Specialists in Antique Furniture Restoration
Restoring and making furniture for customers across Somerset & Dorset since 1995
~ Based at Piddlehinton near Dorchester ~

Before & After Gallery
| Traditional Handmade Furniture | Testimonials

Antique Furniture Restoration & Joinery

"The skilled restorer must be a man of many crafts and much knowledge - from cabinet-maker to expert in antiques."

Unit 20D1 | Enterprise Park | Piddlehinton | Nr Dorchester | Dorset DT2 7UA
  | Telephone: 07989935080
| Email:

Alastair Thomas is a professional  furniture restorer, cabinet maker & Joiner who has been  restoring antique and modern furniture across  Dorset, Somerset and East Devon since 1995.

To date Alastair has had over  2500 satisfied  customers (see testimonials), many of whom return year after year with new projects.

Whilst consistently doing a professional restoration, Alastair  prides himself on excellent customer service and communication skills along side a very competitive price structure.

flood damaged furniture repair_Antique & Modern Furniture Restoration

~Making and carving a ball and claw foot ~

Alastair specialises in many areas of the Antique furniture restoration trade including:

French Polishing
Moulding repairs
Joint restoration
Furniture Making , complete pieces & components
Fitting of new leather inserts to writing desks,bureaus,occassional tables etc.
Replacement brassware (which can be cast at a foundry to match an original if so wished).

Antique & Modern Furniture Restoration_________Antique Furniture Restoration & Joinery

Free quotes given, either via email with photogrphs or free local home visits can be arranged .

Alastair's restorations speak for themselves, with the finished piece looking like a well cared for piece of furniture,  as it should, and NOT over restored or new looking.

Before & After Gallery

Early 19th Century Mahogany Carver Chair
( a typical restoration project )

Though this chair was together when arriving at the workshop, it had many nails and screws put in over 150 years of becoming unstable at different times  which had caused major damage to one leg to and the right hand arm main support  in particular ,  and when these screws were removed the chair in these areas simply crumbled to small pieces and dust.
Each individual section was restored separately which involved jointing a new sections of old mahogany into the top of a leg and arm then re-shaping and cutting new mortises and tennons.  All joints were cleaned and the piece re-assembled / glued with traditional hot animal glue.

Finishing evolved plugging various old holes made by screws with mahogany hand made plugs and re-shaping and carving the new arm top to match the adjacent one. The chair then had the new repairs colour-matched in and polished, finally bees-waxing the complete piece.

The seat frame was also restored and completely re-upholstered with new material.
This is a medium sized restoration project and would normally cost around  £375.00 including all labour & materials to restore.

"I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for the excellent work carried out in the restoration and upholstery of my chair, your time and attention in this matter is greatly appreciated."
Mr J.Meyer


Victorian Walnut Davenport
circa 1860 - 1880

This piece had major light and water damage to the veneers and polished sufaces, in particular the top panel with gallery rail which needed a day's work alone to repair blistered and missing sections of veneer and marquetry.

water damaged davenport

damaged marquetry_expertly restored marquetry

desktop leather repair

A new writing leather was specially made to emulate the original perished one and shaped tooled edge.
Walnut knobs were turned to replace missing ones and all surfaces restored and re polished. 

restored victorian davenport_restored victorian davenport

This restoration would be between £400 & £500 

Oak Sewing Table restoration marquetry
_marquetry restoration
Restored marquetry on Oak Sewing Table

Oak Sewing Table

Restoration of inlaid marquetry panel and all polished surfaces.

Edwardian Dutch Marquetry Desk_Edwardian Dutch Marquetry Desk
Edwardian Dutch Marquetry Desk

Edwardian Dutch Marquetry Desk
This piece required re-designing and converting the interior, so that a laptop computer could be used in it, removing drawers and related panels,  re-making a base panel and inlaying a boxwood line to match the design. The re-design was done in such a way that - if required in the future - the other drawers and sections removed can be re-fitted.

A  desk leather was fitted to replace a section of baize that had replaced an older leather. A marble panel was also removed from the very  top of the desk and another panel was fitted with a section of 100 year old mahogany and an inlaid line introduced to match the overall design. All brassware was restored and re-plated, and an ornate key was made to an exact copy of the ornate bow handle of an adjacent one.

Finally, the French polished surfaces were all re-polished and beeswaxed, before re-fitting all the brassware.

Table restoration _Table restoration 2

Table restoration 3 _Table restoration 4

Late Regency / Early Victorian Mahogany Breakfast Table

This piece was in need of major restoration. All joints in the pedestal had become very loose and nails and other wedges had been driven in over the years to try and make it stable. Also due to movement in the timber there was a lot of veneer damage to restore around the base.

The base was completely dismantled and the joints restored and re-glued. Veneer patches were hand veneered in the traditional way using hot pearl glue. New mouldings were made and fitted around the central pillar.

The whole piece was then completely re-finished by hand and bees waxed.

American Walnut Desk
(made by Howard & Sons, Berner St, London - around 1880 to 1910)

American Walnut Desk _American Walnut Desk
This desk was missing its lower rails, and others were badly chewed by a pet dog.  The leather had deteriorated badly and the overall finish was in need of restoration.
New rails were made and others restored, then fitted and colour matched.  

American Walnut Desk

 All surfaces were cleaned , prepared and re-polished, and a new leather was fitted replicating the original colour and embossed edge. Finally beeswaxing the complete piece, and lubricating the metal work and drawer runners.

Barley Twist Stretcher__Barley Twist Stretcher

Hand making of a missing Barley Twist Stretcher that had been broken and then lost many years ago.

Victorian Rosewood Veneered Sewing Table _Victorian Rosewood Veneered Sewing Table

Victorian Rosewood Veneered Sewing Table

Extensive restoration required, including missing turned moldings and knobs. Broken and missing sections of veneer.
And restoration of all polished surfaces.

Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport_ Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport_ Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport

Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport

Extensive replacement of destroyed veneer to top and piano front.
Make and replace missing mouldings. Repair various sections of veneer damage.
Restore overall finish.

Victorian Nursing Chair _Victorian Nursing Chair

Victorian Nursing Chair

Dismantle and repair all joints. Turn front rail to replace incorrect one.
Turn and fit missing rosette caps. Re-cane seat and back.

Pembroke Table

Pembroke Table

Pembroke Table

Work done on the Pembroke Table c.1830
• Restore and replace missing veneers  and marquetry panels and inlaid line.
• Remake missing components to drawer.
• Repairs to broken sections of drop flaps.
• Restore colour and french polished surface of complete table.

Windsor Style Country Carver Chair
_Windsor Style Country Carver Chair

Windsor Style Country Carver Chair c.1850
This chair was found in a barn by the new owners locally. It was missing a leg and its front crinoline stretcher. A new leg was turned on the lathe using reclaimed beech and a front crinoline stretcher made out of ash. Finally colour matching to original. The whole chair was then cleaned, revived and wax polished.

Edwardian Writing Table
Edwardian Writing Table

Edwardian Writing Table c.1910

This table had been painted with white gloss paint sometime in the 1970's, probably to blend in with home at the time. The customer had run out of patience trying to remove all the paint. Every speck had to be removed with a safe stripper, then stained and traditionally french polished. Handles were cast from an imprint that could be found in the original surface of the drawers.

Regency Corner Wash Stand_Regency Corner Wash Stand

Regency Corner Wash Stand
The drawer components and ure stand were missing in the base of this item. New components were made, again using reclaimed timbers. All surfaces were restored and french polished.

Oak Dining Chair_Oak Dining Chair

Oak Dining Chair
This chair had major damage as the back was completely broken off. Normally a chair like this would be un-economical to repair, but was one of a set of 12 so was considered worth doing.

A complete new back was made from English oak cutting by hand traditional mortise and tennon joints. Then the show wood colour matched and polished, finally re-upholstering.

Victorian Oak Ballroom Chair_Victorian Oak Ballroom Chair

Victorian Oak Ballroom Chair

Victorian Oak Ballroom Chair
This piece had to be completely dismantled and all joints restored as was in danger of collapsing causing major damage to the structure.  All upholstery was replaced with traditional methods and materials, including horse hair and the best quality velvet

Eastern Side Cabinet_Eastern Side Cabinet_

Eastern Side Cabinet
This cabinet had major damage when a party guest fell and accidentally put their hand through the thin wooden top.
The shattered pieces were painstakingly all put back together like a jigsaw, and the cosmetic and polished surfaces repaired .

Traditional Handmade Furniture

Rosewood Veneered Sofa Table

Rosewood Veneered Sofa Table
(Based on a design by Thomas Sheraton 1751 - 1806)

Rosewood Veneered Sofa Table

Hand made using traditional methods. This piece won second prize in the 'Cabinet Making and Furniture Making' competition at Axminster Power Tools Show.

Ladie's Sewing / Work Table

Ladie's Sewing / Work Table

(Again based on a Thomas Sheraton 1751 -1806 design).
Made from solid Satinwood and English Oak. Note the rear rising fire screen at the rear. This was to prevent the ladie's faces from getting too hot near open fires!

Traditional Oak Jointed Stool

This was made using a customer's original stool as a template. Traditionally water-stained using Vandyke Crystals and Ammonia, then bees-waxed.

Games Table

Games Table
Handmade for a customer in the Far East.

Rober Jupe Extending Table Base

Rober Jupe Extending Table Base
Made for David Linley (son of Princess Margaret)


"Mr Alastair Thomas is passionate about his craft, is utterly professional, and his fine work manifests itself in the results which speak for themselves.  He has brought a mid 19th century Military Chest back to life after being damaged during shipment from South Africa to England.  My wife and I are absolutely delighted in the finished article.  A true craftsman at the top of his game."
Mr and Mrs K J Grice

"I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for the excellent work carried out in the restoration and upholstery of my chair, your time and attention in this matter is greatly appreciated."

Mr J.Meyer

"Having bought an old treadle singer sewing machine on impulse, I soon realised it needed serious restoration work to bring it back to its former glory. The machine itself was in excellent condition but the table was in a very sorry state and I feared it could not be rescued. However, Alastair transformed this sad old object with great care into splendid condition and it will now take pride of place in our home. Alastair's patience and skill is simply exemplorary and we would whole-heartedly recommend his work. "

Mrs C. Rance

"I just wanted to let you know how pleased we were at how you brought my late mother-in-law's mid-century bedroom furniture back to life. As you know, I was a little hesitant in approaching you, thinking that only 'antiques' warranted a furniture restorer's skills so it was so refreshing having you enthuse about caring for these modern pieces. As you can see the chest of drawers in particular sits very well in our new bedroom.


I was also very chuffed that you were able to marry together the sections of our dining room table (bought in the late '70s). The sun, plus wear and tear on the circular top had made it sit unhappily next to the pristine central leaves which had spent 30 years stored under the bed! Somehow you managed to reconcile them and it's a treat to have the table out at its full size in our new home.

Thank you, too, for your efficient service in collecting them from our old home and then delivering them to the new house. I will no doubt be in touch again with other bits and pieces needing your skillful touch."

Mrs C. Oates

"We’d been working at two battered antique leather-topped desks for many years; the oldest since my first day as an Accountant in 1967. Over the years the leather tops have literally worn to nothing, assisted by cuts and tears from everyday use.

Alastair Thomas refurbished the top of the oldest desk, using a classic dark green leather skiver. He has done it in such a way that the new top fits in perfectly with the slightly-distressed look of the rest of the desk. We were so pleased that three months later we had the second desktop similarly restored.

Clients have already commented upon the improvement, and I have no hesitation in recommending Alastair’s services to anyone who wants a desktop replaced in a sympathetic manner for a very reasonable charge."

Mr D. Hollister

"Just a note to say we were absolutely delighted with the restoration of our stool, it was just as we had hoped.

The workmanship is excellent, I am sure our father would have fully approved. We are also thankful for all your efforts in terms of time, investigation and postage extended in finding a similar leather, we managed it in the end! Again many thanks for a very professional restoration and advice."

Mr and Mrs. Cox

"I am very pleased by your efforts, you have given a new lease of life to otherwise semi-dead pieces. The desk is particularly rewarding, I also like the fact that you went to the trouble of replacing all the locks on the sideboard and the extra drawers are an especially good investment."

Mr B. Butler

"Dear Alastair,
Just a quick note to say thank you so much for the table.  It looks lovely and thank you for the photos.  Looking at it now, it is hard  to realize just how bad a state it was in."

Mrs B. Adams

"Thank you for repairing the stool so well."

Lnt Col J Fisher OBE

"Thanks for your call Alastair.  We're thrilled with the table."
Cptn & Mrs May (Coffee Table designed and made)

"Dear Alastair,
Many thanks for the wonderful work that you have done for us."
Mrs E. Madge

Alastair S. Thomas - Antique Furniture Restoration
Unit 20D1 | Enterprise Park | Piddlehinton | Nr Dorchester | Dorset DT2 7UA
  | Telephone: 07989935080
| Email: