Steve Walker

Ph. (03) 9458 2223

Custom Design by Steve Walker

Thanks for dropping in. I am a crafstman based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I offer custom woodwork and a one-off furniture design and construction service. I work hard to exceed expectations at a reasonable price.

As a designer, consultant and craftsman, who is involved in the production from start to finish, I can offer unique woodworking services in comparison to buying furniture from a showroom floor. Visit the Bits & Pieces page to gain a better understanding of the different methods for making furniture.

On this site you'll find examples of some of the work I've done. My hope is that you will get an idea of the possibilities. You'll also find a variety of other information and ideas on commissioning furniture. I hope the site is helpful and informative.

I'm always happy to discuss ideas, potential projects, and answer any questions you may have, so feel free to give me a call.

About

I love wood and I love inventing. I create unique pieces for individual clients and work with recycled and salvaged materials. I often find myself seeing furniture design with fresh eyes and seeing new possibilities for how the material can be used. I also enjoy incorporating other materials into my work from time to time, such as stainless steel and glass, where these materials perform a function or achieve an aesthetic in a way that timber cannot.

My particular skill lies in my ability to take a brief, project, or commission and execute it in a way that consistently meets client expectations regarding both form and function. In addition to my skill as a craftsman and attention to every detail, I also value good communication. I am both friendly and approachable, and have a lot of enthusiasm for my work and for your ideas.

What I offer

  • Furniture that is made using a combination of traditional hand tools and techniques, and some of the latest tools available
  • A high standard of technical skill
  • High level of adaptability as design and construction are both done in-house
  • A high level of finish
  • 10 year guarantee

Dedicated Workbenches

For the professional or serious hobbyist.

These benches can be made to your dimensions, i.e, length, width, height, top thickness, dog hole spacing and so on.

(If you have seen a cheap woodworking bench and think it will do what you want it to you probably don’t need one of these.)

I have developed this bench design for my own use over the past 12 years. It is very versatile and highly functional. A lot gets written about work benches. There are many types out there. Some have a long history and familiar name. Here are a few of the benefits of my custom workbenches.

The top (which can be from 65 to 75+ mm thick) and legs are made from extremely tough recycled Australian hardwood. There is plenty of thickness for periodic flattening of the top. This provides enough heft to have an extremely solid and settled feeling without being too thick.

The spaces between the legs give opportunity for the owner to adapt the bench to their requirements, for example, timber, component storage or tool storage

Plentiful dog holes allow quick clamping of components for face work and versatility for odd-shaped items. A finely set dog is easily retrieved as access to the bottom of the bench is unobstructed. There is no apron to get in the way.

Vices can be mounted anywhere around the bench. This allows for right or left hand use (I am left handed myself)

A standard F clamp can be used anywhere around the bench to its full depth unlike a bench with an apron.

Capped ends help give the bench stability in two ways: they help resist cupping and seal the end grain of the longitudinal members. The end caps also add to the aesthetic.

Excellent rigidity

Crisp square corners and edges. Woodworking benches should not have rounded or raised edges

The bench can be flat packed for transport if necessary.

These benches are simple effective and authentic. Their presence is a welcome addition to any workshop.

If you'd like to know more, please give me a call on (03) 9458 2223.

Contact Steve

People are often apprehensive when they contact me because they're not sure exactly what they want, and have very little idea how much it might cost. Neither of these need be a problem. Exactly what you want can be worked out in conversation.

The usual process when you commission a piece of furniture with me is that I come to you, I look at the place where it will sit, the furniture around it, and the style of the home. I consider which aspect of the piece will be prominent, and how it will be lit. I also take the opportunity to check access to the room in case the piece needs to be built in modules, and assess any particular requirements, for example storage of odd shaped or oversize items.

It's generally my practice to give a fixed price for each project before any cost to the client occurs.

Please feel free to give me a call on (03) 9458 2223 if you would like to discuss a potential project. If I can help you I will be pleased to do so.

Bits & Pieces

A bit about my philosophy

The pieces I create are highly functional. I am able to generate innovative solutions to technical problems. I seem to be able to marry aesthetics and function in ways which causes both to be enhanced simultaneously. This process is facilitated tremendously by the fact that I am the designer and the maker. I understand the concept, the functional requirements and the materials the piece will be created from. I understand not only the limitations but the possibilities of the materials to be used particularly in relation to timber. Form does not always follow function. At times innovative function flows from aesthetic ideas. An aesthetic concept can cause me to use different materials, or techniques or combinations of materials which in turn open up new functional possibilities. The functional and the aesthetic drive each other in a process of evolving innovation even as the piece is being made. New possibilities are often realised and details refined as the piece is being physically created.

Various Methods for making furniture

Furniture can be made via a number of different processes. I hope the following is useful in distinguishing some of the differences.

Manufactured

Primarily mass produced by machine in a production line setting.

Custom-made

Often means manufactured to your specifications. A standard design is reproduced with specific dimensions to suit your requirements.

Hand-made

An ambiguous term.

Individually made

Created one piece at a time. This is a slower, more organic process which allows the piece to be finessed and perhaps modified in small ways throughout the crafting process. Individually made pieces tend to have more personality. The slower pace allows for careful selection and appropriate placement of materials, resulting in a more balanced aesthetic.

Commissioned

Like starting with a blank sheet of paper, the piece is designed to suit an individual space and purpose and individually made to reflect a particular look, feel, or design philosophy as discussed with the client. The client provides various levels of input into this process.

Just a note: Much of the joinery I produce is individually made. Almost all the furniture is commissioned with varying levels of input from the client.