some Oak gates in 2013 and since then, I have been treating them with Cuprinol Teak Oil every year. Over time, they have lost their colour (see photographs attached).
Does this look like natural weathering or is the wood infected with a fungus and in need of washing with a fungicide or mild detergent?
To restore them, would I need to sand down or just apply a good quality stain?
I would be grateful for any help you can give.

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How to make a bird box that brings birds to your home
Nesting bird box fixed to wall

How To Make a Bird Box: Build this Nesting Box to Bring Birds To Your Home

A nesting box is more than likely the easiest thing you could hope to make out of timber; it’s basically just cutting wood and screwing (or nailing) the box together, but if you like your projects to be very rewarding, give it time and you may have some new visitors to your garden. Birds!

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Gate Locks for Wooden Gates & Garage Doors: A Guide

There’s quite a choice of locks for wooden gates and side hinged wooden garage doors, ranging from the simple-to-fit to locks that are harder to fit (but more secure).

In this guide, we round up the best of those available and give you the pros and cons of each!

Use the table of contents below to skip to the information you need:

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New ironmongery shop is open for business!

On and off over the years (probably more on than off!), we’ve been asked, either via email or over the telephone, whether we could possibly sell a pair of gate hinges, a ring latch or a pair of garage door holders etc on their own and not with a gate or garage door (and yes we could and yes we did!). Why did we never actually think *lightbulb moment*?

Why not start an online shop selling the gate and garage door ironmongery we actually use!

I couldn’t possibly answer and why we never actually started one, I don’t know!

A Westie with some gate hinges

Ted Westie is waiting to take your order!

Help us keep our new “Ironmongery Operations Chief” in his newly promoted role…

Well, he has to earn his keep somehow! He likes ‘working with’ the postman, so we thought this was an ideal role for him…*

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Garage doors for sale – a buying guide

There is a vast array of timber garage doors on the market, from different timbers to different methods of operation; this guide is specifically for side-hinged garage doors, sliding garage doors and bi-folding garage doors.

We do not make up-and-over garage doors, these are manufactured differently, usually as lightweight as possible and based on a metal framework, so these doors are not covered in this guide.


Garage door or gate?
Wood is wood, right?
Letting your garage doors weather naturally
Construction methods
Types of garage doors
Full thickness bottom rails
Mortice & tenon jointed doors
Proper wedged Mortice & tenon jointed doors

Adding the T&G boarding
Panelled garage doors
Do the doors overlap when closed?
Garage doors with windows
Hinges, locks, ironmongery
Garage door frames – Cill, sill or not?
Garage doors for oak garages
Garage door for car ports

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Introducing the Wood Durability Guide: A Database & Infographics about Timber Durability

We’ve put together a handy little resource about Wood Durability, including a database with durability ratings by timber. When finding the right timber for our gates and garage doors, we look at durability and find a suitable class – the database will be useful for whatever you’re planning to create.

There are also some Wood Durability Infographics, which go into detail on what affects durability and displays ratings in a quick-reference style.

Find the Wood Durability Database here!


Removing small dents from wood

It’s all too easy when working with timber to damage it, for example, missing with your hammer and leaving hammer rash all over your nicely planed timber. So, what’s the best way to go about removing dents from wood?

Well, we could use some filler; if the timber is being painted then it’s not going to show, but if the finished piece is going to be stained, oiled or left un-coated, then the filler is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

We could sand the timber down to get rid of the indentation, however, if you’re already at your finished thickness then this will reduce the thickness of the timber, and if you’ve got a big indentation, then your nice flat timber surface will more than likely end up slightly dipped, as you concentrate sanding in the area of the dent.

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