Monday, 24 December 2012


Christmas eve, a few good Harcourt ciders down and Lise and I are slumped on the couch with a hot chocolate in hand. The last 24 days since we opened the shop have been interesting to say the least. From oval boxes to leather bags, hand made brushes to Sussex Truggs, even the odd refurbished axe, they've all headed out the door in the hands of happy customers. And the comments we have received have been quite humbling. Just yesterday a woman actually shook Lisa's hand after she wrapped up a brush and one of our oval boxes. She appreciated the time Lisa had taken to explain our ethos and the finer details of our products. I think it comes naturally when your passionate about what your doing. The nice part is those sort of comments are frequent and to us that means we're on the right track.

I cant say I expected to be making 50 odd oval boxes ( amongst other things ) in the last 3 weeks but despite the late nights trying to keep up with orders, I haven't regretted a minute. Not even at 10am yesterday when 'KB' placed her Xmas order for a special Perch for her Mum. Not usually the sort of thing I make overnight, but it's Christmas after all. Merry Christmas KB's Mum!

                               Kyneton Elm and Black Walnut, waiting for a good oiling........

We've had some great publicity too with articles in the local Guardian newspaper and the current issue of Town and Country Farmer magazine. Then last Monday we had the pleasure of spending a morning with Janis and her husband Rob. Janis and Rob come out to Australia from Vancouver, Canada every few years to visit Rob's family and came into the shop to have a look.  

Janis is the author of the well known Canadian Blogs 'Poppytalk' and 'Pinecone Camp,' as well as being a truly gifted photographer. With around 13,400 odd members at Poppytalk, perhaps well known is a bit of an understatement!  Have a look here at some of the shots Janis has taken of the laneways of Melbourne, they are truly spectacular. Millie even got her hairy little face on Poppytalk too, here. Who says you should never work with kids and animals!

Added to that, The Chairmakers Wife ( our little bar ) has received plenty of praise too for it's relaxed atmosphere and simple wine and cider selection. It's been another great way to meet some more of the locals, with people dropping in for a glass or two before dinner and often after dinner as well. I have to say I'm becoming quite partial to the Harcourt Cider. Hey, it's been hot in the workshop you know!

So before I put out the Brandy and mince pies for Father Christmas, Lisa, Tom and I would like to wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas and good health for the coming new year. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Boxing Day

Boxing Day came early this year. We had so many enquiries about Shaker oval boxes last weekend in the shop that I had to get back into the workshop and make some more.

I made up 3 No.5's, a couple of No.4's and a handful of No.2's and 1's.  As these little boxes are going to be a regular fixture in the shop ( and courses too ) I thought I'd best teach someone else how to make them, to lighten the load a little. So Lisa got a lightening quick tutorial on bending and tacking. Tomorrow they will get their top and bottoms fitted and pegged.

Best part of that was getting into our new workshop to make them. The first thing I've made there really. Another bonus was trying out a recent addition to the workshop. An old and very unique bench.

Made in The Hague in the Netherlands, this square bench has four factory fitted vises and is ringed by dog holes on all sides and in the faces of the vises. Four original wooden dogs came with it. Each vice also has a custom metal screw and heavily knurled nut, recessed into the face of the vise jaw. This nut can be wound out to mirror the thickness of what's being clamped. That way when clamping a narrow piece, the nut stops the vise from wracking and losing grip. Very flash.

It needs a good clean up and oiling but it should be just the thing for our Shaker Oval Box Classes for 2013. Millie the shop hound gave a nod of approval too.

For anyone looking for that ever elusive present for the person who has everything, why not get them a Rundell & Rundell Shaker Box Anvil !? Solid steel and not a hollow, tinny piece of pipe, these anvils are the ducks pyjamas for all box sizes from '0' to a No.7. Good for hollowing out hot dog rolls too!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

.... and cheers to you too!

It's been a little over a week since we threw open the doors to Rundell & Rundell. What an eye opener. We had an eclectic range of product in the shop. Our products, the work of some local artists and makers and also a few collectables that Lisa and I have picked up on our travels. Oh and some windsor chairs too.  A few things that we thought would sell didn't, some others that we thought might not, did. Long story short, I've been back in the workshop already making more stock. Lisa has as well, in fact I can hear the murmur of her sewing machine as I type.

 Austrian style 'Jause' Boards. So popular anyone would think people are eating them and        
                                                                    not from them ! 

I've had the odd email too. Ok, a lot of emails. Most ask for a photo or two on the blog of the inside of the shop. I'll get around to organising that soon. As soon as I find my camera, which I cant seem to find. With stuff strewn all over the place, I'm sure it's under a pile of sawdust somewhere.

But more importantly I wanted to give an update on some other R & R news. As most of you who follow the blog might know, work space has been an ad-hoc affair since our move to Kyneton. At first we had none, then after building a shed at the back of the cottage, we had and still have a small workspace. When I filled it with my workbench, cabinets, lathe and other machinery the small workspace became a whole lot smaller. With not enough room to sneeze and having to go outside to change your mind, it was an interesting experience.

So a few months back I took it upon myself to look about for a space to rent. An old factory, which I knew had been vacant for some time, came to mind and I made some enquiries. After speaking with the owner I found that it was beyond our means and so went and had a coffee to rethink the issue. 

My neighbour Joe happened to be in the cafe and we had a chat about lack of workspaces. Joe was in the same boat and being a builder, was looking for a workspace too. We both revisited the factory and I'm very happy to say that we have now co-leased the space. It's an amazing workspace to say the least. In fact the shed space alone is immense. Add to that a separate room ( air conditioned and with wood heater ) for hand tool work and running classes. There is also a large yard to the side of the building with a spectacular Pin Oak providing plenty of shade. Just the thing for sitting under whilst on the shave horse! Best of all, it too is only a short stroll from Piper Street and great coffee.

Whilst on the subject of the workshop, both Joe and I have some grand plans for the space, given its size. I won't go into great detail now, but it revolves around others utilising space in the workshop to work at their own chosen trades and crafts. A little like a communal hub for like minded trades people. We've already had some really positive enquiries from people who would like to ply their trade there, so exciting times are ahead! 

Finally, workshop wise, I have sent out the workshop overview email to the dozens of people who have enquired about a course for the new year. If you haven't received that email or would like to, please let me know and I will forward it to you. Our course dates for 2013 will be released on the 1st of January, 2013. We expect to be running at least 2 varied courses a month, time permitting and other chair courses at pre-arranged times too.

One more thing. Next time you're passing through, call in for a drink at the bar! Yes that's right, the bar. At 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays, ( Thurs - Sun after Xmas ) Rundell & Rundell Chairmakers transforms into...... The Chairmakers Wife, a little bar serving wine and local cider by the glass ( and bottle if you're so inclined ) and the odd beer and sparkling too. It's a great spot for a drink, after work, after a long drive, after a great meal else where on Piper Street or even after one of our classes! Another reason to call in and say hello. Cheers!

Sunday, 2 December 2012


This afternoon Lisa and I took a good, deep, breath, ......then exhaled. The past week has been a complete blur. Days flowed into nights and then into the early morning. But just after 10am yesterday morning we opened the door to our shop in Piper Street, Kyneton. It's been a long held dream of ours for as long as either of us can remember, to have a space of our own where we can share the things we make and the things we've found in our travels with others. To have it finally come to fruition is something we are both very proud of.

We had so many positive comments from those who came into the shop too. Both locals and those visiting town. So thank you to all those who came through the door and visited with us. We're grateful for your support and kind words.

As well as putting in a lot of hard work ourselves, we have more than a few people to thank for getting us over the line, as it were. Immediate family and friends, too numerous to mention, but they know who they are.Thank you. Having people who have faith in what you are doing and supporting you along the way strengthens your resolve and there is no doubt it has done so for us. 

This afternoon after we closed the doors on a weekends trade I went and mowed the lawns. A simple and welcome distraction from a hectic week . Lisa and Tom spent some time in the garden, taking in how well everything is growing. The last time I stopped to look at the red currents, they were very green. There'll be more time now for simple pleasures.

We hope that you call in and say hello if you're in our neck of the woods. We'd be happy to see you.