The finest craftsmanship in solid wood.

 

Mark Hennebury                   Designer / Maker  and professional Tinkerer

Born in The South of England where my interest in making things began early: I built bicycles out of scrounged parts, I made slingshots, knives, long- bows ,  crossbows even made my own bolts and arrows which I fletched with turkey feathers from the local turkey farm and arrow tips that I made out of  tubing hammered and filed to points. The crossbows were not toys; with 100LB pull bow-prods purchased from B&P Barnet they could put a bolt tip through 2" of solid pine. The trigger mechanism was all hand made at the school metal-shop and the wooden stock I made at the school woodshop. I made a tin can launching device for slingshot target practice. So I guess making stuff is in my DNA.

I have been a woodworker since I was a kid playing around in my father's workshop. I have worked in my own shops since the seventies, mostly designing and building solid wood furniture. In the early seventies I did some work on boats both wooden and fiber glass, I took a lofting course and made wooden plugs and moulds for fishing boats up to 42" long, and outfitted yachts and refurbished the 50ft long racing boats for the St John's Regatta in Newfoundland.

Since then I have done furniture, doors and windows, some of my design and some pieces designed by others, I have made pieces in the style of some of the famous woodworkers of the time, such as James krenov, George Nakashima, and Sam Maloof, Edward Barnsley I have been influenced by their passion and approach and have learned a lot from experimenting with their styles and methods. I particularly like the Arts and Crafts style and the Traditional Japanese approach to joinery.

I have tried to pass on my passion for designing and building by teaching, and have taught over 400 students, mostly  hobbyists in a night-class setting at my own shop usually  with 8 students per class. I have also run a few training programs for up to 20 or so students for employment training. My classes were always  based on imparting a thorough understanding of wood structure, tools and referencing procedures so that students had a good basis to proceed in their own direction.

My interests were in understanding wood, joinery, tool design and efficient machining processes. I have devoted a lot of time to studying these elements and the relationships between them. My knowledge of wood structure and engineering principles has led me through much experimenting to design exceptionally strong and unique joinery.

My fascination and constant experimentation with cutting tools has given me a deep understanding of tool geometry resulting in many improvements to standard tooling. I have owned and used many metal shop machines including milling machines and tool and cutter grinders. Progressing from bench top hobby shop machines to top of the line high precision Hembrug tool and cutter grinder from Holland and Marunaka straight knife combination grinder/lappers for producing true mirror finishes on cutting tools. As I progressed to better machinery I needed better grinding wheels, when I couldn't find fine enough wheels available I  had them custom -made, ultra-fine 10 micron diamond and boron wheels made for the Hembrug grinder, this gave me the ability to put incredible edges on my router bits and in turn produce incredible finished surfaces on the wood.

I have spent a lot of time fine tuning and rebuilding various machines, including designing of electrical control systems and pneumatic / hydraulic systems. I have designed and build several fully automated machines for production of wood and metal components. These machines are original designs that comprise of mechanical, electrical and pneumatic components. The machines are fully automated and operate on an electrical relay controlled sequential operation that I designed. 

I am a tinkerer at heart and have been designing and modifying all manner of things since I was a kid. I am constantly doodling and sketching ideas for new designs of a wide range of things that interest me.

 I enjoy the challenges of figuring things out and found the computer a particularly challenging environment. Being used to working on mechanical problems where I could see what was going on, the computer was out of my comfort zone, but none the less intriguing so I persevered and have become quite comfortable working with my computer. I have installed and run hundreds of different programs and do maintenance and troubleshooting on my computer. I built my own website from scratch in Front Page and have embedded video players, links photos etc,  and currently have over 20 videos on my YouTube channel.

I really felt like I was at home when in 2003 I first got to use Solid Works 3D mechanical design program. I was able to take ideas and designs that all my life I have worked on in my mind and easily translate them into 3D models on my computer. It was and is a fascinating experience. For the past eight or nine years I have been using  solid Works and have designed or re-designed all many of things from woodworking joinery , router bits, saw-blades, machinery, wind turbines, razors, knock-down furniture, physical rehabilitation equipment, mechanical lock-out safety switches, snow dams for commercial roofs. etc.... and  I now have thousands of 3D models on my computer that I hope someday to start turning into real products.

www.solidwoodmachinery.com   mark@solidwoodmachinery.com

 

  -  Specializing in custom made solid wood doors  and tables -

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Below is a sample of some of the  things that I have made over the years.

 
Joinery Tables Chairs Cabinets Miscellaneous

Doors

 

 

 

Earlier  this  year  I  happened  to  open  my  copy  of  WFD  from  Taiwan  to  find  that

 someone  had  decided  to  use  the  photo  of  my  pedestal  base  joinery  for  the

 poster  advertising  the  Eumabois  European  machinery  manufacturers  exhibition

 in India  without  asking  me  or  crediting  me. 

It's like a pat on the back and kick in the arse at the same time.