Russell Oak & Steel
Handmade Industrial Style Furniture
Located – Littleover, Derby
Contact – 0845 838 6954
Web site – http://russelloakandsteel.com
Joshua Russell is the owner of Russell Oak & Steel in Derby which was launched in 2013. Josh is a fabricator of bespoke furniture, making tables, storage and desks for customers with a specific criteria. All of the bits he makes are from scratch using various steels, cut and then welded to make the main framework, then real Oak is used for the panels and then treated with an oil.
Josh’s workshop is situated in his parents back garden. He uses the wooden table to cut long lengths of steel on.
Talking to Josh, with a coffee in one hand, I was impressed with his charming workshop kitted out with a TIG and MIG welder and stacks of steel hanging from the walls. Josh’s set-up is simple and it reminds me of a typical creative person making do with what he has. He doesn’t have all of the fancy expensive tools that an established workshop would, but he uses what he does have to get by. His work is inspired by the industrial era and most of his custom comes from London.
Josh is 27 and has been a maker for 4 years fabricating furniture for his Russell Oak & Steel business.
The idea of Russell Oak & Steel all started when Josh was looking for a unique table made from wood and metal. He eventually stumbled upon a desk made from reclaimed scaffolding boards and galvanised scaffold tubes. From that moment he had the idea of using the space at the bottom of his garden to start making his own handmade industrial pieces using oak and steel. It started off initially as a personal project for Josh, working with local fabricators and joiners, but then he enrolled onto a welding course at Ilkeston college and then invested money into buying his welder and essential tools to get things rolling. From that point Josh spent many hours by himself learning and improving his welding skills and coming up with furniture designs.
All good things come from a plan. He uses Sketchup Pro software to design his furniture based on requirements from the customer. When the customer is happy with the final design, materials are then ordered and the project begins.
Cutting and Grinding Steel
The frame of the tables is cut to size. Rough edges are smoothed off using the angle grinder in preparation for welding.
Welding the Steel Frame
When all of the steel is cut it is clamped into place and then welded using either a TIG or MIG welder.
Inside Josh’s workshop. He’s currently in the process of welding a table frame.
Real Solid Oak
Upstairs inside his house he has a room dedicated to oiling the Oak panels that are fitted to the steel frames. The wood is sanded smooth using very light grit paper. Once cleared of dust the oil is applied and left 24hours to dry. A hardwax oil is then rolled on which protects the beautiful Oak from everyday stains, water spills, etc. Once this process is complete they are stacked flat and left to dry on the rack. Josh built the rack himself.
Some Finished Products
More to be added very soon.
Photography © Daniel Dytrych