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I have been doing woodworking in Mendocino County since I moved to Anderson Valley in 1974, and for ten years before that in San Francisco and Marin County. My shop is a mile off Highway 128 and 17 miles inland from Highway 1 in a building that I designed and built specifically to house it. 

I collaborate with architects and interior designers as well as individual clients on custom work, and I also produce furniture of my own design and put it on consignment in galleries. People who visit those galleries often ask me to reproduce those pieces with variations in size and wood, and I am happy to do so. 

I am mostly self-taught through trial and error as well as reading and interaction with other woodworkers, especially the folks who were active in the Mendocino Woodworkers Association back in the 1970's. I have made a lot of kitchen cabinets and a lot of pre-hung doors for houses, but my great love is making household and office furniture.   

My designs are inspired by the simple lines of Shaker furniture, the Arts and Crafts period, and the sensuous curves of Art Nouveau pieces. I work almost exclusively in American hardwoods and like to use two contrasting woods in each piece, one for the frame members and another for panels, drawer fronts and tops. I like to find special highly-figured wood for the panels and tops and often make it into thick veneer on my bandsaw. 

All furniture frames are joined with mortise and tenon and through dovetail joints. I do make use of dowels occasionally. Panels are free floating within the frames and tops are designed and attached taking the possibility of wood movement into account. All drawers are dovetailed and are guided bottom, top and sides on hardwood runners. All furniture is finished with four coats of polyurethane varnish and sanded or hand rubbed between coats. 

You can see more of my work as well as my resume and an artists statement on my web site at:

You are welcome to email me to arrange a time to stop by the shop if you are interested in discussing a commission and are going to be in Mendocino. 

Tom McFadden



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