The dovetail is one of the most integral parts of furniture construction.
The word dovetail dates back to the 16th century. It’s from dove (n.) + tail. So called from resemblance of shape in the tenon or mortise of the joints to that of the bird’s tailfeather display.
The dovetail dates back to the Egyptians of the First Dynasty(3000 to 2800 BCE) and was used for entombed royalty and wealthy nobles with handcrafted furniture using the dovetail joint.
Archaeological finds in Chinese Emperor tombs dating BCE also reveal the dovetail joint in use in this oldest of existing cultures.
Bywater Design are extremely proud to be the official heritage furniture restorer for the
Brisbane City Hall Restoration Project. During the past months, we have been very busy restoring the wonderful furniture in City Hall. Many of these pieces date back hundreds of years and carry with them so much history and character.
A wonderful slice of history involved in the restoration project, was the repair and regilding of this wonderful Gold Mirror.
Dating back to the 1800′s, the 24 carat gold mirror originally from Europe was bequeathed to City Hall and now after a detailed repair and restoration this commanding and majestic piece, which incidentally stands over 2 meters high, now takes pride and place in the newly refurbished Media Room in Brisane City Hall.
Also included in the many facets of this project was The Restoration of The Coronation Chair for Queen Elizabeths II’s Visit to Australia in 1953 .
We look forward to sharing more photos and stories on the Brisbane City Hall Restoration Project, including the wonderful refurbishment of the original Shingle Inn Booths .
An Eckbank is a German phrase for Corner Bench or Seat. This functional design is a smart and stylish way to have a dining setting when space is comprised.
By using Solid Hoop Pine , Stuart designed a contemporary corner setting for this Inner Brisbane Home. With the addition of a wonderful contrasting fabric, the Eckbank stands as a stylish yet practical addition to the dining room.
Bywater Design recently completed work on a very modern, functional yet stylish bedroom suite for an inner city home.
The clients wanted a minimalist design but to house special features such as;
The bed to appear as if it was floating
Runway lights along one side of the bed
A pop up tv at the foot of the bed (where it can easily be hidden or used at the flick of a switch)
A rich dark timber to accentuate the clean lines.
The clients were ecstatic with the finished product and loved the choice of timbers – Cambia and European Beech. Cambia is a highly practical timber; its thermal modification process ensures its longevity especially in humid conditions such as Brisbane. Ash that has been treated this way is an ideal choice given that it mimics many tropical hardwood species yet not at the cost of rainforest timbers.
It’s great to see students working on their projects outside of class hours…
Bruce recently completed this wonderful Silky Oak Bar.
Congratulations Bruce – it looks great. We will be over for drinks soon …
Combining his love of both surfing and woodwork…Stuart was very excited when approached to restore an Australian classic 1950′s wooden hollow surfboard…
The board as shown below was in a fairly bad state of disrepair and needed significant restoration and restructuring.
This fantastic retro board is an Okinuee . The Okinuee, is the Australian version of the iconic Malibu Surfboard. These surfboards were first made just after The Melbourne Olympics in 1956, when Aussie surfers, unable to source Balsawood used Hollowed Plywood instead and so the Okinuee was born.
The only distinguishing future on this particular Okinuee is the name Babs ;inscribed on the front…. The name is most likely to have been a tribute to the maker or the surfer for his girlfriend /wife… lucky Babs !!
The extensive restoration and repair process included; repair and reglue centre structure, repair to centre rails, modifications to the crossbeam, nose and tail sections to secure the main frame. Plywood panels were then fixed with screws and glue, and a draining plug added.
An extensive sand, and repolish completed the overhaul of Babs.
With the onset of winter, the temperature drops and so does the humidity. With these changes, timber furniture can dry out and possibly split in various places…
You can avoid this by using a suitable furniture wax to promote and keep moisture in the grain. Simply wax on with a clean dry cloth and then wax off any excess, doing this a few times during winter will noticeably enhance your furniture and keep it in pristine condition.
If you are unsure of which wax to use, or you would like to purchase some of our furniture wax please call us on
PH: 3256 9000 or e; firstname.lastname@example.org and we would love to help you .
From the ashes of the Industrial Revolution , the Modern Age moved furniture production out of small workshops and into factories for mass production on a grand scale.
Arguably, the first Modern piece of furniture mass-produced was by Prussian furniture maker Michael Thonet (1796-1871)
After 25 years experimenting with bending steamed wood and producing innovative “bentwood” furniture, Michael Thonet and his sons created the No. 14 as the first mass-produced seating furniture on the market. Going into production in 1859 , this chair has become a certified design classic, selling more than 50 million units between 1860 and 1930..
Today this iconic chair is produced in various styles, materials right across the globe.
At Bywater Design, we proudly offer a wide variety of finishes for both our restoration and custom making pieces.
Certain circumstances may dictate a particular finish, but in a number of areas especially with furniture production there is a wide range of options available.
Most recently we have seen a big demand for 2pak finishes. 2pak polyurethane
This 2 part finish is a non yellowing finish with outstanding resistance to most elements, and can take a considerable amount of wear and tear.
It has excellent durability to UV thus providing maximum gloss and colour retention. The fact that this finish can be made up in most any colour or hue makes it ideal for colour matching existing furniture or highlighting focal points in the home/office/restaurant .
Some outstanding recent 2pak finishes completed in the workshop…
For any questions or further information regarding 2pak finish please do not hesitate to call us on PH: 3256 9000
Bywater Design are proud to participate in the celebration of the hundred year anniversary of The Anglican Church Grammar School Churchie; in addition to previous work we completed; shown here , we were delighted to have recently completed work on 2 Mahogany (plantation) Sideboards
These sideboards would be made to match existing furniture and to include 16 traditional carvings.
Carvings are a wonderful addition to selected furniture pieces, they highlight the design, create a sense of drama and formality and their design can be based on a coat of arms, heirloom, flora etc thus evoking a deep sense of history and character within the piece.
Stuart was very happy to take up the wonderful challenge and opportunity of hand carving each of these 16 carvings.. .