Custom Made Woodwork

Andrew’s Custom Made Woodwork

Custom made Australian woodcraft and heirloom quality furniture pieces, designed and handcrafted to order.

– Latest photos can be seen below or Instagram Facebook and some older work can be viewed in the Gallery which is being updated.

Andrew can design & produce a large range of bespoke woodwork items.

Custom made woodwork to your specifications from a variety of materials, if you have the time to wait for it to be handcrafted – he is always looking for new challenges. Over 25 years of experience making….

Bespoke Pen Display Boxes, Collectors Chests with Glass Lids, Rustic Timber Signs, Barometers, Spice Racks, Recycled Timber Furniture, Tea Chests, Blanket Boxes, Hope Chests, Large Jewellery Chests with drawers, Trinket Storage Boxes, Urns, Petite Cabinets, Milking Stools, Shaker Style Home-wares & much more.

Close up detail of a Pirate Chest box with vintage padlock and hardware
Pirate Chest style with vintage padlock and hardware Victorian Ash – Made to be used as a wedding wishing well box and was sent to Fraser Island in Queensland for the big day. Solid timber –  This box weighed a tonne!

More custom made woodwork can be viewed in the gallery, wooden boxes page, and wooden signs page.

The personal link between the timber, the craftsman and the customer starts here…

Specialising in old time joinery techniques, he takes time to ensure that you’re getting the finest crafted quality piece available in the world.

If you need something special and can’t find anyone to make it to the old time quality standards we used to expect before the days of cheap mass production then look no further.

The quality of fine woodwork design will be remembered and enjoyed for a lifetime with Andrew’s woodwork.

Previous work examples – custom made to customer requests.

Urn cabinet for child's ashes. Tasmanian Blackwood with lined drawer.
Urn cabinet for child’s ashes. Tasmanian Blackwood with lined drawer.

I’m often asked to make cabinets for Urns or Ashes Boxes, the photo above was an example of a job that still brings a tear to my eye, so many years after completing the project.  Even as I type this I am quite emotional but I am glad I helped in some way to create a unique piece to remember their loved ones.

Love and attention to detail goes in to each item I create.

There’s currently a disconnection between modern mass produced items and the people who purchase them. I am slowly seeing a change back to the old way of thinking. People are finally starting to appreciate the rise of makers in Australia and the skills are being preserved for future generations. A handcrafted item has soul, a small part of the craftsman goes into each piece, not just in woodworking, even craft beer is now being appreciated like it deserves!

Top view of the Tasmanian Blackwood Bespoke urn cabinet for baby-children's ashes.
Bespoke urn cabinet for baby-children’s ashes.
Drawer open view of the Tasmanian Blackwood Bespoke urn cabinet for baby-children's ashes.
Tasmanian Blackwood Bespoke urn cabinet with felt lined drawer.

Andrew’s Notes – Timber, Joinery, & Finish Methods

“Everyone wants the project to be good, fast, and cheap… pick two.”

– Unknown

The beauty and grain texture of solid timber is far superior compared to common mass produced woodwork which is usually veneered MDF or sprayed with stain to look like timber.
I rarely use stains in my work as I believe in letting the natural beauty and colour of the timber grain show.
The finish on most of my custom made items I apply in stages over a period of about 5 days (depending on weather), it may be a natural Danish Oil wax blend or a Shellac finish using a method like French Polish. All these methods are far superior to the plastic like finishes that are so common these days. I don’t really like using high gloss varnish as this type of finish builds to a thick layer and the item feels more like plastic than timber. If you prefer a high gloss finish this can be achieved using natural oil finishes and wax, or a different method using Shellac, very similar to French Polish (and a whole lot of elbow grease!).
My finished items are a silky smooth satin finish that truly needs to be touched, you will then understand the difference a good finish makes. It’s well worth the extra time and I don’t believe in using toxic spray on finishes simply to cut costs and production time.

Real Timber Construction – Environmental factors to consider in a throw away society

Solid timber will continue to move throughout its life as it expands & shrinks, it ‘breathes naturally.’ It is after all a piece of tree, therefore, it is important that time is taken in design to construct the joinery methods needed for super strength over many years of use.  The joinery methods used in Andrew’s custom made woodwork are a sign of true craftsmanship as well as being visually pleasing by creating an interlocking pattern between the two timber species.

“It’s actually not that long ago we used to make things to last, to be passed down through generations.
I believe there’s still a demand for craftsmanship in this modern world and people are slowly making the change back to the traditional way of thinking when making a purchase. We really need to look at more than just the total price of the item, there is a lot more to consider, education is the key to this change”

Wood Movement is VERY Important!

I often see other makers using solid timber construction yet fail to meet the requirements to allow the changes in humidity throughout the life of the piece. A box lid may simply be glued on to the top for example. This may look fine when the box is complete sanded, finished then sold to you but ignoring wood movement and not allowing for differences in grain direction in the design/joinery is a recipe for disaster down the track!

I see it all too often, these people either have no idea about woodworking or they are simply trying to turn a profit – usually a bit of both in my opinion!

Don’t spend your money on Junk! It will not save you or the planet in the end.
If you want something to last forever – a heirloom quality piece then don’t risk it with poor design.
You only have to look at the joinery, frame and panel construction used in pieces from yesteryear that remain intact and just as solid as the day they were created for the customer over 100 years ago.

There is a valid reason craftsman of yesterday took the time to ensure the piece is made with wood movement in mind.
They wanted the customer to be happy with their work. Their livelihood and reputation depended on it!

“There’s NO short-cuts taken when I design and create my custom made woodwoodwork”

Q&A Section

1. How do I order a custom made item?

Just e-mail anytime and I can work out a quote for anything you require

2. Is there a Warranty period or Guarantee?

Yes, all my work is handmade by myself and depending on the item, most things will last a lifetime if looked after and cared for in the proper manner.  Should there be a problem with manufacturing or construction method in the life of the product, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As a craftsman, I take pride in my work and will treat each case individually should a problem arise. So far, I pride myself in never having a product returned or in need of repair to this date.

3. What Payment Options are available?

Most customers pay using a direct bank transfer. This is done online by logging into your secure account and transferring the owed amount directly into the bank account number & bsb given to you in my e-mail.

PayPal – Log into PayPal and make payment to This way you can pay securely using your credit or VISA debit card. Cash payments accepted if the item is arranged to be picked up from the workshop studio or simply contact me if you have a different payment method in mind.

4. Postage World Wide

Postage is available for most items, in fact 95% of my work is ordered online then posted to your door. Largest items may not be suitable for postage, although I’ve had no trouble posting letter boxes and signs so it depends on the size of the product you order. I always ensure it is packed well with recycled craft paper & plenty of bubble wrap.

crafting a wooden cross with a chisel
Handcrafted wooden cross engraved pine, custom made to order

Wooden Cross engraved. Keyhole recess on back for hanging. Made entirely with handtools from Pine. #australianmade #madetoorder #madeinmelbourne #melbournemade #woodencross #handtools #christian #family #ausworkshop #handcraftedtimber

A post shared by Andrew Wilkerson (@awilkerson) on

These items below were on my old website (I will add the photos back in one day sorry)

Racks Holders & Display Chests

Spice Jar Racks, Aromatherapy Oils Holder, Coffee/Tea Caddy, Pen Display Cases.

If you want to display your prized possessions or simply can’t find a holder or rack good enough, then why not have one made for you in the timber of your choice?

Small Wooden Boxes

There’s something about a small box crafted from a beautiful piece of solid timber. People love boxes, even the sound they make as they slam shut is a pleasure to hear. You can’t find quality like this in the shops anymore.  If you have a precious item you need to protect for a lifetime, or simply need a place to store your own jewelry, then why not have one made for you just the way you like? The depth and natural colour of crafted solid timber cannot be matched. No stains are used! 

Photo of a small wooden box for a rare stone, lid is open.
Small box with glass lid. The rare stone or crystal is placed between the felt cushions and the top felt piece is removable for display and put back in during transport to protect the stone from touching the glass. This design could also be used for a ring box. Approximate size 90 x 50mm. Custom made to order.

  Australian Timbers Don’t be fooled by cheap stained timber or veneers – it has no depth of colour.
Many Australian timbers like Tasmanian Blackwood, Queensland Maple etc, are sought after for their decorative grain, almost luminescent properties. Deep dark brown through shades of red to light golden colours that change in reflection of light with the direction it is viewed from. – Just one of the reasons Tas Blackwood is one of the most popular timbers chosen by my customers for handmade gifts. I try to source the fiddleback grain pattern which occurs naturally in some species and is sought after for it’s true natural beauty and is unique from piece to piece. This Queensland Maple below is a good example of this.

Love the hand stitched leather case handle. It’s a pleasure to pick up this case.

A post shared by Andrew Wilkerson (@awilkerson) on

Rescued from waterways after cyclone Yasi the trees for this case were pretty much supplied to me in raw rough cut form after the council cleanup in nearby creeks.  Some slabs with bark still intact.

I decided to put it to good use for the lid on this unique box I made for a stamp seal press.
The sides are Blackbean also rescued from the same devastated rainforest area. Now the Maple is married to Blackbean for life in this unique box design for a Notary Public in Queensland. – I won’t be making another one like it any time soon sorry.

Brass Name Plates – Doctor’s Plates, Memorial Plaques

Do you need a quality brass name plate mounted on a beautiful piece of solid timber? The depth and natural colour of crafted solid timber cannot be matched.

  • Brass plaques can be set into the sides of a solid timber box or recessed into the top, the photo above is a close up of an Ashes box, the box features two ashes containers with a plaque at both ends.
  • Remembrance plaques can be ordered along with your box, simply let me know what you want written and the style of font then I can work out a quote for you.
  • Features solid brass slot head screws for an antique finish
  • Or I can engrave your memorial message in to the timber on the box.
  • Click below if you wish to order a separate engraved timber plaque (not on a box).
  • Engraved Remembrance Plaque Order Form

There’s nothing quite like having woodwork custom made exactly the way you want it from the finest Australian timber species. Handcrafted functional objects, designed with style & provide a lifetime of use, passed down through generations.

All my work is finished by hand using a special 2 stage hand rubbed Danish Oil or Shellac using a technique similar to French polish, then a traditional Australian made wax blend and a whole lot of hand buffing!  This ensures you can still feel the timber as the oil is designed to soak into the timber to nourish protect and seal.  Most modern finishes are sprayed on which is a lot quicker for production work but produces a thin film of plastic on top of the timber so it looks shiny but is not a real traditional finish and will not wear as well over the years – Have you ever seen a nice aged ‘patina’ on a piece of IKEA furniture?
Patina just won’t happen with plastic coated chipboard junk, no matter how old it gets. The thick shiny layer chips and breaks away with ugly results, refinishing is costly and out of the question so the piece is sent to our landfill instead. Is this really how we should be living?  Growing trees to cut down at a rapid rate then putting it in landfill a few years later when the item falls apart.  This is not good for our future and is not a sustainable way to live on this planet.

The Danish oil finish I use makes the timber smooth and shiny through polishing by hand and penetrating into the timber, not just building up a layer on top.  You can feel the difference. It also has the advantage that the piece can be restored if damaged & more coats of Danish Oil or wax can be added over the years to protect and enrich the timber fibers.

Solid Timber products that will last forever

  • Custom made woodwork designed especially for your needs using the finest timbers.
  • Custom made woodwork is priced according to the extra time involved in designing & crafting a one off piece exactly to customers specifications.
weather station wooden barometer thermometer hygrometer
Old Red Gum post transformed into a rustic style weather station

Australian Workshop Creations (AWC) is a small one man workshop studio creating unique pieces for local Melbourne galleries & individuals who are looking for a special or unique gift item unavailable anywhere else in the world.

Note from Andrew – Large orders for mass production work can sometimes be arranged in alternate woodwork workshops or you may be able to twist my arm if they are small production runs or an interesting project.

Related Images: