My latest project...

12 June 2015, Arts, events and places, Would you like to leave a comment?

As you can probably guess, I’ve been incredibly busy at the moment – much to the detriment of my blog! However, I’ve enclosed a sneak preview of some pieces I’m making for the opening of Soho farmhouse in Oxfordshire…

This really is a fantastic project and I’m delighted to be working with celebrity chef Tom Aikens again. I’ll be posting all the details soon, but here’s some photo’s of the serving boards, which are part of the final order. They all have natural edges and are made from a variety of timbers.

Two serving boards will be made from this elm plank. I’m using the inshave to sculpt one of the edges…


A selection of boards cut to shape – waiting for the edges to be finished on the sander…


The top image shows a few of the completed boards. The finished project will consist of range of serving boards and bowls, numbering over 140 pieces in total.

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

Your comments

  1. Gravatar of Richie McBride
    Richie McBride6 January 2016 11:39

    Hi Jonathon
    Funny how you find people on the web, your work was on an Austrian would turning and instrument making college website linked to by a guy who liked one of my Facebook pages!
    Anyway, I've recently done similar boards in Wych elm I felled some years back, all barn dry now. Do you kiln dry yours then use winding sticks to flatten or is it straight through the thicknesser?
    Also, I'm intrigued at your inshave detail, really picked out the figure in the board on your bench, inn guessing that's what you did there, does it have a practical application? Final query, Yew as a chopping board, fui you know something I don't with regards to the toxins? Sorry to take so much time up, your work is very accomplished and I like your social networking and the fact you've pulled some nice contracts. I might even get one of my two lathes going and learn the craft! Inspiring! Cheers ?? Richie

  2. Gravatar of Jonathan Leech
    Jonathan Leech6 January 2016 19:45

    Hi Richie,
    It's amazing how effective networking is! - my next step is to include a Facebook page, which is something I've been meaning to do for ages.
    Most of the planked hardwood I use has been sourced from my local timber yard (DF Timber). They have a drying kiln on site, which makes things so much easier. I tend to surface plane the boards first before thicknessing, as this produces a flatter finish.
    The inshave detailing was intended to mimic a natural edge, as the customer wanted natural edges on both sides of the board. However, I've been quite pleased with the effect and also use a wire brush to create a more organic look.
    I've tried to find information on yew toxins without much success - even when I've googled 'death by yew poisoning' or similar! I think the dangerous chemical is called taxine and is present in the sap. Over the last ten years I've ingested plenty of yew sap and shavings and am still pretty much alive! As with all woods, I think the dust is the main problem.
    I'm so pleased you enjoy the blog - I was even taking photo's today for the next post!
    All the best

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