Jeff Segal Cabinetmaker - Handmade furniture in the Arts and Crafts tradition
Sweet chestnut logs

Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa), introduced into Britain by the Romans as a food crop, now used as an oak substitute


Native hardwoods

I work wherever possible in native British hardwoods from sustainable sources. British timbers have the character to produce furniture that is just as striking as many exotic species, but without damaging fragile environments or contributing to climate change.

Using native timber on a small scale also encourages good woodland management and benefits wildlife.

Sourcing timber

I select my material from small-scale specialist sawmills as close as possible to London to keep my “timber miles” and my carbon footprint to a minimum. The wood normally comes “waney-edged”, including the bark. I’ll often choose a board for its distinctive knots, blemishes and colouring, incorporating them as features rather than cutting them out as defects.

Milling and drying your own timber

One way of cutting down on costs, obtaining wood from sustainable sources and recycling a valuable resource is to saw and dry your own timber.

I've helped to mill and air-dry an ancient English oak that was felled in north London. I've also got wood in storage from milling a London plane tree that was cut down near my home.

In 2015 I formed a small venture with experts in woodland management and arboriculture to handle my sawmilling work and timber sales. It's called and you can read about it here. Please use the contact form to get in touch with me about milling trees into planks or buying quality hardwood.

Exotic woods and veneers

As a rule I won’t use any tropical timber except in a restoration project to match the original construction. Too many tropical timbers are endangered and extracting them causes serious environmental damage. And where the project allows I’ll always use solid timber in preference to veneer.